Discussion papers

New CfPM Report: An Evidence-Driven Model of Voting and Party Competition

by Ruth Meyer, Marco Fölsch, Martin Dolezal and Reinhard Heinisch. Paper accepted for and presented at the 16th annual Social Simulation Conference (SSC 2021)

Abstract In this paper we report on the development of an agent-based model (ABM) simulating the behaviour of voters and the positioning of political parties in Austria. The aim is to create what-if scenarios taking into account contextual changes, such as political crises as well as changes in parties’ policy positions and voters’attitudes. Drawing on data from the Austrian National Election Study (AUTNES) and the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES), we are able to map both demand- and supply-side characteristics. We present first results of the simulation analysis of applied strategies of voters and parties. This way, we are able to create first what-if scenarios that show how results of elections would change, if voters applied different strategies when deciding which party to vote for. In developing a simulation for the case of Austria as a reference model, we lay the foundation for more universal applications of ABM in political science.

Keywords voting behaviour, party competition, agent-based simulation, what-if scenarios

Note The linked zip file contains the submitted paper and the slides used for the conference presentation.