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Forecasting Spanish elections


  • Magalhães, Pedro C.
  • Aguiar-Conraria, Luís
  • Lewis-Beck, Michael S.


The behavior of the individual Spanish voter has come to be rather well-understood, thanks to a growing body of literature. However, no models have appeared to explain or forecast national election outcomes. This gap in the research contrasts sharply with the extensive election forecasting work done in other leading Western democracies. Here, we fill this gap. The model, developed from core political economy theory, is parsimonious but statistically robust. Further, it promises a considerable level of prediction accuracy for legislative and European election outcomes, six months before the contest actually occurs. After presenting the model and carrying out extensive regression diagnostics, we offer an ex ante forecast of the November 2011 legislative election, then discuss the model and the forecast in light of what the actual election result turned out to be.

Suggested Citation

  • Magalhães, Pedro C. & Aguiar-Conraria, Luís & Lewis-Beck, Michael S., 2012. "Forecasting Spanish elections," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 769-776.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:28:y:2012:i:4:p:769-776 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2012.04.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bellucci, Paolo, 2010. "Election cycles and electoral forecasting in Italy, 1994-2008," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 54-67, January.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:71:y:1977:i:04:p:1467-1487_26 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. "The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-245, June.
    4. Ignacio Lago-Peñas & Santiago Lago-Peñas, 2005. "Does The Economy Matter? An Empirical Analysis Of The Causal Chain Connecting The Economy And The Vote In Galicia," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 215-243, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aichholzer, Julian & Willmann, Johanna, 2014. "Forecasting Austrian national elections: The Grand Coalition model," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 55-64.
    2. Munzert, Simon, 2017. "Forecasting elections at the constituency level: A correction–combination procedure," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 467-481.


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