Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election Data

“From Terrorism to Talakawa: Explaining Party Turnover in Nigeria’s 2015 Election”

A. Carl LeVan (American University), Matthew T. Page (Chatham House), and Yoonbin Ha (American University).
In the Review of African Political Economy, 2018. Download for FREE for a limited time!

What explains the 2015 defeat of Nigeria’s ruling party by a new party less than two years old? Despite a spike in terrorism and widespread public complaints about government waste, we find that neither violence nor patronage systematically explains voting patterns. Instead, statistical evidence points to state-level economic performance and perceptions of the national economy. Using surveys, original variables measuring economic performance and – for the first time – presidential election results at the local government level, we statistically demonstrate that “economic voting” helped the opposition. We attribute opposition success to a ‘talakawa effect’ rooted in a class-based coalition.

Carl LeVan (left) and Matthew Page (right) in Gombe State, during a research trip for this article.

Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election Dataset

Click here to download the election results at the local government level.
We believe the publication of electoral results disaggregated to the local government level constitutes a major contribution to our ability to study elections in Nigeria, even though some of the results are unofficial reported figures. The variables here include our main dependent variable, which measures the change in the PDP’s vote share from 2011 to 2015, as well as the variables used to construct it. The dataset also includes a variable measuring the adult literacy rate for those over the age of 15, and the number of languages spoken in each LGA.

Click here to download election results at the state level.
This dataset includes our main dependent variable, the change in the PDP’s vote share (ΔPDPstatevote), as well as the variables used to construct it. The sources of our independent variables are listed in the code book:

  • Literacy rate in English and local language
  • State debt ratio, an original variable that we use to measure economic conditions in each state over the years prior to the 2015 election
  • The party of the state’s incumbent governor just prior to the election
  • Change in voter turnout in 2015, compared to 2011
  • Internally generated revenue in the state, averaged over four years and expressed as a ratio
  • A survey question about the “economic condition of Nigeria, compared to 12 months ago”
  • Average relative violent deaths (per capita) in each state over five years
  • Capital spending in each state in 2015, divided by population
  • Recurrent spending in each state in 2015, divided by population

Please cite the dataset as: LeVan, A. Carl, Matthew T. Page, and Yoonbin Ha. 2018. “From Terrorism to Talakawa: Explaining Party Turnover in Nigeria’s 2015 Elections.” Review of African Political Economy no. 45 (155): 1-19.