Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach

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Institute for Demoskopie Allensbach, Society for the Study of Public Opinion with Limited Liability

legal form GmbH
founding June 16, 1948
Seat Allensbach , Germany
management Renate Quiver
Number of employees 81
As of December 31, 2017

Building of the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy

The Institute for Demoskopie Allensbach - Society for the Study of Public Opinion mbH (IfD), based in Allensbach on Lake Constance, was founded on June 16, 1948 by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann , according to the extract from the commercial register . Renate Köcher has been managing director since 1988, at the side of the founder until 2010. The institute has branches in Bonn and Berlin . 25 scientists are among the 95 employees. In addition, around 1,600 part-time interviewers work at the IfD. It is considered to belong to the conservative political spectrum. In addition to opinion research, the institute also works in the field of media research (including the studies of Allensbacher Market and Advertising Media Analysis (AWA), Allensbacher Computer and Technology Analysis (ACTA, TOPLevel)). Allensbach is the only German institute to work not with random samples , but with quota procedures, but with this it achieves results that are similar to those of its competitors.


Allensbach is the only one of the five major German opinion research institutes to give values ​​for the parties in the decimal range for the Sunday question , although the error rate for this type of survey is around two to three percentage points. Polls on the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 1992 and 1996 , in which the institute set the values ​​of the party The Republicans far too low, caused public criticism . Allensbach forecast 4.5 or 4 percent share of the vote. The actual Republican election results, however, were 10.9 and 9.1 percent. In an interview on the incidents, Renate Köcher said that she expected a higher result due to rising values ​​in the surveys. At the time, however, it was not possible to know for sure whether this trend was reliable and therefore decided to only go public with the raw data (4.5 percent). Any other approach would have been interpreted in retrospect as an attempt to talk up the Republicans. This approach met with criticism in journalism and science. In an interview with the SWF, Köcher replied: "We didn't want to create a sensation by publishing the poll data before the election in the sense that everyone would then only have talked about the Republicans."

Shortly before the 2013 federal election , Bernd Lucke , one of the spokesmen for Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) at the time, claimed in an interview with Handelsblatt that Allensbach had raw data that the AfD saw at well over five percent. Renate Köcher rejected the allegations and replied that the AfD had never been anywhere near five percent of the raw numbers. The opinion research institute Forsa , against which Lucke made the same accusation, then obtained an injunction against Lucke on September 17, 2013 before the Regional Court of Cologne , under which he was forbidden to repeat his testimony under threat of a fine of up to 250,000 euros.

The closeness between Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann and Helmut Kohl also led to negative reviews.

In 1965, Hans Magnus Enzensberger referred to the institute as the oracle of Lake Constance because he saw a “structural similarity to the mantic practices of the Old World”. “Demoscopic surveys are generally commissioned: the ignorant makes his offerings to the priests of Allensbach and asks his questions. The Pythia does not reply on their own, they are the questions to a higher authority on, is the voice of God in the jargon of pollsters 'representative average'. "In fact, Noelle-Neumann, the importance of intuition in science never underestimated. As a result, Noelle-Neumann also had herself photographed as Pythia in Delphi for the FAZ advertising campaign. There is always a clever head behind.


The Allensbach Yearbooks for Demoskopie have been published every year since 1947 , initially by Verlag K. G. Saur in Munich, edited by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann.

The twelfth Allensbach Yearbook was presented on March 3, 2010 in Berlin by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the editor Renate Köcher:

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Annual financial statements as of December 31, 2017 in the electronic Federal Gazette
  2. Handelsregisterauszug Baden-Württemberg District Court Freiburg HRB 380,016th Accessed on May 21, 2016 .
  3. ^ The Institute for Demoskopie Allensbach - portrait , IfD Allensbach. Retrieved October 29, 2016
  4. Jochen Groß: The prognosis of election results. Approaches and empirical performance . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17273-6 , p. 281 .
  5. Solidly determined . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 1996, pp. 27 ( online - April 1, 1996 , interview).
  6. ^ Dieter Roth 2009: Demoskopie und Politik - On the relationship and the misunderstandings between two heavily criticized professions . In: Jürgen Winkler (Ed.): Politics-Science-Media , ISBN 3-531-16621-2 , p. 250 f.
  7. ^ Opinion research - disaster from the urn . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 1996, pp. 26th f . ( online - April 1, 1996 , interview).
  8. ^ "AfD boss Lucke is extremely crazy". In: , August 30, 2013, accessed August 30, 2013.
  9. Zoff about survey data: AfD receives slap in legal dispute with Forsa. In: Spiegel Online , September 17, 2013.
  10. ^ Dieter Roth 2009: Demoskopie und Politik - On the relationship and the misunderstandings between two heavily criticized professions. In: Jürgen Winkler (Ed.): Politics-Science-Media , ISBN 3-531-16621-2 , p. 249.
  11. Oracle from Lake Constance. Hans Magnus Enzensberger on the “Yearbook of Public Opinion 1958–1964”. In: Der Spiegel . No. 37, 1965.