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European Parliament Elections of May 2014: Driven by National Politics or EU Policy Making?

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Schmitt, Hermann; Toygür, Ilke

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Abstract The 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections took place in a very particular environment. Economic crisis, bailout packages, and austerity measures were central on the agenda in many Southern countries while open borders and intra-EU migration gained high salience elsewhere in the Union. A strong decline of political trust in European and national institutions was alarming. At the same time, the nomination and campaigning of “Spitzenkandidaten”, lead candidates of EP political groups for European Commission (EC) presidency, was meant to establish a new linkage between European Parliament elections and the (s)election of the president of the Commission. All of this might have changed the very nature of EP elections as second-order national elections. In this paper, we try to shed light on this by analysing aggregate election results, both at the country-level and at the party-level and compare them with the results of the preceding first-order national election in each EU member country. Our results suggest that the ongoing politicisation of EU politics had little impact on the second-order nature of European Parliament elections. (auhtor's abstract)
Keywords EU; European Parliament; election to the European Parliament; parliamentary election; national politics; multi-level system; voter; election; voting behavior; political attitude; mobilization; politicization; election result; party; preference; international comparison
Classification European Politics; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords second-order elections
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 167-181
Journal Politics and Governance, 4 (2016) 1
Issue topic How Different Were the European Elections of 2014?
ISSN 2183-2463
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution