Paolo Bellucci, Diego Garzia, Martiño Rubal Maseda

Political campaign, government approval and European Parliament elections

  • Abstract

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Whether European Parliament (EP) elections are seen by citizens as second order elections or truly European ones is a matter of scholarly debate. Taking the results of the 2009 EP elections as a starting point, this article conducts a comparative analysis of the various interpretative models which have been applied to voting behavior at EP elections. We focus, firstly, on those models which stress the centrality of domestic political concerns («Second Order» model) and the national electoral cycle («Midterm» model). Secondly, we consider those interpretations which highlight the roles played by the electoral campaign, specifically European issues and the attitudes of voters towards the European Union (the «Europe Matters» model). Finally, we discuss a multivariate composite model which comprises the most salient factors of the previous models, in order to provide a more comprehensive account of individual voting behavior in EP elections. The results from this suggest that Europe-related factors play a more significant role than might be assumed from the scholarly literature on the topic.

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