Citizensâ€™ support for the European Union and participation in European Parliament elections
AbstractThe dominant paradigm characterizes European Parliament (EP) elections as second-order national elections. Scholars adhering to this view (for example, Marsh, 2008; Reif and Schmitt, 1980; Schmitt, 2005) not only identify these elections as less important, but also emphasize that low turnout in EP elections is unrelated to citizensâ€™ support for the European Union (EU). In this article, I challenge this latter proposition. Analyzing all EP elections since 1979, I first find that higher macro-level support for EU membership leads to higher turnout. Second, I discover that changes in aggregate EU support directly trigger changes in turnout rates. Third, a multilevel analysis of Eurobarometer data confirms these macro-level trends at the micro level and finds that citizens who consider their country's membership in the EU â€˜a good thingâ€™ have a higher likelihood of voting in EP elections than those who reject it. These findings have both empirical and theoretical implications. Empirically, the low turnout in EU elections is directly linked to citizensâ€™ rejection of the EU project. Theoretically, the second-order national election thesis needs to be altered. Turnout in EP elections is driven by not only national-level factors but also citizensâ€™ satisfaction with the EU.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by in its journal European Union Politics.
Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Contact details of provider:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.