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Punishment or protest? Understanding European Parliament elections

Hix, Simon and Marsh, Michael (2007) Punishment or protest? Understanding European Parliament elections. Journal of Politics, 69 (02). pp. 495-510. ISSN 0022-3816

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00546.x


After six sets of European Parliament elections, do voters primarily use these elections to punish their national governments or to express their views on European issues? We answer this question by looking at all European elections (1979–2004) in all 25 EU states. We find that almost 40% of the volatility in party vote-shares in European elections compared to national elections is explained by the transfer of votes from large and governing parties to small and opposition parties. Nevertheless, anti-EU parties and green parties on average do better in European elections than in national elections. But these “European effects” are minor, and the position a party takes on Europe is largely irrelevant to its performance. Hence, despite the growing powers of the European Parliament, neither positions on matters regarding European integration, nor on matters regarding “normal” left-right policy, have much of an effect on electoral outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Southern Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2013 12:52
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 04:18

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