Advertisement

Comparative European Politics

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 636–655 | Cite as

How to analyze second-order election effects? A refined second-order election model

  • Arjan H Schakel
Original Article

Abstract

The second-order election (SOE) model assumes that voters in subordinate elections tend to turn out in lower numbers and support opposition, small and new parties to the detriment of parties in national government. This model has been successfully applied to European and subnational elections taking place in Western Europe but it fares far less well in explaining electoral outcomes in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). I refine the model by differentiating between six party types (large and small government and opposition parties and new and no-seat parties) and by introducing the state of the economy (economic growth, inflation and unemployment) as explanatory variable instead of time elapsed between first- and second-order elections. An analysis on 488 regional elections taking place in 6 CEE countries shows that second-order effects relate to the state of the economy that has a different impact depending on party type. These results strongly suggest that regional elections in CEE are second-order but in order to be able to trace SOE effects the SOE model needs to be refined.

Keywords

second-order election regional election Central and Eastern Europe 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Previous versions of this article have been presented at the 1st European Conference on Comparative Electoral Research (1–3 December 2011, Sofia, Bulgaria) and at the 19th International Conference of Europeanists (22–24 March 2012, Boston, USA). I wish to thank the discussants for their comments. Special thanks go to Charlie Jeffery with whom I have extensively discussed the conceptual history of the second-order model and the merits of the second-order election model when applied to regional elections. I am very grateful to Ivan Kopric for help in obtaining regional and national election data for Croatia. I am greatly indebted to Gabór Dobos and Istvan Szekely who provided support in classifying parties, identifying electoral alliances and cleaning up data for, respectively, Hungarian and Romanian elections. The election data was collected with financial support by the British Academy through a Newton Fellowship for 2009–2011 which was spent at the Territorial Politics Group at the University of Edinburgh.

References

  1. Akkerman, T. and de Lange, S.L. (2012) Radical right parties in office: Incumbency records and the electoral cost of governing. Government and Opposition 47 (4): 574–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bochsler, D. (2010) Territory and Electoral Rules in Post-Communist Democracies. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brambor, T., Clark, W.R. and Golder, M. (2006) Understanding interaction models: Improving empirical analyses. Political Analysis 14 (1): 63–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bromley, C. (2006) Devolution and electoral politics in Scotland. In: D. Hough and C. Jeffery (eds.) Devolution and Electoral Politics. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, pp. 192–213.Google Scholar
  5. Carsey, T.M. and Wright, G.C. (1998) State and national factors in gubernational and senatorial elections. American Journal of Political Science 42 (3): 994–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chubb, J.E. (1998) Institutions, the economy, and the dynamics of state elections. The American Political Science Review 82 (1): 133–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, N. and Rohrschneider, R. (2009) Second-order elections versus first-order thinking: How voters perceive the representation process in a multi-layered system of governance. Journal of European Integration 31 (5): 645–664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dandoy, R. and Schakel, A.H. (eds.) (2013) Regional and National Elections in Western Europe. Territoriality of the Vote in Thirteen Countries. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dinkel, R.H. (1977) Der Zusammenhanf zwischen Bundes- und Landtagswahlerergebnissen. Zeitschrift für Parlementsfragen 18 (2/3): 348–360.Google Scholar
  10. Dupoirier, E. (2004) La régionalisation des électionsrégionales? Unmodèled’interprétation des elections régionales en France. Revue Française de Science Politique 54 (4): 571–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heath, A. and Taylor, B. (1999) Were the Welsh and Scottish referendums second-order elections? In: B. Taylor and K. Thomson (eds.) Scotland and Wales: Nations Again? Cardiff, UK: University of Wales Press, pp. 149–168.Google Scholar
  12. Heath, A., Mclean, I., Taylor, B. and Curitce, J. (1999) Between first and second-order: A comparison of voting behaviour in European and local elections in Britain. European Journal of Political Research 35 (3): 389–414.Google Scholar
  13. Hirschman, A.O. (1970) Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hix, S. and Marsh, M. (2007) Punishment or protest? Understanding European Parliament elections. The Journal of Politics 69 (2): 495–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hix, S. and Marsh, M. (2011) Second-order effects plus pan-European political swings: An analysis of European Parliament elections across time. Electoral Studies 30 (1): 4–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hobolt, S.B., Spoon, J.-J. and Tilley, J. (2008) A vote against Europe? Explaining defection at the 1999 and 2004 European Parliament elections. British Journal of Political Science 39 (1): 93–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. International Monetary Fund (IMF) (2012) World Economic Outlook Database. October 2012, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/02/weodata/index.aspx, accessed 12 October 2012.
  18. Jeffery, C. and Hough, D. (2001) The electoral cycle and multi-level voting in Germany. German Politics 10 (2): 73–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jeffery, C. and Hough, D. (2003) Regional elections in multi-level systems. European Urban and Regional Studies 10 (3): 199–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jeffery, C. and Hough, D. (2006) Devolution and electoral politics: Where does the UK fit in? In: D. Hough and C. Jeffery (eds.) Devolution and Electoral Politics. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, pp. 248–256.Google Scholar
  21. Jeffery, C. and Hough, D. (2009) Understanding post-devolution elections in Scotland and Wales in comparative perspective. Party Politics 15 (2): 219–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jesuit, D. (2003) The regional dynamics of European electoral politics. Participation in national and European contests in the 1990s. European Union Politics 4 (2): 139–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kitschelt, H. (1999) European social democracy between political economy and electoral competition. In: H. Kitschelt, P. Lange, G. Marks and J.D. Stephens (eds.) Continuity and Change in Contemporary Capitalism. Cambridge, USA: Cambridge University Press, pp. 317–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koepke, J.R. and Ringe, N. (2006) The second-order election model in an enlarged Europe. European Union Politics 7 (3): 321–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kousser, T. (2004) Retrospective voting and strategic behavior in European Parliament elections. Electoral Studies 23 (1): 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lau, R.R. (1985) Two explanations for negativity effects in political behaviour. American Journal of Political Science 29 (1): 119–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lewis-Beck, M. and Stegmaier, W.B. (2000) Economic determinants of electoral outcomes. Annual Review of Political Science 3: 183–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manow, P. (2005) National Vote Intention and European Voting Behavior, 1979–2004. Second-Order Election Effects, Election Timing, Government Approval and the Europeanization of European Elections. Cologne (Köln), Germany: MPIfG Discussion Paper 05/11.Google Scholar
  29. Marsh, M. (1998) Testing the second-order election model after four European elections. British Journal of Political Science 28 (4): 591–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marsh, M. (2009) Vote switching in European Parliament elections: Evidence from June 2004. Journal of European Integration 31 (5): 627–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Marsh, M. and Mikhavlov, S. (2010) European Parliament elections and EU governance. Living Review in European Governance 5(4), http://europeangoverance.livingreviews.org/Articles/lreg-2010-4/.
  32. Miller, W.L. and Mackie, M. (1973) The electoral cycle and the asymmetry of government and opposition popularity: An alternative model of the relationship between economic conditions and popularity. Political Studies 21 (3): 263–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Norris, P. (1997) Second-order elections. European Journal of Political Research 31 (1): 109–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pallarés, F. and Keating, M. (2003) Multi-level electoral competition: Regional elections and party systems in Spain. European Urban and Regional Studies 10 (3): 239–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pereira, C. and Mueller, B. (2004) The cost of governing. Strategic behavior of the president and legislators in Brazil’s budgetary process. Comparative Political Studies 37 (7): 781–815.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rallings, C. and Thrasher, M. (2005) Not all ‘second-order’ contests are the same: Turnout and party choice at the concurrent 2004 local and European Parliament elections in England. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 7 (4): 584–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Reif, K. (1985) Ten second-order national elections. In: K. Reif (ed.) Ten European Elections. Aldershot, UK: Gower, pp. 1–36.Google Scholar
  38. Reif, K. (1997) Second-order elections. European Journal of Political Research 31 (1): 115–121.Google Scholar
  39. Reif, K. and Schmitt, H. (1980) Nine second-order national elections – A conceptual framework for the analysis of European election results. European Journal of Political Research 8 (1): 3–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schakel, A. and Dandoy, R. (2014) Electoral cycles and turnout in multilevel electoral systems. West European Politics, published online on 28 April 2014.Google Scholar
  41. Schakel, A.H. and Jeffery, C. (2013) Are regional elections really second-order? Regional Studies 48 (3): 323–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schmitt, H. (2004) The European Parliament elections of 2004: Still second-order? West European Politics 28 (3): 650–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Skrinis, S. and Teperoglou, E. (2008) Studying and comparing second-order elections. Examples from Greece, Portugal and Spain. In: C. Van der Eijk and H. Schmitt (eds.) The Multilevel Electoral System of the EU, Mannheim, Germany: CONNEX Report Series No 4, pp. 163–189.Google Scholar
  44. Stefanova, B. (2008) The 2007 European elections in Bulgaria and Romania. Electoral Studies 27 (3): 566–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stein, R.M. (1990) Economic voting for governor and U.S. senator: The electoral consequences of federalism. Journal of Politics 52 (1): 29–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stimson, J.A. (1976) Public support for American presidents. A cyclical model. Public Opinion Quarterly 40 (1): 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tomz, M., Tucker, J. and Wittenberg, J. (2002) An easy and accurate regression model for multiparty electoral data. Political Analysis 10 (1): 66–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tronconi, F. and Roux, C. (2009) The political systems of Italian regions between state-wide logics and increasing differentiation. Modern Italy 14 (2): 135–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tucker, J. (2006) Regional Economic Voting: Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, 1990–1999. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tufte, E.R. (1975) Determinants of outcomes of midterm congressional elections. American Political Science Review 69 (3): 812–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Van der Brug, W., Franklin, M. and Gábor, T. (2008) One electorate or many? Differences in party preference formation between new and established European democracies. Electoral Studies 27 (4): 589–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Weber, T. (2007) Campaign effects and second-order cycles: A top-down approach to European Parliament elections. European Union Politics 8 (4): 509–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Weber, T. (2011) Exit, voice, and cyclicality: A micrologic of midterm effects in European Parliament elections. American Journal of Political Science 55 (4): 906–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjan H Schakel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations