EP Elections as Stepping-Stones to Eurosceptic Party Success

  • Mark N. Franklin
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


European Parliament (EP) elections have been described as “midwives to new parties”, facilitating in many ways the birth of parties that fractionalize party systems and have knock-on effects for government formation. This chapter proposes a previously unmentioned mechanism that would “pump” support from new and previously non-voting individuals toward support for parties they would not have supported at a national election. The mechanism is hypothesized to operate because of the habit-forming process of voting for a party. The chapter establishes that this mechanism does operate as hypothesized, though it does not account for the largest part of continuing support for eurosceptic parties. Ironically this limitation on the pump’s productivity is due to the low turnout among especially young voters at EP elections.


Habitual voting • turnout • second-order effects • quasi-experiment • new party formation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark N. Franklin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.European University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly
  2. 2.Trinity College ConnecticutHartfordUSA

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