EP Elections as Stepping-Stones to Eurosceptic Party Success
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.
KeywordsHabitual voting • turnout • second-order effects • quasi-experiment • new party formation
- Downs, A. (1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- Eijk, C. v. d. & Franklin, M. N., with Ackaert, J., et al. (1996). Choosing Europe? The European electorate and national politics in the face of union. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
- Eijk, C. v. d., & Franklin, M. N. (2004). Potential for contestation on European matters at national elections in Europe. In G. Marks & M. Steenbergen (Eds.), European integration and political conflict (pp. 32–50). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Franklin, M. N. (2014). Why vote at an election with no apparent purpose? Voter turnout at elections to the European Parliament. Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, 2014, 4epa .http://www.sieps.se/sites/default/files/2014_4epa_version2_0.pdf (webpage consulted May 2016)Google Scholar
- Franklin, M. N., & Weber, T. (2014). A structuring theory of electoral politics. Paper presented at the Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, September 2014 (view pdf).Google Scholar
- Hirschman, A. O. (1970). Exit, voice and loyalty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (ed. 1982).Google Scholar
- Markowski, R. (2015). How European elections affect national party systems. In W.v. d. Brug & C. De Vries (Eds.), (Un) intended consequences of EU parliamentary elections (pp. 125–147). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Schmitt, H., Hobolt, S. B., Popa, S. A., & Teperoglou, E. (2015). European parliament election study 2014, voter study. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA5160 Data file Version 1.0.0, doi: 10.4232/1.5160.