Government coalitions and Eurosceptic voting in the 2014 European Parliament elections

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Series Details Volume 20, Number 3, Pages 425-446
Publication Date September 2019
ISSN 1465-1165 (print) | 1741-2757 (online)
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The 2014 European elections were characterized in many countries by growing support for Eurosceptic parties. This growth was not uniform and not clearly associated with the economic performance of these member states.

In this article, we investigate the role played in the 2014 European Parliament elections by a country-specific factor – the composition of government coalitions – different from economic performance. In particular, we argue that in those countries where moderately Eurosceptic parties were more involved in the government, citizens with negative attitudes toward the European Union were more likely to vote for highly Eurosceptic parties. This was especially the case when the governments also included strongly pro-EU parties. The empirical analysis, which is based upon the 2014 European Election Voter Study, the Chapel Hill Expert Survey, and the Parliaments and Governments database, confirms our hypotheses.

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