The Federalist Perspective in Elections to the European Parliament

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Series Details Vol.53, No.3, May 2015, p524-541
Publication Date May 2015
ISSN 0021-9886
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Abstract: The literature on elections to the European Parliament establishes that both national and EU-relevant considerations influence the decision to participate in EP elections as well as the likelihood that EP voters will switch their support between different parties. However, there have been relatively few efforts to identify the conditions that prompt individuals to consider the EU when deciding to participate or when casting a ballot.

This article theorizes that individuals from decentralized political systems are more keenly aware of the distribution of functional responsibilities within the EU and are thus more likely to vote on EU-relevant concerns in EP elections. The results from analyses of survey data from the 2009 European Election Study, together with contextual measures of decentralization, suggest that individuals from decentralized systems are more likely to participate in EP elections and that vote-switchers are more likely to be motivated by evaluations of the EU's performance.

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