Turning Your Back on the EU. The Role of Eurosceptic Parties in the 2014 European Parliament Elections

This paper was presented at a symposium on the 2014 European Elections at the University of Kansas.

This paper analyses how disaffection with the EU influenced individuals’ likelihood of turning out to vote and of casting a vote for a Eurosceptic party in the 2014 EP elections, and how these relationships were moderated by the Eurosceptic partisan supply of each country. We argue that the degree to which political parties oppose European integration, as well as the ideological leaning of Eurosceptic parties, should influence both the likelihood of disaffected citizens turning out to vote, and their likelihood of voting for a Eurosceptic party. Our empirical findings show that, in the presence of a party that is strongly opposed to European integration, disaffected citizens are more likely to turn out to vote and to vote for a Eurosceptic party provided that this party also shares their ideological leaning in the left-right dimension. These results indicate that Eurosceptic parties are important actors for the politicization of the European integration conflict and for the europeanization of EP elections, but, at the same time, they suggest that opposition to European integration is subordinate to the traditional left-right conflict.

Here you have some of our results illustrating the impact of EU-disaffection on the likelihood of voting for a Eurosceptic party in different Eurosceptic supply-side scenarios:

Eurosceptic voting combined