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Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin The true European voter Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels.

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Presentation on theme: "Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin The true European voter Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin The true European voter Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels Seminar of European Ideas Network jointly with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), ‘The European Electorate’ Brussels, European Parliament, February 10, 2014

2 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization A true European voter? 1.One electorate or many: 28 second-order national elections? 2.One calculus of voting, or two? National elections and European Parliament elections 3.One Person, two elections, one party, or not? 4.Summary/Conclusions 2

3 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Turnout in European Parliament Elections 3 1. One electorate or many: 28 second-order national elections?

4 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Turnout differences between countries, Turnout EP Elections 2009 All non-compulsory voting MaximumMalta78,8 MinimumSlovakia19,6 Mean EU2741,4 Mean Eastern Europe32,2 Mean EU15 46,0 1. One electorate or many: 28 second-order national elections?  High turnout differences ≠ one European electorate

5 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Hypotheses on the differences in voters‘ calculus —“Voting with the heart”: The magnitude of sincere votingshould be higher in EP elections; this is possible because voters do not „have to pay attention to questions of government formation or other consequences of election outcomes.” Van der Eijk and Franklin (Elections and Voters, 2009: 135) —“Voting with the boot”: Less important elections can be used as barometer elections to signal dissatisfaction with the national government’s performance. —The more second-order an election is, the more important for party choice is mobilization by parties and candidates. 2. One calculus of voting, or two?

6 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization More voting with the heart? Strength of determinants of vote choice Results from panel data, German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES) NationalEP Voting with the heart Party identification0,480,66 Left-Right proximity0,640,52 Voting with the boots Government performance0,410,26 Mobilization 0,590,88 Effect strength = standardized conditional logistic regression coefficients 2. One calculus of voting, or two?  Little difference in determinants ≠ a different European voter

7 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Vote switching Vote national ≠ EP election 24.3 % Vote switching from one national election to the next35.0 % Results from panel data, German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES) Turnout 2009 EP Elections43,3 Turnout 2009 Bundestag Elections70,8  Two different electorates by composition Mean loss or win of governments’ parties compared to national election Mean loss, win -8,7 Max loss-25,8 Max win 7,1 3. One Person, two elections, one party, or not? Partial electorate and consequence

8 Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB, Research Unit Democracy & Democratization Summary/Conclusions —Differential mobilization leads to voting by a partial electorate. —EP elections mobilize less not because less efforts of candidates, but because of the number problem of representation in EP elections: less candidates/ representatives for more voters. —The partial electorate is more prone to protest in terms of voice. —Protest seems to be less strategic than sincere. —Whether exit (non-voting) is protest is unknown. —The partial European electorate may resemble a European voter more than the whole electorate by taking European aspects more into account. —Thus, parties which make a difference to the consensus of the established parties can profit and have profited from the partiality of the European electorate Summary/Conclusion


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