The European Parliament Elections of June 2004: Still Second Order?
A quarter of a century ago the first series of European Parliament elections have been characterised as second-order national elections. A lot has changed since which might have had an impact upon this diagnosis. In this article I restate the central assumptions and predictions of the second-order elections model, and evaluate them against the outcome of the 2004 European Parliament election and a post-election survey. Surprisingly enough, the findings confirm the persisting second-order nature of EP elections for Western Europe. Things look very different, however, in the eight new Central- and East European member countries.