Constantin Schäfer, Marc Debus
Euroscepticism, Policy Alienation and Abstention in the 2014 EP Elections

Conference "The 2014 European Parliament Elections in Perspective: European Elections Studies 1979-2014", MZES, Mannheim, 06. bis 08. November 2015

How do the positions of voters on European integration and EU policy alienation relate to electoral participation? We build on the recent literature on participation in elections in general and in the European level in particular and argue that positive positions on further steps in European integration boost the chances that a citizen participates in the European parliamentary elections. In addition, by building on a simple spatial model we argue that the European policy offers parties make before the election have an impact on participation in the election to the European Parliament: the more alienated a citizen is from the European policy positions parties offer, the more likely she abstains from going to the polls. Our analysis, which is based on the 2014 European Election Studies dataset, provides evidence for our argument, even after controlling for a battery of ‘standard’ factors that explain political participation.