2014 European Parliament elections

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    The European Parliament elections may be a landmark for Eurosceptics, but the EU’s future direction will be decided elsewhere

The European Parliament elections may be a landmark for Eurosceptics, but the EU’s future direction will be decided elsewhere

The European Parliament elections on 22-25 May are expected to see a large increase in seats for Eurosceptic parties across a number of EU countries. Seamus Nevin writes that while a result of this nature would prompt a wide debate about the quality of EU democracy, the key decisions shaping Europe’s future will nevertheless be made elsewhere. The real […]

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    The debates between candidates for Commission President have a long way to go if they are to generate real engagement with EU citizens

The debates between candidates for Commission President have a long way to go if they are to generate real engagement with EU citizens

One of the key innovations in the 2014 European Parliament election campaign has been the inclusion of televised debates between candidates for the next President of the European Commission. Nick Anstead assesses the debates which have taken place so far. He writes that while televised debates are a good option for improving citizen engagement with the campaign, the discussions […]

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    David Cameron will face challenges both at home and abroad after the votes are counted in the European Parliament elections

David Cameron will face challenges both at home and abroad after the votes are counted in the European Parliament elections

The UK’s Conservative Party does not sit with other mainstream centre-right parties in the European Parliament as a member of the European People’s Party, but instead sits in a smaller group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). Tim Bale assesses some of the challenges the party might face after the European Parliament elections on 22-25 May. He notes that with […]

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    Voters frequently misjudge the positions of parties in European Parliament elections on the basis of non-political factors

Voters frequently misjudge the positions of parties in European Parliament elections on the basis of non-political factors

Voters are generally assumed to support parties in elections on the basis of their policy positions, but what factors affect how accurately voters can judge these positions? Peter Grand and Guido Tiemann assess the influence of so called ‘projection effects’ in European Parliament elections, whereby voters who like a particular party for non-political reasons are more likely to assume […]

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    The positions of European political parties offer a clear choice to voters over what type of Europe they would like to see

The positions of European political parties offer a clear choice to voters over what type of Europe they would like to see

European Parliament elections have often been criticised from the perspective that they fail to engage voters. Cristina Ares Castro-Conde presents a comprehensive comparison of the positions contained within the manifestos of all of the main European political parties. She argues that when the programmes of each party are broken down, there are clear differences visible between the parties, highlighting […]

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    Latvia’s European Parliament elections will be a key battleground in the run up to the general election in October

Latvia’s European Parliament elections will be a key battleground in the run up to the general election in October

Latvia’s government collapsed at the end of 2013, with new elections scheduled to be held in October this year. Licia Cianetti writes that the country’s European Parliament elections are likely to be dominated by the national situation, with the results potentially giving an indication of where parties stand in the run up to October. She notes that the key […]

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    The new European Parliament must insist on a constitutional Convention after the elections to oversee future treaty change

The new European Parliament must insist on a constitutional Convention after the elections to oversee future treaty change

One of the key distinctions between the 2014 European Parliament elections and previous elections has been the selection of formal candidates for President of the European Commission by several European political families prior to the vote. Andrew Duff writes that while this may have created a more ‘European’ focus to the campaign in mainland Europe, the impact in the […]

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    Lega Nord’s Euroscepticism represents political opportunism rather than a deeply-held ideological stance similar to UKIP

Lega Nord’s Euroscepticism represents political opportunism rather than a deeply-held ideological stance similar to UKIP

Alongside parties such as UKIP in the UK and the Front National in France, Italy’s Lega Nord have also taken a notably Eurosceptic stance prior to this month’s European Parliament elections. Duncan McDonnell writes that while the party has joined the Eurosceptic alliance led by the Front National and Geert Wilder’s Party for Freedom, Lega Nord’s policies on Europe […]

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    The key issue for Luxembourg in the EP elections is not the national vote, but whether Juncker can win the contest for Commission President

The key issue for Luxembourg in the EP elections is not the national vote, but whether Juncker can win the contest for Commission President

Luxembourg traditionally holds national elections at the same time as European elections. As Martine Huberty writes, however, the 2014 vote will mark uncharted territory as the country was forced into holding snap elections in October last year. She argues that while the national vote is relatively difficult to predict at this stage, the key issue for the country is […]

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    The rise of Euroscepticism across Europe has masked general apathy about the European elections among voters

The rise of Euroscepticism across Europe has masked general apathy about the European elections among voters

Marine Le Pen’s Front National and Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom have announced that they intend to form a ‘Eurosceptic alliance’ in the European Parliament after the 2014 European elections. Duncan McDonnell writes that while the overall picture in the European elections will see Eurosceptic parties make gains in their overall vote share, they will have a fairly limited […]

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    Pro-EU politicians have so far failed to match the level of vision and imagination shown by Eurosceptics in the EP election campaign

Pro-EU politicians have so far failed to match the level of vision and imagination shown by Eurosceptics in the EP election campaign

The European Parliament elections on 22-25 May are expected to see a significant increase in support for Eurosceptic parties. Inez von Weitershausen writes that while this has been regarded by some commentators as a negative development, pro-EU politicians could also learn from the approach adopted by Eurosceptic leaders such as Nigel Farage. She argues that the one thing Eurosceptic […]

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    The European Parliament elections in Greece will take place against a backdrop of increasing disillusionment with politics among Greek citizens

The European Parliament elections in Greece will take place against a backdrop of increasing disillusionment with politics among Greek citizens

The Greek party system experienced substantial change during the Eurozone crisis, with Pasok, the country’s main centre-left party, suffering a particularly damaging loss of support. Ahead of the European elections in Greece, Eri Bertsou previews the vote and assesses what the elections might mean for the Greek political landscape. She writes that with a fragmented party system and increasing […]

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    The European Parliament elections in Bulgaria are likely to reinforce the country’s political stalemate between left and right

The European Parliament elections in Bulgaria are likely to reinforce the country’s political stalemate between left and right

The Bulgarian government currently lacks a majority in the country’s national parliament, with the governing coalition counting on support from 120 out of 240 MPs. Kyril Drezov writes that the upcoming European elections will likely be fought on the basis of this domestic situation, with European issues playing only a minor role, and the majority of seats being distributed […]

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    The Swedish European elections will be held in the shadow of September’s national election, but European issues will play a key role

The Swedish European elections will be held in the shadow of September’s national election, but European issues will play a key role

Sweden will not only hold European elections in May, but will also hold national, regional and municipal elections in September. Linda Berg and Jonathan Polk write on the effect this ‘super-election’ year will have on the vote for the European Parliament. They note that while the two largest parties, the Social Democrats and Moderates, will likely have one eye […]

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    Czech Eurosceptic parties are likely to be pushed to the side-lines by Andrej Babiš’s ANO movement in the upcoming European elections

Czech Eurosceptic parties are likely to be pushed to the side-lines by Andrej Babiš’s ANO movement in the upcoming European elections

The Czech Republic has traditionally been assumed to be more Eurosceptic than other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly during the period in which Václav Klaus was the country’s president. Seán Hanley previews the upcoming European Parliament elections and the potential electoral fortunes of Czech Eurosceptic parties. He writes that while public opinion has hardened toward the EU, […]

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    Eurosceptic parties will have success in the 2014 European elections, but their impact in the European Parliament will be limited

Eurosceptic parties will have success in the 2014 European elections, but their impact in the European Parliament will be limited

One of the key issues in relation to the 2014 European Parliament elections is the potential for an unprecedented number of Eurosceptic and populist parties to secure seats. Simon Usherwood writes that while Eurosceptic parties such as UKIP in the UK, the Front National in France, and the PVV in the Netherlands may come out on top of their […]

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    The Irish European Parliament elections will be fought on the basis of personalities rather than parties

The Irish European Parliament elections will be fought on the basis of personalities rather than parties

Unlike most EU states, Ireland uses a Single Transferable Vote system for its European Parliament elections. As Rory Costello writes, the nature of the electoral system ensures that campaigns tend to be dominated by individual candidates, rather than parties, with research suggesting only 35 per cent of Irish voters base their decision on a candidate’s party. As a result, […]

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    The Front National is tipped to ‘win’ this year’s elections in France, but it needs more than votes to claim a share of power

The Front National is tipped to ‘win’ this year’s elections in France, but it needs more than votes to claim a share of power

In addition to the European Parliament elections in May, France will hold municipal elections on 23 and 30 March. James Shields writes that, as with many French elections, the far-right Front National (FN) has attracted much media coverage and public attention in the lead-up. However, he argues that while the FN might significantly improve its share of votes and […]

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    The European Parliament elections in Finland are unlikely to see a significant swing in support toward the Eurosceptic Finns Party

The European Parliament elections in Finland are unlikely to see a significant swing in support toward the Eurosceptic Finns Party

With Finland due to hold parliamentary elections in 2015, the European elections in May will be viewed as an indicator of where the major parties stand with the electorate. Tapio Raunio gives an overview of the campaign, noting that European Parliament (EP) elections in Finland are traditionally highly ‘candidate centred’ due to the use of open party lists. Nevertheless one […]

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    The European Parliament elections in Romania will highlight the deep divisions within the country’s political system

The European Parliament elections in Romania will highlight the deep divisions within the country’s political system

The European Parliament elections in Romania will be held alongside a constitutional referendum, and ahead of Presidential elections in November. Clara Volintiru writes that while the elections will serve as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Presidential elections later in the year, they will potentially have wider significance for Romanian democracy. She argues that given the fragile governing coalition and continuous […]

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