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This article examines how national parties and their members position themselves in European Parliament (EP) debates, estimating the principal latent dimension of spoken conflict using word counts from legislative speeches. We then examine whether the estimated ideal points reflect partisan conflict on a left–right, European integration or national politics dimension. Using independent measures of national party positions on these three dimensions, we find that the corpus of EP speeches reflects partisan divisions over EU integration and national divisions rather than left–right politics. These results are robust to both the choice of language used to scale the speeches and to a range of statistical models that account for measurement error of the independent variables and the hierarchical structure of the data.
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