Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Representation through the eyes of the voter: a cost-benefit analysis of European integration

  • Gabriela Borz (a1)

This article explains variation in the quality of representation in the context of European Parliament elections. Specifically, it clarifies how voters relate to political parties on the issue of European integration and whether they are represented, misrepresented, or indifferent to this issue. The analysis shows that perceived benefits of European integration do drive a perfect voter-party match while perceived costs, when high, drive a perfect match between Eurosceptic voters and likeminded parties and make voters less indifferent. The analysis draws attention to the high number of status quo voters who, in the absence of a party with similar views, could channel their vote towards a party promoting integration, but only if their knowledge about the EU and its benefits increases.

Corresponding author
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R. Azrout , J. van Spanje and C. de Vreese (2011), ‘Talking Turkey: anti-immigrant attitudes and their effect on support for Turkish membership of the EU’, European Union Politics 12(1): 319.

M. Belchior (2013), ‘Explaining left-right congruence across European party systems: a test of micro, meso-, and macro-level models’, Comparative Political Studies 46(3): 352386.

H. Brandenburg and R. Johns (2014), ‘The declining representativeness of the British Party System, and why it matters’, Political Studies 62: 704725.

I. Budge and M.D. McDonald (2007), ‘Elections and party system effects on policy representation: bringing time into comparative perspective’, Electoral Studies 26(1): 168179.

C.J. Carrubba (1997), ‘Net financial transfers in the European Union: who gets what and why?’, Journal of Politics 59(2): 469496.

R. Costello , J. Thomassen and M. Rosema (2012), ‘European parliamentary elections and political representation’, West European Politics 35(6): 12261248.

M. Gabel (1998), ‘Public support for European integration: an empirical test of five theories’, Journal of Politics 60(20): 333354.

M. Golder and J. Stramski (2010), ‘Ideological congruence and electoral institutions’, American Journal of Political Science 54(1): 90106.

M. Golder and G. Lloyd (2014), ‘Re-evaluating the relationship between electoral rules and ideological congruence’, European Journal of Political Research 53(1): 200212.

M. Mattila and T. Raunio (2006), ‘Cautious voters, supportive parties: opinion congruence on EU dimension’, European Union Politics 7(4): 427449.

L.M. McLaren (2002), ‘Public support for the European Union: cost/benefit analysis or perceived cultural threat?’, Journal of Politics 64(2): 551566.

L.M. McLaren (2007), ‘Explaining opposition to Turkish membership of the EU’, European Union Politics 8(2): 251278.

G.B. Powell (2009), ‘The ideological congruence controversy: the impact of alternative measures, data and time periods on the effects of election rules’, Comparative Political Studies 42(12): 14751497.

K. Reif and H. Schmitt (1980), ‘Nine 2nd-order national elections – a conceptual framework for the analysis of European election results’, European Journal of Political Research 8(1): 344.

R. Rose and G. Borz (2015), ‘Static and dynamic views of European integration’, Journal of Common Market Studies 54(2): 370387.

J. Thomassen and H. Schmitt (1999), ‘Policy congruence’, in H. Schmitt and J. Thomassen (eds), Political Representation and Legitimacy in the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 186208.

W. Van der Brug , C. van der Eijk and M. Franklin (2007), The Economy and the Vote: Economic Conditions in Fifteen Countries, New York: Cambridge University Press.

C. Van der Eijk and M. Franklin (1991), ‘European community politics and electoral representation: evidence from the 1989 European Election Study’, European Journal of Political Research 19(1): 105127.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Italian Political Science Review / Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica
  • ISSN: 0048-8402
  • EISSN: 2057-4908
  • URL: /core/journals/italian-political-science-review-rivista-italiana-di-scienza-politica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Borz Dataset



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 30 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 166 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.