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European Election Studies (EES) 2014

The EES 2014 contains the Voter Study (national representative post-electoral surveys EU-wide) on electoral behaviour and political attitudes; the Euromanifesto Study that includes content analyses of party programs for the 2014 EP Elections from all 28 EU countries and the European Party groups. For the first time, the EES 2014 includes also a Panel Study that consists of a number of online panel surveys in eight EU countries.

The 2014 EES Voter Study, First Post-Election Survey consists of an EU-wide survey which was carried out jointly with the post-electoral survey commissioned by the European Parliament (EP). The sample size is roughly 1,100 interviews in each EU member state. The exceptions are Malta and Luxembourg where the sample size is 500 and the United Kingdom where the sample is approximately 1300, of which approximately 300 interviews were conducted in Northern Ireland. Data collection was done via CAPI. The total sample size is approximately 30000.

The questionnaires for the study were identical in the various member states, apart from minor but unavoidable differences generated by differences in party names and country-specific institutions. With the exception of the recurrent EES items, for which the question wording was provided by the EES team, the translation process was carried out centrally by TNS Opinion. A large number of questions were identical to those used in the 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004  and 2009 study, thus permitting over-time comparisons of voter behavior in between the 1989 and 2014 elections.

Together with the EP component, the post-electoral survey consists of approximately 250 items. The core of the questionnaire is similar to the 2009 Voter Study. It includes  electoral behaviour including questions on party choices, past voting behavior, voting behaviour at the national level, party preferences, and propensity to support particular parties; general political attitudes and behaviour based on a question of interest in politics, campaign, most important problems, attitudes regarding EU, left-right self -placement, placement of parties; background characteristics including gender, age, education, religion, media consumption. Unfortunately, due to the limited funding, the questionnaire will not include all the items featured in the 2009 Voter Study. Note that the QP items are commissioned by the EP, while the QPP items are commissioned by the EES.

The main innovations consist of a focus on the effects of the economic crisis, the inclusion of a battery inquiring about the candidates for President of the next European Commission and a new wording of the issues questions and the possibility to link the EES Study 2014 with the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey.

The EES 2014 Voters Study was realised in co-operation with the European Parliament and funded by a consortium of private foundations under the leadership of Volkswagen Foundation (the other partners are: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Stiftung Mercator, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian) and benefited from the generous support of TNS Opinion.

Supplementary Study

A Supplementary Study of 2014 EES Voter Study, was fielded in March 2015 with the purpose to partially remedy for the mistake that appeared in the question wording of qpp19 in the EES 2014 Voter Study, First Post-Election Survey. Therefore both the original wording (qpp19a) and the modified question (qpp19b) wording, together with a number of other items tapping into both general political attitudes and specific attitude towards the EU,were included in the study. The original question wording (qpp19a) and the modified question wording (qpp19b) were both randomly assigned to 66% of the sample so that 33% of the entire sample answered both the original and modified question wordings.

The sample size is roughly 1,000 interviews in each EU member state. The exceptions are Malta and Luxembourg where the sample size is 500 and the United Kingdom where the sample is approximately 1300, of which approximately 300 interviews are to be conducted in Northern Ireland. Data collection is done via CAPI. The total sample size is approximately 28,000.

For this specific study year, the content analysis of 199 Euromanifestos (party programs) for the 2014 EP Elections from 28 Countries and the European Groups was conducted. The Codebook includes the detailed list of coded Euromanifestos, the Coding Procedure, and the Euromanifestos Coding Scheme (EMCS). Euromanifestos coded by 30 coders from all member states of the European Union using a hierarchical classification scheme containing nine domains subdivided into different categories and subcategories. The collection of manifestos intends to cover all relevant parties. In general, its representation in the national parliament indicates the relevance of a political party.

The main innovation of the 2014 Euromanfieto study consists in expanding the EMCS to accommodate the goals of the EUENGAGE project. Thus a number of new coding (sub) categories were added to the EMCS to capture the stances of parties regarding the Euro crisis, the security crisis (i.e. the peace, military, and FSR have now specific sub-categories) and the immigration crisis. Furthermore, new categories were developed to capture both current issues (i.e. energy policies or environmental issues) and the recent institutional changes in the EU (i.e the nomination of the president of the European Commission).

The 2014 wave of the Euromanifesto Study was funded in the framework of the EUENGAGE project which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 649281 — EUENGAGE — H2020-EURO-2014-2015/H2020-EURO-SOCIETY-2014.

Data and Documentation

The party programmes 1979-2014 by country are available as documents or in a coded version.

The EES 2014 includes for the first time an online panel component (still to be put together). This will consist of a number of online panel surveys that are administered in a eight of EU member countries. The research question behind this initiative is the possibility of lasting re-alignments (or de-alignments as the case may be) that may be initiated by the 2014 European Parliament election. To be more specific, we are interested in comparing the voting behaviour of respondents in the EP election of May 2014 with the subsequent first order national election vote (“vote” here refers to both participation and party choice). Hence the first wave was carried out after the 2014 EP elections and the second wave was/will be carried out after the subsequent national elections.

With the support of the national election teams, the survey will be carried out in Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Britain, Austria, Sweden and Poland. Further attempts are made to extend the number of countries included in this study.

Questionaire (111 kB)

The second innovation of EES 2014 is the Social Media Study. As a result of our collaboration with TNS Opinion for the European Election Study 2014, the EES research team will gain access to a large amount of information regarding the social media activity at the occasion of the 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections. To be more specific, we will be able to study the content of the social media communication of the candidates standing for office in these elections, and of their followers. In practice, this implies an opportunity to analyze both a large amount of textual information (i.e. the content of the communications) as well as a considerable amount of metadata (e.g. the size of the network of followers, intensity of communication). The purpose of this endeavor is to make the data available to the academic community.

The EES2014 Conference took place between November 6-8, 2015 at the MZES, University of Mannheim.

This conference focused on the latest developments in the study of European Parliament Elections with an emphasis on party competition and electoral behavior. It also offered an opportunity to celebrate 35 years of European Election Studies.

The program of the conference can be downloaded from here (701 kB), while a booklet summarizing the papers is available for download following this link (568 kB).

The papers are order alphabetically according to the last name of the first author. The uploaded papers can be retrieved by clicking on the title.

Addressing Europe’s democratic deficit:An experimental evaluation of the pan-European district proposal (760 kB)
Damien Bol (University of Montreal), André Blais (University of Montreal), Sona N. Golder (Penn State University), Philipp Harfst (University of Greifswald), Jean-François Laslier (Paris School of Economics), Laura Stephenson (University of Western Ontario), and Karine van der Straeten (Toulouse School of Economics).

What type of Europe? The salience of Europe in EP elections reconsidered (214 kB)
Daniela Braun, University of Munich
Swen Hutter, European University Institute
Alena Kerscher, University of Munich

The role of partisanship in governing turnout at EP elections (534 kB)
Mark N. Franklin, EUI

The Spitzenkandidaten campaigns in 2014: assessing the importance of information and news exposure for preference formation of voters (287 kB)
Katjana Gatterman, University of Amsterdam
Claes H. De Vreese, University of Amsterdam
Wouter van der Brug, University of Amsterdam

The Council’s Congruence with the European Citizens (587 kB)
Nathalie Giger, University of Geneva
Zoe Lefkofridi, University of Salzburg

Slovakia and the turnout conundrum (451 kB)
Oľga Gyárfášová, Comenius University, Bratislava
Karen Henderson, Comenius University, Bratislava

Fleeing the Centre: The Rise of Challenger Parties in the Aftermath of the Euro Crisis (645 kB)
Sara B Hobolt, London School of Economics
James Tilley, University of Oxford

Attributing blame? Evidence from multilevel governments in Europe (289 kB)
Sandra León, University of York
Ignacion Juradoy, University of York
Amuitz Garmendia Madariaga, Binghamton University

Gender Differences in the Use of New Technologies: Candidates’ campaigning in comparative perspective (295 kB)
Maarja Lühiste, Universty of Leicester
Laura Sudulich, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Electoral Euroscepticism, turnout and the economic crisis: evidence from a 108-elections panel study across Europe. (386 kB)
Francesco Nicoli, Università di Trento

Contextual Political Information and Timing of Vote Decision (171 kB)
Lilach Nir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Economic voting in European Parliament elections in the ‘bail-out’ countries (574 kB)
Martin Okolikj, University College Dublin,
Stephen Quinlan, GESIS, Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Mannheim

Contextual factors and electoral support for radical left parties in Western Europe (388 kB)
Luis Ramiro, University of Leicester
Raúl Gómez, University of Liverpool
Laura Morales, University of Leicester

Polarizing Without Politicizing: The Effect of Lead Candidates’ Campaigns on Perceptions of the EU Democracy (0.96 MB)
Robert Rohrschneider, The University of Kansas
Hermann Schmitt, Universities of Manchester and Mannheim
Sebastian Adrian Popa, University of Mannheim

Euroscepticism and Turnout in the 2014 EP elections (202 kB)
Constantin Schäfer, University of Mannheim
Marc Debus, University of Mannheim

Habituating to the New Normal in a Post-earthquake Party System: the 2014 European Election in Greece (1.14 MB)
Eftichia Teperoglou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Emmanouil Tsatsanis, University Institute of Lisbon (CIES-IUL)

Authoritarianism and Support for the Radical Right (104 kB)
Erik R. Tillman, DePaul University

The “nationalization of EU politics” vs the “Europeanization of national politics” in EU elections: A comparative analysis of Germany, Italy and Spain (121 kB)
Mariano Torcal, University Pompeu Fabra
Toni Rodón, University Pompeu Fabra

European Integration and the Vote in EP Elections in Times of Crisise (481 kB)
Ilke Toygür, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

Patterns of party competition – analytical approach, EU-wide comparison and database (654 kB)
Cees van der Eijk, University of Nottingham

Three dimensions of vote choice: To what extent does the European level replicate the national vote dimensions?
Steven van Hauwaert, Catholic University of Leuven
Pierre Baudewyns, Catholic University of Leuven

Towards convergence in times of crisis? Assessing opinion congruence between voters and parties in eight EU elections (1.08 MB)
Sofia Vasilopoulou, University of York
Katjana Gattermann, University of Amsterdam

The backbone of democracy: electoral availability and European elections (1.67 MB)
Federico Vegetti, Central European University
Cristiano Vezzoni, Università degli Studi di Trento
Paolo Segatti, Università degli Studi di Milano

Policy Positions in the Eyes of the Beholder: Voters’ Understanding of Parties’ Positions on the left/right and on European Integration (613 kB)
Christopher Williams, MZES, University of Mannheim
Christine Arnold, Maastricht University