Regional spillover into third-order European elections
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGovernance. 2021, 34 (3), 643-663. 10.1111/gove.12434
Second-order election research clearly reveals that national incumbency impacts on European election outcomes but despite the increasing importance of regions few studies explore the impact of regional politics. I theorize that governmental status at the regional level, regional authority, and the relative timing of the regional election affects vote share swings between European and previously held national elections. Based on an analysis including 12,545 vote share swings for 468 parties that compete elections held in 209 regions in 11 European Union member states since 1979, I find strong evidence for prospective regional voting, that is, voters rewarding parties in government at the regional level. First, parties that are in national opposition and in regional government incur larger vote share gains than parties that are in opposition at both levels. Second, these vote share gains become larger when regional authority increases and, third, when a regional election has preceded a European election.