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The European Elections of May 2014: Still Second-Order Elections?

Edoardo Bressanelli

Keywords: ELECTIONS; EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT; HONEYMOON PERIOD; PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES; POPULAR SUPPORT; SECOND-ORDER MODEL

The European elections of May 2014 proved to be a key trial run for several actors within the Italian party system. Academic literature on these elections has often viewed European Parliament elections as “second-order” elections, that is, as expressions of opinion on the incumbent national government. This chapter analyzes whether this model still applies. It shows that the European Parliament elections were an unusual form of second-order election, in that they allowed voters to reward the Renzi government, which was still enjoying a honeymoon period.

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