Electoral Euroscepticism and the Economic Crisis: Evidence from a 100-Elections Panel Study Across Europe

  • Abstract:

    The recent European elections have shown a sharp rise in parties and independent parliament members generally perceived as “Eurosceptic”. Against this background, this paper analyses the interconnections between distressed economies, fall of confidence in traditional political parties, and the electoral success of hard-line Eurosceptic parties. On a panel of more than 100 elections between 2009 and December 2014, the random-effect model shows the relative impact of long and short term political trust, economic performance indicators, and institutional variables in determining the rise of hard-line Eurosceptic parties. In contrast with previous studies, which tended to de-emphasize the impact of economic performance in determining the success of Europescptic forces, the results of this paper detect both direct and mediated impact of the economic crisis and of bailout measures on the electoral success of hard-line Eurosceptic parties.