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.
- substantive representation
- European integration
- European parliament elections