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Does personalization increase turnout? Spitzenkandidaten in the 2014 European Parliament elections

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sebastian Popa



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The 2014 European Parliament elections were the first elections where the major political groups each nominated a lead candidate (Spitzenkandidat) for the Commission presidency in the hope that this would increase the visibility of the elections and mobilize more citizens to turn out. Using data from the 2014 European Elections Study, an EU-wide post-election survey, we analyse whether and how the presence of the lead candidates influenced the individual probability to participate in these elections. Our findings show that the recognition of the candidates increased the propensity to turn out, even when controlling for a host of other individual-level factors explaining turnout and the context factors known to facilitate participation. Furthermore, the campaign efforts of the lead candidates are associated with higher turnout levels and are reinforced by candidate recognition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schmitt H, Hobolt SB, Popa SA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Union Politics

Year: 2015

Volume: 1

Issue: 3

Pages: 1-54

Print publication date: 01/09/2015

Online publication date: 04/06/2015

Acceptance date: 30/05/2015

Date deposited: 01/12/2017

ISSN (print): 1465-1165

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/1465116515584626


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