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Acta Politica

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 542–568 | Cite as

The dynamics of EU attitudes and their effects on voting

  • Andreas C. Goldberg
  • Claes H. de Vreese
Original Article

Abstract

In referendums on issues of European integration, it is often unclear how important attitudes toward Europe are and whether these attitudes change during the campaign. Extant research showing the importance of EU attitudes particularly in salient and contested referendums has often had to rely on static data and limited conceptualizations of EU attitudes. This potentially underestimates the role of (different types of) EU attitudes and hampers the ability to assess the dynamics of them. For the analysis of dynamics in EU attitudes, we mainly rely on pre- and post-waves for the Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum, which extends a panel study leading back to the EP14 elections. This allows us to assess both long-term changes of EU attitudes since the last EP elections and also during the referendum campaign. We examine the effect of campaign-induced attitude changes for the referendum vote, while controlling for other relevant determinants. Our findings first show significant changes in EU attitudes during the referendum campaign, and second, highlight the relevance of some of these changes for the referendum vote. Both strengthening and especially emotional attitudes play respective significant roles, with the latter being in part dependent on media exposure.

Keywords

Referendum EU Attitudes Voting The Netherlands 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ASCoRUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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