Do European elections enhance satisfaction with European Union democracy?

Carolina Plescia*, Jean François Daoust, André Blais

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide the first individual-level test of whether holding supranational elections in the European Union fosters satisfaction with European Union democracy. First, we examine whether participation at the European Parliament election fosters satisfaction with democracy and whether, among those who participated, a winner–loser gap materializes at the EU level. Second, we examine under which conditions participating and winning in the election affect satisfaction with European Union democracy, focusing on the moderating role of exclusive national identity. Our approach relies on panel data collected during the 2019 European Parliament elections in eight countries. We demonstrate that while participating and winning increase satisfaction, such positive boost does not materialize among those with exclusive national identity. These findings hold an important message: elections are no cure to deep-seated alienation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean union politics
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2020


  • European Parliament elections
  • national identity
  • satisfaction with democracy
  • voting behaviour


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