EuroVote+: An online study on next European election

What is the story?

The Making Electoral Democracy Work research team has launched the online study EuroVote+.

EuroVote+ is a study focused on the election of the next European Parliament. It has three objectives: (1) to provide information to the general public about how the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected in the various European countries, (2) to gather opinions about voting procedures in Europe, and (3) to carry out a scientific study of voting behaviour under different electoral systems.

The website is available in (almost) all European languages (German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Romanian, Polish, Swedish…) and provides information about three electoral systems that are used to elect the European Parliament: The closed list system, the open list system, and the ‘panachage & cumulation’ system. Users are then invited to imagine how they would cast their vote if these electoral systems were used in their country (seen Screen Shot below).

euvoteplus

Screen Shot

Users can also indicate how they would cast their vote if there was an additional single pan-European district. After casting these votes, they are finally invited to respond to a very brief questionnaire.

Voting in the EU: The Lowdown

The European Parliament is elected through the principle of Proportional Representation (PR), which states that each party obtains a number of seats that is proportional to the number of votes it obtains. That being said, the variant of PR used varies across European countries. In particular, the possibility given to voters to mark a preference for an individual candidate within a party list differs: In Germany, France or Spain for instance, voters can only vote for a party list and cannot express a preference for any individual candidate within this list. In the Netherlands, Sweden or Latvia, on top of voting for a party, voters express a preference for individual candidate within the party list. Finally, in Luxembourg, a voter can vote for candidates from different party lists.

In previous blog entries, we described in more details the electoral system used to elected MEPs in Finland, Latvia, and Luxembourg.

All MEPs are currently elected on a national basis (or on a regional basis in countries which have several regional electoral districts). Some people have mentioned the possibility of electing part of the European Parliament through a single pan-European district as way to enhance the Euro-wide visibility of the European election. This proposal was never adopted.

Research team

For more information, please contact the research team in charge of EuroVote+:

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