This book examines the domestic electoral consequences of the economic and financial crisis in Europe, particularly in those countries where the crisis manifested itself more devastatingly: the Southern European countries of Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, as well as Iceland and Ireland. On the surface, the electoral consequences of the crisis seem largely similar, having resulted, in these countries, in large electoral losses for incumbents, as the most elementary versions of "economic voting" theory would have us expect. However, behind this fundamental similarity, important differences emerge. Whilst in some cases, on the basis of post-election surveys, it is possible to see that the "crisis elections" followed a previous pattern of performance-oriented voters, with no major changes either in known predictors of electoral choices or in basic party system properties, other elections brought the emergence of new parties, new issues and cleavages, altering patterns of political competition.
By examining these different outcomes by comparing the "crisis elections" with previous ones, this book takes into account their timing relative to different stages of crisis. It also scrutinises party strategies and campaign dynamics, particularly as governments attempted (and sometimes succeeded) in framing events and proposals so as to apportion responsibility for economic outcomes.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction – Financial Crisis, Austerity, and Electoral Politics
Pedro C. Magalhães
2. The Collapse: Economic Considerations in Vote Choice in Iceland
Indridi H. Indridason
3. A Conservative Revolution: The Electoral Response to Economic Crisis in Ireland
Michael Marsh and Slava Mikhaylov
4. The Elections of the Great Recession in Portugal: Performance Voting under a Blurred Responsibility for the Economy
Pedro C. Magalhães
5. The Incumbent Electoral Defeat in the 2011 Spanish National Elections: The Effect of the Economic Crisis in an Ideological Polarized Party System
6. Dealignment, De-legitimation and the Implosion of the Two- Party System in Greece: The Earthquake Election of 6 May 2012
Eftichia Teperoglou and Emmanouil Tsatsanis
7. The Political Consequences of Blame Attribution for the Economic Crisis in the 2013 Italian National Election
Pedro C. Magalhães is principal researcher in the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. His research interests include public opinion, voting behaviour, political attitudes, and judicial politics.