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RPF 2014/15: The impact of Euroscepticism on national politics: A pilot study of Britain

Project: Research project (funded)Internal pump-priming

Project participant(s)

Department / unit(s)

Description

This research (1) analyses the sources of UK Euroscepticism in the context of the referendum debate, the 2015 general election, and the broader EU context of crisis and uncertainty; and (2) assesses the extent to which the EU issue feeds back into UK politics through voting behaviour. This pilot is intended to examine the feasibility of the theoretical approach and research strategy. This research is based on an online survey experiment of 3000 participants representative in terms of gender, region and age, which took place two weeks prior to the election.

Layman's description

This research (1) analyses the sources of UK Euroscepticism in the context of the referendum debate, the 2015 general election, and the broader EU context of crisis and uncertainty; and (2) assesses the extent to which the EU issue feeds back into UK politics through voting behaviour. This pilot is intended to examine the feasibility of the theoretical approach and research strategy. This research is based on an online survey experiment of 3000 participants representative in terms of gender, region and age, which took place two weeks prior to the election.

Key findings

The three original objectives of the project have been achieved.

Key findings of this project include (1) there is variation in UK support for different EU policies. The British public is Eurosceptic when it comes to social policies, such as labour market, employment, and health; but in other areas, such as digital protection, environment and climate change, sustainable development, trade, and energy British citizens want to see more EU integration. About a third of the electorate prefers the current levels of EU powers and does not want power repatriated from Brussels; (2) Emotions -and not only economic calculations- are at the heart of British Euroscepticism, in particular negative emotions such as anger, fear and disgust in relation to the UK’s membership of the EU are associated with anti-EU positions; (3) the issue of EU migration matters: labour movement and access to member states’ welfare systems is prominent in people’s minds and is associated with their position on the UK’s membership of the EU; and (4) unlike previous elections, the EU issue played a great role in influencing the 2015 general election outcome: negative cues that relate to specific EU policies, including EU trade, EU migration and EU legislation were associated with voting for right- wing parties.

This study has provided the platform for applying for the ESRC UK in a changing Europe Commissioning Fund. This application has been successful (£9,146).
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/08/1431/08/15

Award relations

RPF 2014/15: The impact of Euroscepticism on national politics: A pilot study of Britain

Vasilopoulou, S.

Unknown

1/08/1431/08/15

Award date: 1/08/14

Award

The impact of Euroscepticism on UK national politics

Vasilopoulou, S.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC)

10/08/1531/12/16

Award date: 10/08/15

Award

Funding

  • Unknown
  • ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC)

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