Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Lisa Cody

Reader 2

Erica Dobbs


The 2019 European Parliament election saw both record voter turnout and unexpected results. This thesis seeks to understand the cause of these results by analyzing the motivations behind voter behavior in European Parliament elections. It focuses on two distinct theories that offer explanations, utilizing both national and European level election data, party manifestos, and voter sentiment to assess each theory and explain why citizens vote the way they do in “second-order national elections.” Highlighting the evolution of the European Union and issue ownership, it argues that voting behavior in European Parliament elections is influenced by a combination of both domestic and European factors.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.