Campaign Dynamics in the Referendums on the European Constitution

Sara Binzer Hobolt

in Europe in Question

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199549948
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720451 | DOI:
Campaign Dynamics in the Referendums on the European Constitution

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This chapter explores the perhaps most significant votes on Europe so far: the referendums on the European Constitutional Treaty in 2005. The chapter examines the two failed referendums in France and the Netherlands and addresses the questions: Why did the French and the Dutch reject the Constitutional Treaty? Why did the governments fail the task of convincing voters? What was the role of the campaign? Based on systematic research of the campaigns and analyses of the survey data, this chapter provides a comprehensive account of campaign dynamics and voting behaviour in these referendums that ultimately led to the downfall of the European Constitution. The analyses show that the campaigns played an important role in framing certain issue attitudes, such as social issues in France and culture and identity concerns in the Netherlands. These no‐votes thus reflected concerns over specific aspects of European project rather than simply anti‐EU sentiments and protest voting.

Keywords: attitudes; campaign; France; European Constitution; Constitutional Treaty; government; issues; the Netherlands; referendum; social model

Chapter.  9150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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