Department of Political Science

The long shadow of attitudes: differential campaign effects and issue voting in EU referendums

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The long shadow of attitudes : differential campaign effects and issue voting in EU referendums. / Beach, Derek; Finke, Daniel.

In: West European Politics, Vol. 44, No. 7, 2021, p. 1482-1505.

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@article{5b967090138a481b822cc5e99b9340e1,
title = "The long shadow of attitudes: differential campaign effects and issue voting in EU referendums",
abstract = "Can voters be persuaded by referendum campaigns? This article develops a theoretical model that synthesises the existing literature on campaign effects and issue-voting by arguing that the strength of pre-existing attitudes conditions voter receptivity to campaign arguments, thereby also determining their eventual vote choice. Using original panel data for the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum, there is evidence that attitude strength matters for whether voters are responsive to persuasion during campaigns. The article finds that voters with the most strongly-held attitudes felt well informed and certain about the consequences of the vote even before the start of the campaign, whereas voters with moderately-held attitudes are found to be more prone to believe those campaign arguments that are consistent with their EU attitudes, changing their vote intentions accordingly. Finally, voters with weakly-held attitudes were equally persuadable for the No and the Yes side of the campaign, but they are also the least pre-disposed to pay attention to campaign messages. The conclusions discuss the broader implications of the findings for our understanding of EU referendum campaigns.",
keywords = "CHOICE, COMMUNITY, DUTCH, EU referendums, EUROPEAN-UNION, PARTIES, PUBLIC-OPINION, SKEPTICISM, campaign effects, issue-voting, motivated reasoning",
author = "Derek Beach and Daniel Finke",
year = "2021",
doi = "10.1080/01402382.2020.1780829",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "1482--1505",
journal = "West European Politics",
issn = "0140-2382",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "7",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The long shadow of attitudes

T2 - differential campaign effects and issue voting in EU referendums

AU - Beach, Derek

AU - Finke, Daniel

PY - 2021

Y1 - 2021

N2 - Can voters be persuaded by referendum campaigns? This article develops a theoretical model that synthesises the existing literature on campaign effects and issue-voting by arguing that the strength of pre-existing attitudes conditions voter receptivity to campaign arguments, thereby also determining their eventual vote choice. Using original panel data for the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum, there is evidence that attitude strength matters for whether voters are responsive to persuasion during campaigns. The article finds that voters with the most strongly-held attitudes felt well informed and certain about the consequences of the vote even before the start of the campaign, whereas voters with moderately-held attitudes are found to be more prone to believe those campaign arguments that are consistent with their EU attitudes, changing their vote intentions accordingly. Finally, voters with weakly-held attitudes were equally persuadable for the No and the Yes side of the campaign, but they are also the least pre-disposed to pay attention to campaign messages. The conclusions discuss the broader implications of the findings for our understanding of EU referendum campaigns.

AB - Can voters be persuaded by referendum campaigns? This article develops a theoretical model that synthesises the existing literature on campaign effects and issue-voting by arguing that the strength of pre-existing attitudes conditions voter receptivity to campaign arguments, thereby also determining their eventual vote choice. Using original panel data for the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum, there is evidence that attitude strength matters for whether voters are responsive to persuasion during campaigns. The article finds that voters with the most strongly-held attitudes felt well informed and certain about the consequences of the vote even before the start of the campaign, whereas voters with moderately-held attitudes are found to be more prone to believe those campaign arguments that are consistent with their EU attitudes, changing their vote intentions accordingly. Finally, voters with weakly-held attitudes were equally persuadable for the No and the Yes side of the campaign, but they are also the least pre-disposed to pay attention to campaign messages. The conclusions discuss the broader implications of the findings for our understanding of EU referendum campaigns.

KW - CHOICE

KW - COMMUNITY

KW - DUTCH

KW - EU referendums

KW - EUROPEAN-UNION

KW - PARTIES

KW - PUBLIC-OPINION

KW - SKEPTICISM

KW - campaign effects

KW - issue-voting

KW - motivated reasoning

U2 - 10.1080/01402382.2020.1780829

DO - 10.1080/01402382.2020.1780829

M3 - Journal article

VL - 44

SP - 1482

EP - 1505

JO - West European Politics

JF - West European Politics

SN - 0140-2382

IS - 7

ER -