Simon Hix <email@example.com> is Professor of European and Comparative Politics, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, Room H307, LSE, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom.
After Enlargement: Voting Patterns in the Sixth European Parliament
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
2009 Comparative Legislative Research Center at the University of Iowa
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 159–174, May 2009
How to Cite
HIX, S. and NOURY, A. (2009), After Enlargement: Voting Patterns in the Sixth European Parliament. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 34: 159–174. doi: 10.3162/036298009788314282
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
We examined how voting behavior in the European Parliament changed after the European Union added ten new member-states in 2004. Using roll-call votes, we compared voting behavior in the first half of the Sixth European Parliament (July 2004-December 2006) with voting behavior in the previous Parliament (1999–2004). We looked at party cohesion, coalition formation, and the spatial map of voting by members of the European Parliament. We found stable levels of party cohesion and interparty coalitions that formed mainly around the left-right dimension. Ideological distance between parties was the strongest predictor of coalition preferences. Overall, the enlargement of the European Union in 2004 did not change the way politics works inside the European Parliament. We also looked at the specific case of the controversial Services Directive and found that ideology remained the main predictor of voting behavior, although nationality also played a role.