The Effect that Structural and Investment Funds have on Voter Behaviour in European Parliamentary Elections
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Subjecteconomic voting; EP elections; Structural and Investment Funds; second-order elections; EU social spending
Structural and Investment Funds (SIFs) have become the European Union's most robust redistribution programme. In this article, we demonstrate that SIFs have grown large enough in scope that they are now beginning to function similarly to more established macroeconomic determinants of the vote such as unemployment and GDP growth in European Parliamentary elections. Moreover, SIFs have an electoral effect in a type of election that was previously assumed to be merely a referendum on national government performance: second‐order, EP elections. SIFs serve as an example of how robust public spending can have an electoral effect even in a second‐order election environment.