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Aren't you assuming decent turnout? If turnout is very low, the countries or regions with a local candidate may get much higher turnout, possibly enough to counterbalance the lack of support elsewhere.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 03:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, lets put some numbers in it. Which of course demands a host of assumptions.

EU has a population of 500 millions. Say 400 millions of voting age.

In 2009 43,24% voted for EP. The EP election in general has lower participation rate then the national elections.

Germany is largest single country with 81 millions. Say 65 millions of voting age.

Assume first round of french style election with the european parties each fielding a candidate, except the German CDU that fields a splinter candidate.

Now say that only 30% would vote across the board and German CDU would field a splinter candidate bringing interest and a 60% participation rate. Say that the EPP candidate gets 36% of the votes outside Germany (EPP share in 2009) and the German CDU candidate gets 50% of votes in Germany (CDU+CSU had 40% in the last German election + homestate bonus).

So 36% of 30% of (400-65) millions = 35 millions for the EPP-candidate vs 50% of 60% of 65 millions = 19,5 millions for the CDU candidate.

The real winner here is of course the PES candidate that with 27% of the EU vote and say the same of the German vote, yielding 27% of 30% of (400-65) millions = 27 millions and 27% of 60% of 65 millions = 10,5 millions wins the first round and faces of against an EPP candidate with weak support in Germany in round two.

So no, I don't think low participation rate is not enough to over come the splintered nature.

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 04:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you say, a host of assumptions. But the one that might be wrong is the assumption that EP elections are a guide. EP elections are usually for local, national parties. If the vote is for somebody from another country, participation might be a lot lower; I don't see any way to estimate this.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 04:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought 30% instead of 43% was significantly lower...

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 04:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thinking some more. Say that we adjust paticipation rates so the CDU candidate knocks out the EPP candidate. The PES candidate benefits even more as he/she faces a candidate without support outside Germany.

In either scenario, the smart thing for EPP to do is to nominate the German.

The really interesting question is if the european parties can gather behind a candidate and a program or if the effort will split them. Or if they hold together, what effect it will have locally. Will we get the European version of the demise of dixiecrats and New England republicans?

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 05:11:58 PM EST
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