Emotions and voting in EU referendums

John Garry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


There is an emerging scholarship on the emotional bases of political opinion and behaviour and, in particular, the contrasting implications of two distinct negative emotions - anger and anxiety. I apply the insights in this literature to the previously unresearched realm of the emotional bases of voting in EU referendums. I hypothesise that anxious voters rely on substantive EU issues and angry voters rely on second-order factors relating to domestic politics (partisanship and satisfaction with government). Focusing on the case of Irish voting in the Fiscal Compact referendum, and using data from a representative sample of voters, I find support for the hypotheses and discuss the implications of the findings for our understanding of the emotional conditionality of EU referendum voting. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-254
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Issue number2
Early online date30 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2014


  • Emotions
  • EU referendums
  • Ireland
  • voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Political Science and International Relations


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