Going public against institutional constraints? Analyzing the online presence intensity of 2014 European Parliament election candidates Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2016

start page

  • 303

end page

  • 323


  • 2


  • 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1465-1165

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-2757


  • Political parties and candidates have not been immune to the changes that the Internet and social media have introduced in electoral campaigns. Yet, as the use of digital media by political elites is becoming a norm in the United States, in Europe, the decision to develop an online presence depends on the cross-national differences regarding candidates' constraints and incentives. European Parliament elections present an exceptional comparative opportunity to measure this potential diversity. Using an original database on the online presence of more than 5000 candidates competing under the label of incumbent parties in 2014, we demonstrate that there are two relevant groups of nonadopters, and that candidates' online campaign intensity varies significantly depending on incumbency and the ballot structure in their countries.


  • european parliament; comparative politics; event count models; social media; candidates; campaigns; social networking; web sites; campaign; party; websites; professionals; technology; engagement; countries; internet