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In theory, the political stance of the European Parliament should be very close to that of the national parliaments as voters presumably choose the same parties to represent them in the EU as they do in national elections. But is this so in practice? Do EU-wide MPs support the same policies as their MP colleagues in national parliaments?

If it's hard to measure support for specific policies, a generic left-right spectrum comparison could be used instead.

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    Opinions vary widely between same-party members inside each parliament … – chirlu Jul 18 '18 at 9:36
  • "voters presumably choose the same parties to represent them in the EU" citation needed. UKIP existed as an MEP-only party for a long time, I presume other anti-EU parties are over-represented as MEPs when compared to national government – Caleth Jul 18 '18 at 13:47
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    @Caleth UKIP has long suffered in the UK because FPTP voting makes it hard for small parties to get thorough. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Jul 18 '18 at 15:20
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    @JonathanReez By "small" you mean something like "with homogenous support". FPTP is actually better for a small but concentrated party than most proportional systems would be. – origimbo Jul 18 '18 at 16:05
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It's not only a question about members within each parliament but also of differences between wide party opinions in different countries... When we look at the statistic, we can see that the turnout of European Parliamentary elections varies greatly in different countries, somewhere it's only around 20%, which is very small part of the population.

EU parliament elections turnout 2014

It's most likely that opinions vary greatly, especially in countries with low voting turnouts, where most people actually don't much care about their's representatives opinions withing EU parliament. I can speak about more than one example mostly in V4 countries with a low voter's turnout where politicians have very different opinions on the same matters in domestic politic and within EU parliament because their voters won't be interested in a significant manner about what they say in the EU parliament... However, I think it's hard to establish some kind of a generalized view on this problem.

  • It's worth noting that beyond turnout, the voting system and size of the electoral districts differ between national elections and elections to the European parliament, which impacts on the selection method for candidates. – origimbo Jul 18 '18 at 14:33

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