This article analyses whether European political parties were responsive to the policy preferences of citizens and economic elites over immigration during the migration crisis. To do so, it derives hypotheses from the scholarly literature on party responsiveness and tests them on survey data collected in 2016 and 2017 from among voters, political parties, and economic elites in 10 different EU member states. Contrary to the widespread belief about the crisis of contemporary representative democracies, the article shows that political parties’ positions on immigration changed consistently with changes in public opinion. On the contrary, the article finds no significant relation between the positions of economic elites and those of political parties. These empirical results are particularly relevant for the study of democratic representation, as they challenge the widespread assumption about the crisis of contemporary representative democracies.
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