Is There Demand for Radical Right Populism in the Finnish Electorate?

English title: Is There Demand for Radical Right Populism in the Finnish Electorate?

Author(s): Elina Kestilä -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2006


Since the 1980s, the main interest in radical right-wing studies has been on occurrences of the phenomenon. Non-occurrences have not received much attention, although they could have something to offer the field as well. This article focuses on the `Finnish exception' and by approaching the theme in terms of single-issue and protest voting theories, asks to what extent the electorate in Finland differs from those of other European countries with respect to the two crucial sets of attitudes for radical right-wing parties: those towards the political system and those towards immigration. After the country comparison, the focus turns to the Finnish case to explore where in the electorate anti-system and anti-immigrant appeal would find the strongest support. The data used in the study is taken from the European Social Survey 2002-2003, which is analysed by principal component analysis and linear regression. The country comparison shows that in the light of single-issue and protest voting theories, the attitudinal atmosphere in Finland provides a breeding ground for radical right populism as fertile as that in most other West European countries. Second, the case analysis of Finland reveals that anti-immigrant attitudes and dissatisfaction with the political system are most accentuated among older, poorly educated men with no interest in politics.

Volume: 29

Issue: 3

From page no: 169

To page no: 191

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/J.1467-9477.2006.00148.X

Journal: Scandinavian Political Studies

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