English title: Protest, Neo-Liberalism or Anti-Immigrant Sentiment: What Motivates the Voters of the Extreme Right in Western Europe?

Author(s): Kai Arzheimer -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2008


Over the last three decades, the parties of the “Extreme”, “Radical” or “Populist” Right have become a political staple in Western Europe. However, comparative evidence on the motives of their voters is relatively scarce. This article assesses the empirical effects of the most prominent alleged motivational factors –“pure” (i.e. performance related) protest, anti-immigrant sentiment, and neo-liberal economic preferences – on the extreme right vote while controlling for a whole host of background variables. While protest and neo-liberalism have no statistically significant impact whatsoever, immigrant sentiment plays a crucial role in all countries but Italy. Its effect is moderated, however, by general ideological preferences and party identification. Consequentially, comparative electoral research should focus on the circumstances under which immigration is politicised.

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

From page no: 173

To page no: 197

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1007/S12286-008-0011-4

Journal: Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft/Comparative Governance

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