Being Intolerant of the Intolerant. The exclusion of Western European anti-immigration parties and its consequences for party choice
Title: Being Intolerant of the Intolerant. The exclusion of Western European anti-immigration parties and its consequences for party choice
Citation: Acta Politica, 2009, 44, 4, 353-384
In various European countries established parties have responded quite differently to the recent rise of anti-immigration parties. In Italy and Austria these parties entered governing coalitions. In France and Belgium the established parties agreed never to collaborate in any way with anti-immigration parties. In this paper we aim to assess whether this strategy of exclusion affects the electoral support for anti-immigration parties. To answer the research questions, we link expert survey data to individual-level survey data and perform analyses across 11 parties and across 4 time points. We find that the effect of exclusion depends on the institutional context, in particular the threshold for entering parliament, and the influence of parliamentary opposition parties on policy-making. According to our estimates the former Flemish Bloc benefited from being excluded and the Northern League in Italy would have benefited if it had been excluded. The Danish Progress Party, on the other hand, would have been hurt if it had been excluded. The other parties in our analyses are hardly affected. To the extent that the exclusion of anti-immigration parties is meant to change electoral outcomes in favour of the established parties, its success is thus quite mixed.
Subject: radical right; anti-immigration parties; defence of democracy; elections; niche parties
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