Do mainstream parties emphasize immigration as a response to the radical right?
2017 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30530OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-30530DiVA: diva2:1085955
Swedish Network for European Studies (SNES) conference, Umeå University, 27-28 March 2017
Does the electoral fortune of radical right parties cause mainstream parties to increase their emphasis on immigration during national election campaigns? Several European countries have witnessed an increasing number of refugees and immigrants, as well as electoral successes for radical right parties. Simultaneously, during the last decades the issue of immigration has become a more important issue among voters. In this paper, we investigate the topical question of whether mainstream parties increase their attention on immigration issues as responses to radical right parties (i.e. when radical right party support increases or they are able to get attention on immigration issues in the election campaign). Using a unique dataset on which political issues political parties emphasize during national election campaigns in the period 1988-2010 in seven West European countries, we find that although mainstream parties in general try to downplay immigration issues in national election campaigns, as popular support for radical right parties increase, this does not cause mainstream parties to discuss immigration issues to a much greater extent. However, other parties will further avoid the issue. Our study gives us further insights in topics such as the salience of immigration in national election campaigns and the impact of the radical right on national politics.2017-03-302017-03-302017-03-30