Despite a rise in the number of competitive far right parties leading up to the European refugee crisis, some centre right parties achieved or maintained electoral success. We argue that some centre right parties recognize the electoral opportunity for radical right parties to exploit the refugee crisis for electoral gains and strategically adopt hard‐line positions on immigration to maintain and even increase their electoral success. We test our theory of strategic positioning using data on party competition in national parliamentary elections across 28 EU member states at the start of the refugee crisis. Strategic positioning appears to be a particularly successful choice for centre right parties. The quantitative analysis is supported by case studies in Western Europe of Austria and The Netherlands. Whilst strategic positioning may produce short‐term electoral success, it also mainstreams radical immigration positions in contemporary European politics, with negative implications for liberal democracy in Europe.

The Looming Refugee Crisis in the EU: Right‐Wing Party Competition and Strategic Positioning

Loveless, Matthew;
2021

Abstract

Despite a rise in the number of competitive far right parties leading up to the European refugee crisis, some centre right parties achieved or maintained electoral success. We argue that some centre right parties recognize the electoral opportunity for radical right parties to exploit the refugee crisis for electoral gains and strategically adopt hard‐line positions on immigration to maintain and even increase their electoral success. We test our theory of strategic positioning using data on party competition in national parliamentary elections across 28 EU member states at the start of the refugee crisis. Strategic positioning appears to be a particularly successful choice for centre right parties. The quantitative analysis is supported by case studies in Western Europe of Austria and The Netherlands. Whilst strategic positioning may produce short‐term electoral success, it also mainstreams radical immigration positions in contemporary European politics, with negative implications for liberal democracy in Europe.
Downes, James Floyd; Loveless, Matthew; Lam, Andrew
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/801328
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