Dec 202019
 
The 10 most popular posts on this blog in 2019 1

Yet another end-of-year post

It’s that time of the year again. No, I’m not talking about mindless consumerism, pointless over-indulgence and the Great Starbucks War on Christmas. What I’m talking about is my yearly reflection on why I still solo blog in <insert year>, and which posts were the least unpopular. To which the answer is not so easy. With today’s infrastructure, server logs have become meaningless. Google analytics is an Orwellian nightmare for both my few readers and me. Which leaves the humble wordpress tracking code: yet another data protection scare, but less high-profile. And so, without further ado, here comes this blog’s top ten for 2019.

The contenders

#10 Conceptual confusion is kinda ok

This post, written a year ago, demonstrates how research on the Extreme Right became research on the Radical Right without missing a beat. I know, it’s a bit meta.

#9 Regional support for the “Alternative for Germany” varies wildly

A short post with maps that summarises some of my recent work on the geography of the radical right vote in Germany.

#8 Conference Posters with beamerposter

Do you need a conference poster, fast? Do you love \LaTeX? This post may be old (it is from 2011), but people still find it useful.

#7 A new putsch in the AfD

Almost a year ago, a third reasonably prominent politician (though not a former leader) left the AfD to set up their own shop. As we now no, he failed, utterly, but it’s still a cautionary tale.

#6 AfD leader Gauland speaks at the New Right “winter school”

The leader of the biggest opposition party in the Bundestag gave the keynote at an institution that aims to educate the future extreme right elite. That is quite something. And because all this list is super self-indulgent anyway, I’m also reposting the video I made about it

Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the AfD, headlines a far-right "winter school"
Watch this video on YouTube.

#5 How the tidyverse changed my view of R

A short-ish post about R with the tidyverse is slightly and pleasantly different from grandpa’s R (i.e. the R of my PhD days). I guess people liked the post because of the memes.

#4 The March 2019 update of the Extreme Right Bibliography

I maintain this slightly obsessive bibliography on the Far/Radical/Extreme Right and their voters. The March 2019 update was a big one, which attracted some attention from fellow nerds.

#3 nlcom and the delta method

This post from 2013 is an evergreen, because Stata’s implementation of the delta method (still) rocks.

#2 The regional elections in eastern Germany

Everyone with the slightest interest in German politics was watching the 2019 state elections in the east. Here is/was my five-minute analysis of what was going down.

#1 The state election in Thuringia

This eastern state election made quite a splash, what with the collapse of the SPD, the rise of the AfD, and the underwhelming result for the Greens. Given the size and importance of Thuringia for the great scheme of things, the post attracted disproportionate interest. I blame twitter.

Coda

I find it hard to believe, but I’ve written almost 80 posts this year, which is well above my yearly average. Most of them are just short throw away things (“Look, I was misquoted by some university radio station in Bosnia!”). Others are more substantial, and some reach a rise up to a length, sophistication, and dullness that I should reserve for my best proper academic writing. I have no idea why I’m still doing this, but while I’m still doing this, people might as well read it, so share a post or two, will you?

Nov 292019
 
A vast majority of Germans sees the AfD as a right-wing extremist party

For the radical right in Europe, Alternative for Germany is an increasingly unusual case

In a recent paper published in JCMS, I argue that unlike other German far-right parties, the “Alternative for Germany party” (AfD) managed to avoid being associated with Nazism. The strong presence of establishment figures that previously were (or could have been) members of centre-right parties acted as what Elisabeth Ivarsflaten has once called a “reputational shield“. Without such a shield, a party will be branded “fringe” or extremist, and many voters will be reluctant to support it. Also, such parties will find it difficult to recruit competent and presentable would-be politicians – an argument that David Art makes and illustrates in his fabulous study of radical right party activists.

A vast majority of Germans sees the AfD as a right-wing extremist party 3

In the JCMS paper, I also look at the trajectory of the Alternative for Germany. The AfD started out as a socially conservative/market radical “professors’ party”, then, within just two years, developed into a (mostly) bog-standard Western European radical right party. What sets the “Alternative” apart from similar parties in Western Europe, however, is its desperate flirt with traditional German right-wing extremism.

Back to the future?

The Front National (now the Rassemblement) recently expelled its founder and long-time leader Jean-Marie Le Pen because the old man would not stop talking about the Holocaust. The Sweden Democrats gave up the uniforms, then had a real purge of the old guard. Other parties like the PVV never had any connection to the old inter-war Extreme Right. And this looked like the way forward for the last couple of decades or so.

In the AfD, regional leader Björn Höcke can publicly trot out racist tropesattack the culture of remembrance and use rhetoric and ideas straight from the 1930s playbook without getting as much as a slap on the wrist. Regional leader Andreas Kalbitz was a member of various right-wing extremist groups and the former “Republican” party. Kalbitz also attended a Greek Neo-Nazi rally in Athens and a festival for Fascists and Neo-Nazis in Belgium. Not a problem. National leader Alexander Gauland, who infamously called the rule of the Nazis “a spot of bird shit” in an otherwise glorious history, thinks that Höcke is “right in the middle” of the party, and that Kalbitz is a “good man”.

 

80 per cent of Germans are suspicious of the AfD

In the JCMS paper, I suggest that this trajectory, which is fueled by electoral successes in the East and intra-party outbidding for the most outrageous positions, could not just bring legal problems (the offices for the protection of the constitution seem to be set to heighten their scrutiny of the AfD) but also undermine its electoral appeal in the medium term. Lo and behold: in a (very rare) instance of not being completely out of touch with reality, I may have gauged the public mood just right. Today’s Politbarometer poll asked citizens how far right-wing extremist ideas have spread within the AfD. A cool 41 per cent said “far”, and further 39 per cent said “very far”. For comparison, 15 per cent thought these ideas have spread “not very far”, and just two (two!) per cent said that right-wing extremism within the party did not exist. In other words: 80 per cent see Alternative for Germany as a right-wing extremist party.

80 per cent believe right-wing extremists are have spread far or very far within the Alternative for Germany

This dovetails neatly with slightly older polls which show that notwithstanding its national electoral support of 10 to 15 per cent, the AfD is by far the least popular party in Germany. About 80 per cent of voters would never consider voting for them. So far, the main result of the AfD’s ongoing radicalisation is not a collapse of its support, but rather a segmentation of the German party system. If you want to see the future of Germany, look to Flanders (minus the excellent fatty food, the quirky beers, and, well minus Belgium).

Nov 192019
 
First names of 90 authors whose titles were added to the bibliography

Depending on your point of view, autumn is late this year. Or Christmas comes early. Either way, here is the winter 2019 edition of the Eclectic, Erratic Bibliography on the Extreme Right in Western Europe. And this is what you will want to know 👉

How much is new in the bibliography?

Since March, I have collected a modest 53 new titles (which is actually one title more than last time around). Of these, 51 are articles, and just 2 are books. I obviously skimped on the chapters. On the other hand, I went a bit wild with pieces from French Politics this time because someone pointed me towards a whole host of older articles that I had not been aware of. The rest are basically the usual suspects plus a lot of one-hit wonders (Kyklos!?!).

Journaln
French Politics14
Research & Politics4
Electoral Studies3
Party Politics3
West European Politics3
American Political Science Review2
European Journal of Political Research2
European Sociological Review2
Acta Politica1
American Journal of Political Science1
Economic Policy1
European Political Science Review1
Frontiers in Psychology1
International Journal of Public Opinion Research1
Journal of Common Market Studies1
Journal of Political Ideologies1
Journal of the European Economic Association1
Kyklos1
Mass Communication and Society1
Media and Communication1
Nations and Nationalism1
Political Psychology1
Political Studies1
Representation1
The British Journal of Sociology1
World Political Science1

The French Politics tip-off explains the relatively large number of older articles. But the majority of the new additions (41) were published in the last couple of years. Here is yet another lengthy table:

.

Publication yearn
201925
20178
20188
20155
20142
20031
20081
20091
20121
20161

Even with this massive intake of older articles, more than half of all the titles in the bibliography were published within the last decade.

Items in the full bibliography by decade of publication

Items in the full bibliography by decade of publication

To put this into perspective, the bibliography began its life as the reference section of a book that came out in 2008. Thank you all for publishing and pointing me towards new research.

What about gender equality?

The publications were written by 90 distinct authors. I extracted the given names and send them through R’s gender package, using the SSA algorithm that uses name data from the US Social Security Administration. This is a bit hit and miss, so I had to fill in some NAs and to correct some well known false positives (Andrea Pirro, Jocelyn Evans etc.). The end result is appalling: there are just 17 women amongst the authors that I have added, or 19 per cent.

A wordcloud of first names is quite instructive:

First names of 90 authors whose titles were added to the bibliography

First names of 90 authors whose titles were added to the bibliography

Michael rules. I, we, you need to do better.

What are the writing about?

Everybody loves a word cloud, so here is one more that I made of the new titles’ titles:

Wordcloud of 53 new titles in the extreme right bibliography

Wordcloud of 53 new titles in the bibliography

There are few surprises here. The massive injection of articles published in French Politics shows in Marine Le Pen’s name (its constituent parts artfully distributed across the cloud), the (old) name of her party, and in words like “french” (d’oh!) and “presidential”. “Germany” also shows up quite often, reflecting the rise of the AfD.

More interesting is perhaps the use of “analysis”, “study”, “explaining”, and “evidence”: authors seem to feel the need to convince their readers. “Extreme” and “radical/radicalism” are old friends. External factors like “economic”, “contextual”, neighbourhood, and “immigration” also feature prominently.

Personally, I think that the “populism” part of the ongoing radical right saga is a lot less interesting than the nativist and authoritarian parts. But unsurprisingly, “populist” and “populism” are obviously important.

Where can I get all this stuff?

You can download bibliographical data for the new titles here (as BibTeX, which almost every program on the planet should be able to import). Or have a look at the end of this post for a nicely formatted list.

So: what’s next?

Honestly, I don’t know. I fully intend to update the bibliography once the sun returns, but when this happens and what will be in the next version is up to you: submit that paper, point me to that book, and remember (and help me to remember) that Women Also Know Stuff.

Coda: the goods

  • Aarøe, Lene, Michael Bang Petersen, and Kevin Arceneaux. “The Behavioral Immune System Shapes Political Intuitions: Why and How Individual Differences in Disgust Sensitivity Underlie Opposition to Immigration.” 111.2 (2017): 277-294. doi:10.1017/S0003055416000770
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ aaroe-petersen-arceneaux-2017,
    author  = {Aarøe, Lene and Petersen, Michael Bang and Arceneaux,
    Kevin},
    title = {The Behavioral Immune System Shapes Political Intuitions:
    Why and How Individual Differences in Disgust Sensitivity
    Underlie Opposition to Immigration},
    journaltitle  = {American Political Science Review},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 111,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {277-294},
    doi = {10.1017/S0003055416000770}
    }

  • Allen, Trevor J.. “Exit To the Right? Comparing Far Right Voters and Abstainers in Western Europe.” Electoral Studies 50 (2017): 103-115. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2017.09.012
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ allen-2017b,
    author  = {Trevor J. Allen},
    title = {Exit To the Right? Comparing Far Right Voters and
    Abstainers in Western Europe},
    journal  = {Electoral Studies},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 50,
    pages = {103-115},
    doi = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2017.09.012}
    }

  • Arzheimer, Kai. “Don’t mention the war! How populist right-wing radicalism became (almost) normal in Germany.” Journal of Common Market Studies (2019). doi:10.1111/jcms.12920
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ arzheimer-2019c,
    author  = {Arzheimer, Kai},
    title = {Don't mention the war! How populist right-wing radicalism
    became (almost) normal in Germany},
    journal  = {Journal of Common Market Studies},
    year = 2019,
    doi = {10.1111/jcms.12920}
    }

  • Arzheimer, Kai and Carl Berning. “How the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and their voters veered to the radical right, 2013-2017.” Electoral Studies (2019): forthcoming. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2019.04.004
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ arzheimer-berning-2019,
    author  = {Arzheimer, Kai and Berning, Carl},
    title = {How the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and their voters
    veered to the radical right, 2013-2017},
    journal  = {Electoral Studies},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {forthcoming},
    doi = {10.1016/j.electstud.2019.04.004}
    }

  • Bastow, Steve. “The Front National Under Marine Le Pen: a Mainstream Political Party?.” 16.1 (2018): 19-37. doi:10.1057/s41253-017-0052-7
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ bastow-2018,
    author  = {Steve Bastow},
    title = {The Front National Under Marine Le Pen: a Mainstream
    Political Party?},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2018,
    volume  = 16,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {19-37},
    doi = {10.1057/s41253-017-0052-7}
    }

  • Bergman, Matthew E.. “Insights from the Quantification of the Study of Populism.” Representation 55.1 (2019): 21–30. doi:10.1080/00344893.2019.1572647
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ bergman-2019,
    author  = {Matthew E. Bergman},
    title = {Insights from the Quantification of the Study of
    Populism},
    journal  = {Representation},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 55,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {21--30},
    publisher  = {Routledge},
    doi = {10.1080/00344893.2019.1572647}
    }

  • Bergman, Matthew E. and Henry Flatt. “Issue Diversification: Which Niche Parties Can Succeed Electorally by Broadening Their Agenda?.” Political Studies (2019): online first. doi:10.1177/0032321719865538
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ bergman-flatt-2019,
    author  = {Matthew E Bergman and Henry Flatt},
    title = {Issue Diversification: Which Niche Parties Can Succeed
    Electorally by Broadening Their Agenda?},
    journal  = {Political Studies},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1177/0032321719865538}
    }

  • Bischof, Daniel and Markus Wagner. “Do Voters Polarize When Radical Parties Enter Parliament?.” American Journal of Political Science 63.4 (2019): 888-904. doi:10.1111/ajps.12449
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ bischof-wagner-2019,
    author  = {Bischof, Daniel and Wagner, Markus},
    title = {Do Voters Polarize When Radical Parties Enter
    Parliament?},
    journal  = {American Journal of Political Science},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 63,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {888-904},
    doi = {10.1111/ajps.12449}
    }

  • Brouard, Sylvain and Martial Foucault. “Forecasting the Rise of the Front National During the 2014 Municipal Elections.” 12.4 (2014): 338-347. doi:10.1057/fp.2014.19
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ brouard-foucault-2014,
    author  = {Sylvain Brouard and Martial Foucault},
    title = {Forecasting the Rise of the Front National During the 2014
    Municipal Elections},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2014,
    volume  = 12,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {338-347},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2014.19}
    }

  • Burgoon, Brian, Sam van Noort, Matthijs Rooduijn, and Geoffrey Underhill. “Positional Deprivation and Support for Radical Right and Radical Left Parties.” Economic Policy 34.97 (2018): 49-93. doi:10.1093/epolic/eiy017
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ burgoon-noort-rooduijn-underhill-2018,
    author  = {Brian Burgoon and Sam van Noort and Matthijs Rooduijn and
    Geoffrey Underhill},
    title = {Positional Deprivation and Support for Radical Right and
    Radical Left Parties},
    journal  = {Economic Policy},
    year = 2018,
    volume  = 34,
    number  = 97,
    pages = {49-93},
    doi = {10.1093/epolic/eiy017}
    }

  • Buzogány, Aron. “Civic engagement, political participation and the radical right in Central and Eastern Europe.” Party Politics (2019): online first. doi:10.1177/1354068819863630
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ buzogany-2019,
    author  = {Aron Buzogány},
    title = {Civic engagement, political participation and the radical
    right in Central and Eastern Europe},
    journal  = {Party Politics},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1177/1354068819863630}
    }

  • Campus, Donatella. “Marine Le Pen’s Peopolisation: an Asset for Leadership Image-Building?.” 15.2 (2017): 147-165. doi:10.1057/s41253-017-0026-9
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ campus-2017,
    author  = {Donatella Campus},
    title = {Marine Le Pen's Peopolisation: an Asset for Leadership
    Image-Building?},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 15,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {147-165},
    doi = {10.1057/s41253-017-0026-9}
    }

  • Caramani, Daniele and Luca Manucci. “National past and populism: the re-elaboration of fascism and its impact on right-wing populism in Western Europe.” West European Politics (2019): online first. doi:10.1080/01402382.2019.1596690
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ caramani-manucci-2019,
    author  = {Daniele Caramani and Luca Manucci},
    title = {National past and populism: the re-elaboration of fascism
    and its impact on right-wing populism in Western Europe},
    journal  = {West European Politics},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1080/01402382.2019.1596690}
    }

  • Carter, Elisabeth. “Right-Wing Extremism/Radicalism. Reconstructing the Concept.” Journal of Political Ideologies 23.2 (2018): 157-182. doi:10.1080/13569317.2018.1451227
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ carter-2018,
    author  = {Elisabeth Carter},
    title = {Right-Wing Extremism/Radicalism. Reconstructing the
    Concept},
    journal  = {Journal of Political Ideologies},
    year = 2018,
    volume  = 23,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {157-182},
    doi = {10.1080/13569317.2018.1451227}
    }

  • Daenekindt, Stijn, Willem de Koster, and Jeroen van der Waal. “How people organise cultural attitudes: cultural belief systems and the populist radical right.” West European Politics 40.4 (2017): 791-811. doi:10.1080/01402382.2016.1271970
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ daenekindt-koster-waal-2017,
    author  = {Stijn Daenekindt and Willem de Koster and Jeroen van der
    Waal},
    title = {How people organise cultural attitudes: cultural belief
    systems and the populist radical right},
    journal  = {West European Politics},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 40,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {791-811},
    doi = {10.1080/01402382.2016.1271970}
    }

  • David, Quentin, Jean-Benoit Pilet, and Gilles Van Hamme. “Scale Matters in Contextual Analysis of Extreme Right Voting and Political Attitudes.” Kyklos 71.4 (2018): 509-536. doi:10.1111/kykl.12183
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ david-pilet-van-hamme-2018,
    author  = {David, Quentin and Pilet, Jean-Benoit and Van Hamme,
    Gilles},
    title = {Scale Matters in Contextual Analysis of Extreme Right
    Voting and Political Attitudes},
    journal  = {Kyklos},
    year = 2018,
    volume  = 71,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {509-536},
    doi = {10.1111/kykl.12183}
    }

  • Dennison, James. “How Issue Salience Explains the Rise of the Populist Right in Western Europe.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research (2019): online first. doi:10.1093/ijpor/edz022
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ dennison-2019,
    author  = {Dennison, James},
    title = {{How Issue Salience Explains the Rise of the Populist
    Right in Western Europe}},
    journal  = {International Journal of Public Opinion Research},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1093/ijpor/edz022}
    }

  • Dumitrescu, Delia. “Up, Close and Personal: the New Front National Visual Strategy Under Marine Le Pen.” 15.1 (2017): 1-26. doi:10.1057/s41253-016-0012-7
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ dumitrescu-2017,
    author  = {Delia Dumitrescu},
    title = {Up, Close and Personal: the New Front National Visual
    Strategy Under Marine Le Pen},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 15,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {1-26},
    doi = {10.1057/s41253-016-0012-7}
    }

  • Evans, Jocelyn and Gilles Ivaldi. “Forecasting the Extreme Right Vote in France (1984-2007).” 6.2 (2008): 137-151. doi:10.1057/fp.2008.1
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ evans-ivaldi-2008,
    author  = {Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi},
    title = {Forecasting the Extreme Right Vote in France (1984-2007)},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2008,
    volume  = 6,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {137-151},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2008.1}
    }

  • Evans, Jocelyn and Gilles Ivaldi. “Forecasting the Extreme-Right Vote At the 2012 Presidential Election: Evaluating Our Model.” 10.4 (2012): 378-382. doi:10.1057/fp.2012.17
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ evans-ivaldi-2012,
    author  = {Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi},
    title = {Forecasting the Extreme-Right Vote At the 2012
    Presidential Election: Evaluating Our Model},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2012,
    volume  = 10,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {378-382},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2012.17}
    }

  • Ferrín, Mónica, Moreno Mancosu, and Teresa M. Cappiali. “Terrorist Attacks and Europeans’ Attitudes Towards Immigrants: An Experimental Approach.” European Journal of Political Research (2019): online first. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12362
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ ferrin-mancosu-cappiali-2019,
    author  = {Ferrín, Mónica and Mancosu, Moreno and Cappiali, Teresa
    M.},
    title = {Terrorist Attacks and Europeans' Attitudes Towards
    Immigrants: An Experimental Approach},
    journal  = {European Journal of Political Research},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1111/1475-6765.12362}
    }

  • Gidron, Noam and Peter A. Hall. “The politics of social status: economic and cultural roots of the populist right.” The British Journal of Sociology 68.S1 (2017): S57-S84. doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12319
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ gidron-hall-2017,
    author  = {Gidron, Noam and Hall, Peter A.},
    title = {The politics of social status: economic and cultural roots
    of the populist right},
    journal  = {The British Journal of Sociology},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 68,
    number  = {S1},
    pages = {S57-S84},
    doi = {10.1111/1468-4446.12319}
    }

  • Gingrich, Jane. “Did State Responses to Automation Matter for Voters?.” Research & Politics 6.1 (2019). doi:10.1177/2053168019832745
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ gingrich-2019,
    author  = {Jane Gingrich},
    title = {Did State Responses to Automation Matter for Voters?},
    journal  = {Research \& Politics},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 6,
    number  = 1,
    doi = {10.1177/2053168019832745}
    }

  • Halla, Martin, Alexander F. Wagner, and Josef Zweimüller. “Immigration and Voting for the Far Right.” Journal of the European Economic Association 15.6 (2017): 1341-1385. doi:10.1093/jeea/jvx003
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ halla-wagner-zweimueller-2017,
    author  = {Martin Halla and Alexander F. Wagner and Josef
    Zweimüller},
    title = {Immigration and Voting for the Far Right},
    journal  = {Journal of the European Economic Association},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 15,
    number  = 6,
    pages = {1341-1385},
    doi = {10.1093/jeea/jvx003}
    }

  • Hameleers, Michael. “Putting Our Own People First: The Content and Effects of Online Right-wing Populist Discourse Surrounding the European Refugee Crisis.” Mass Communication and Society (2019): online first. doi:10.1080/15205436.2019.1655768
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ hameleers-2019,
    author  = {Michael Hameleers},
    title = {Putting Our Own People First: The Content and Effects of
    Online Right-wing Populist Discourse Surrounding the
    European Refugee Crisis},
    journal  = {Mass Communication and Society},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1080/15205436.2019.1655768}
    }

  • Hays, Jude, Junghyun Lim, and Jae-Jae Spoon. “The path from trade to right-wing populism in Europe.” 60 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2019.04.002
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ hays-lim-spoon-2019,
    author  = {Jude Hays and Junghyun Lim and Jae-Jae Spoon},
    title = {The path from trade to right-wing populism in Europe},
    journaltitle  = {Electoral Studies},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 60,
    doi = {10.1016/j.electstud.2019.04.002}
    }

  • Hobolt, Sara B. and Julian M. Hoerner. “The Mobilising Effect of Political Choice.” European Journal of Political Research (2019): online first. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12353
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ hobolt-hoerner-2019,
    author  = {Hobolt, Sara B. and Hoerner, Julian M.},
    title = {The Mobilising Effect of Political Choice},
    journal  = {European Journal of Political Research},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1111/1475-6765.12353}
    }

  • Im, Zhen Jie, Nonna Mayer, Bruno Palier, and Jan Rovny. “The \enquotelosers of automation: A Reservoir of Votes for the Radical Right?.” Research & Politics 6.1 (2019). doi:10.1177/2053168018822395
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ im-mayer-palier-rovny-2019,
    author  = {Zhen Jie Im and Nonna Mayer and Bruno Palier and Jan
    Rovny},
    title = {The \enquote{losers of automation}: A Reservoir of Votes
    for the Radical Right?},
    journal  = {Research \& Politics},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 6,
    number  = 1,
    doi = {10.1177/2053168018822395}
    }

  • Ivaldi, Gilles. “Towards the Median Economic Crisis Voter? the New Leftist Economic Agenda of the Front National in France.” 13.4 (2015): 346-369. doi:10.1057/fp.2015.17
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ ivaldi-2015,
    author  = {Gilles Ivaldi},
    title = {Towards the Median Economic Crisis Voter? the New Leftist
    Economic Agenda of the Front National in France},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2015,
    volume  = 13,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {346-369},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2015.17}
    }

  • Janssen, Heleen J., Maarten van Ham, Tom Kleinepier, and Jaap Nieuwenhuis. “A Micro-Scale Approach to Ethnic Minority Concentration in the Residential Environment and Voting for the Radical Right in The Netherlands.” European Sociological Review (2019). doi:10.1093/esr/jcz018
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ janssen-ham-kleinepier-nieuwenhuis-2019,
    author  = {Janssen, Heleen J. and van Ham, Maarten and Kleinepier,
    Tom and Nieuwenhuis, Jaap},
    title = {A Micro-Scale Approach to Ethnic Minority Concentration in
    the Residential Environment and Voting for the Radical
    Right in The Netherlands},
    journal  = {European Sociological Review},
    year = 2019,
    doi = {10.1093/esr/jcz018}
    }

  • Jérôme, Bruno and Véronique Jérôme-Speziari. “A Le Pen Vote Function for the 2002 Presidential Election: a Way To Reduce Uncertainty.” 1.2 (2003): 247-251. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200036
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ jerome-jerome-speziari-2003,
    author  = {Bruno J{\'e}rôme and V{\'e}ronique J{\'e}rôme-Speziari},
    title = {A Le Pen Vote Function for the 2002 Presidential Election:
    a Way To Reduce Uncertainty},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2003,
    volume  = 1,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {247-251},
    doi = {10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200036}
    }

  • Kurer, Thomas and Bruno Palier. “Shrinking and Shouting: the Political Revolt of the Declining Middle in Times of Employment Polarization.” Research & Politics 6.1 (2019). doi:10.1177/2053168019831164
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ kurer-palier-2019,
    author  = {Thomas Kurer and Bruno Palier},
    title = {Shrinking and Shouting: the Political Revolt of the
    Declining Middle in Times of Employment Polarization},
    journal  = {Research \& Politics},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 6,
    number  = 1,
    doi = {10.1177/2053168019831164}
    }

  • Leidig, Eviane Cheng. “Immigrant, Nationalist and Proud. A Twitter Analysis of Indian Diaspora Supporters for Brexit and Trump.” Media and Communication 7.1 (2019): 77. doi:10.17645/mac.v7i1.1629
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ leidig-2019,
    author  = {Leidig, Eviane Cheng},
    title = {Immigrant, Nationalist and Proud. A Twitter Analysis of
    Indian Diaspora Supporters for Brexit and Trump},
    journal  = {Media and Communication},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 7,
    number  = 1,
    pages = 77,
    doi = {10.17645/mac.v7i1.1629}
    }

  • Mader, Matthias and Harald Schoen. “The European refugee crisis, party competition, and voters’ responses in Germany.” West European Politics 42.1 (2019): 67-90. doi:10.1080/01402382.2018.1490484
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ mader-schoen-2019,
    author  = {Matthias Mader and Harald Schoen},
    title = {The European refugee crisis, party competition, and
    voters’ responses in Germany},
    journal  = {West European Politics},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 42,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {67-90},
    doi = {10.1080/01402382.2018.1490484}
    }

  • Martig, Noemi and Julian Bernauer. “The Halo Effect: Perceptions of Diffuse Threat and SVP Vote Share.” World Political Science 14.1 (2018): 27-54. doi:10.1515/wps-2018-0002
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ martig-bernauer-2018,
    author  = {Noemi Martig and Julian Bernauer},
    title = {The Halo Effect: Perceptions of Diffuse Threat and SVP
    Vote Share},
    journal  = {World Political Science},
    year = 2018,
    volume  = 14,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {27-54},
    doi = {10.1515/wps-2018-0002}
    }

  • Maxwell, Rahsaan. “Cosmopolitan Immigration Attitudes in Large European Cities: Contextual or Compositional Effects?.” American Political Science Review 113.2 (2019): 456-474. doi:10.1017/S0003055418000898
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ maxwell-2019,
    author  = {Maxwell, Rahsaan},
    doi = {10.1017/S0003055418000898},
    journal  = {American Political Science Review},
    number  = {2},
    pages = {456-474},
    title = {Cosmopolitan Immigration Attitudes in Large European
    Cities: Contextual or Compositional Effects?},
    volume  = {113},
    year = {2019}
    }

  • Mermat, Djamel. “‘sympathy for the Devil’? Walking the Tight Rope in the Study of the French National Front (2006-2008).” 7.1 (2009): 56-74. doi:10.1057/fp.2009.1
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ mermat-2009,
    author  = {Djamel Mermat},
    title = {'sympathy for the Devil'? Walking the Tight Rope in the
    Study of the French National Front (2006-2008)},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2009,
    volume  = 7,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {56-74},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2009.1}
    }

  • Mondon, Aurelien. “Populism, the ‘people’ and the Illusion of Democracy – the Front National and Ukip in a Comparative Context.” 13.2 (2015): 141-156. doi:10.1057/fp.2015.6
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ mondon-2015,
    author  = {Aurelien Mondon},
    title = {Populism, the 'people' and the Illusion of Democracy - the
    Front National and Ukip in a Comparative Context},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2015,
    volume  = 13,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {141-156},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2015.6}
    }

  • Patana, Pauliina. “Changes in Local Context and Electoral Support for the Populist Radical Right: Evidence From Finland.” Party Politics (2019): online first. doi:10.1177/1354068818810283
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ patana-2019,
    author  = {Pauliina Patana},
    title = {Changes in Local Context and Electoral Support for the
    Populist Radical Right: Evidence From Finland},
    journal  = {Party Politics},
    year = 2019,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1177/1354068818810283}
    }

  • Pirro, Andrea L. P.. “Ballots and barricades enhanced: far-right ‘movement parties’ and movement-electoral interactions.” Nations and Nationalism 25.3 (2019): 782-802. doi:10.1111/nana.12483
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ pirro-2019,
    author  = {Pirro, Andrea L. P.},
    title = {Ballots and barricades enhanced: far-right ‘movement
    parties’ and movement-electoral interactions},
    journal  = {Nations and Nationalism},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 25,
    number  = 3,
    pages = {782-802},
    doi = {10.1111/nana.12483}
    }

  • Rees, Jonas H., Yann P. M. Rees, Jens H. Hellmann, and Andreas Zick. “Climate of Hate: Similar Correlates of Far Right Electoral Support and Right-Wing Hate Crimes in Germany.” Frontiers in Psychology 10 (2019): online first. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02328
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ rees-rees-hellmann-zick-2019,
    author  = {Rees, Jonas H. and Rees, Yann P. M. and Hellmann, Jens H.
    and Zick, Andreas},
    title = {Climate of Hate: Similar Correlates of Far Right Electoral
    Support and Right-Wing Hate Crimes in Germany},
    journal  = {Frontiers in Psychology},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 10,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02328}
    }

  • Rooduijn, Matthijs. “What Unites the Voter Bases of Populist Parties? Comparing the Electorates of 15 Populist Parties.” European Political Science Review 10.3 (2018): 351-368. doi:10.1017/s1755773917000145
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ rooduijn-2018b,
    author  = {Matthijs Rooduijn},
    title = {What Unites the Voter Bases of Populist Parties? Comparing
    the Electorates of 15 Populist Parties},
    journal  = {European Political Science Review},
    year = 2018,
    volume  = 10,
    number  = 3,
    pages = {351-368},
    doi = {10.1017/s1755773917000145}
    }

  • Savelkoul, Michael, Joran Laméris, and Jochem Tolsma. “Neighbourhood Ethnic Composition and Voting for the Radical Right in The Netherlands. The Role of Perceived Neighbourhood Threat and Interethnic Neighbourhood Contact.” European Sociological Review 33.2 (2017): 209-224. doi:10.1093/esr/jcw055
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ savelkoul-lameris-tolsma-2017,
    author  = {Savelkoul, Michael and Laméris, Joran and Tolsma,
    Jochem},
    title = {Neighbourhood Ethnic Composition and Voting for the
    Radical Right in The Netherlands. The Role of Perceived
    Neighbourhood Threat and Interethnic Neighbourhood
    Contact},
    journal  = {European Sociological Review},
    year = 2017,
    volume  = 33,
    number  = 2,
    pages = {209-224},
    doi = {10.1093/esr/jcw055}
    }

  • Shekhovtsov, Anton. Russia and the Western Far Right. Tango Noir. London, New York: Routledge, 2018.
    [BibTeX]
    @Book{ sechovcov-2018,
    author  = {Shekhovtsov, Anton},
    title = {Russia and the Western Far Right. Tango Noir},
    publisher  = {Routledge},
    year = 2018,
    address  = {London, New York}
    }

  • Shehaj, Albana, Adrian J. Shin, and Ronald Inglehart. “Immigration and Right-Wing Populism: an Origin Story.” (2019). doi:10.1177/1354068819849888
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ shehaj-shin-inglehart-2019,
    author  = {Albana Shehaj and Adrian J Shin and Ronald Inglehart},
    title = {Immigration and Right-Wing Populism: an Origin Story},
    journaltitle  = {Party Politics},
    year = 2019,
    doi = {10.1177/1354068819849888}
    }

  • Shields, James. “The Front National At the Polls: Transformational Elections Or the Status Quo Reaffirmed?.” 13.4 (2015): 415-433. doi:10.1057/fp.2015.15
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ shields-2015,
    author  = {James Shields},
    title = {The Front National At the Polls: Transformational
    Elections Or the Status Quo Reaffirmed?},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2015,
    volume  = 13,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {415-433},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2015.15}
    }

  • Sipma, Take and Marcel Lubbers. “Contextual-Level Unemployment and Support for Radical-Right Parties: a Meta-Analysis.” Acta Politica (2018): online first. doi:10.1057/s41269-018-0120-2
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ sipma-lubbers-2018,
    author  = {Take Sipma and Marcel Lubbers},
    title = {Contextual-Level Unemployment and Support for
    Radical-Right Parties: a Meta-Analysis},
    journal  = {Acta Politica},
    year = 2018,
    pages = {online first},
    doi = {10.1057/s41269-018-0120-2}
    }

  • Stockemer, Daniel. “Who Are the Members of the French National Front? Evidence From Interview Research.” 12.1 (2014): 36-58. doi:10.1057/fp.2014.1
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ stockemer-2014,
    author  = {Daniel Stockemer},
    title = {Who Are the Members of the French National Front? Evidence
    From Interview Research},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2014,
    volume  = 12,
    number  = 1,
    pages = {36-58},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2014.1}
    }

  • Stockemer, Daniel and Abdelkarim Amengay. “The Voters of the Fn Under Jean-Marie Le Pen and Marine Le Pen: Continuity Or Change?.” 13.4 (2015): 370-390. doi:10.1057/fp.2015.16
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ stockemer-amengay-2015,
    author  = {Daniel Stockemer and Abdelkarim Amengay},
    title = {The Voters of the Fn Under Jean-Marie Le Pen and Marine Le
    Pen: Continuity Or Change?},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    year = 2015,
    volume  = 13,
    number  = 4,
    pages = {370-390},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2015.16}
    }

  • Turnbull-Dugarte, Stuart J.. “Explaining the end of Spanish exceptionalism and electoral support for Vox.” Research & Politics 6.2 (2019): 2053168019851680. doi:10.1177/2053168019851680
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ turnbull-dugarte-2019,
    author  = {Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte},
    title = {Explaining the end of Spanish exceptionalism and electoral
    support for Vox},
    journal  = {Research \& Politics},
    year = 2019,
    volume  = 6,
    number  = 2,
    pages = 2053168019851680,
    doi = {10.1177/2053168019851680}
    }

  • Zulianello, Mattia. Anti-System Parties. From Parliamentary Breakthrough to Government. Abingdon, New York: Routledge, 2019.
    [BibTeX]
    @Book{ zulianello-2019,
    author  = {Zulianello, Mattia},
    title = {Anti-System Parties. From Parliamentary Breakthrough to
    Government},
    year = 2019,
    publisher  = {Routledge},
    address  = {Abingdon, New York}
    }

  • Mayer, Nonna. “The Closing of the Radical Right Gender Gap in France?.” 13.4 (2015): 391-414. doi:10.1057/fp.2015.18
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ mayer-2015,
    author  = {Nonna Mayer},
    title = {The Closing of the Radical Right Gender Gap in France?},
    journaltitle  = {French Politics},
    volume  = {13},
    number  = {4},
    pages = {391-414},
    year = {2015},
    doi = {10.1057/fp.2015.18}
    }

  • Harell, Allison, Stuart Soroka, and Shanto Iyengar. “Locus of Control and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.” Political Psychology 38.2 (2016): 245-260. doi:10.1111/pops.12338
    [BibTeX]
    @Article{ harell-soroka-iyengar-2016,
    author  = {Allison Harell and Stuart Soroka and Shanto Iyengar},
    title = {Locus of Control and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Canada,
    the United States, and the United Kingdom},
    journal  = {Political Psychology},
    volume  = {38},
    number  = {2},
    pages = {245-260},
    year = {2016},
    doi = {10.1111/pops.12338}
    }

Nov 052019
 

When former leader Frauke Petry left the AfD after the 2017 federal election, she kept her seats in the Bundestag and in Saxony’s regional parliament. These seats were meant to form the base for a new movement/party she quickly set up with friends and family.

The Blue Party is over

Image source: Wikipedia

The “Blue Party” was supposed to become a sort of respectable radical right party: a potential coalition partner for the Christian Democrats and an alternative to the Alternative for Germany that was veering to the right. To put it in github terms: like her predecessor Lucke, whom she had de facto ousted, Petry tried to fork a previous iteration of the original AfD project.

And like Lucke (and Poggenburg), she failed. In the EP 2019 election (where they might have stood a chance because there was no electoral threshold) they could not run because they failed to collect the required number of supporting signatures. In the Saxony (Petry’s home state), they won 0.4 per cent of the vote in the September election. Ten days ago, they won 0.1 per cent in the Thuringia election.

This weekend, the Blues have pulled the plug: they will shut down the party before the end of the year. Petry will continue to sit as an independent until 2021 and plans to end her political career there and then.

The bigger story here is of course that for the first time since the 1960s, the German radical/extreme right is electorally united. The NPD (which had gobbled up the DVU) is in tatters. The AfD breakaways are toast. Everything else are just sects. That is one scary perspective.

Oct 272019
 
5 quick hits on the state election in Thuringia 5

LEFT30.4%
AfD23.5%
CDU22.1%
SPD8.1%
GREENS5.1%
FDP5.1%

Source: FGW projection, 8:10pm

Why waste my life writing lengthy books that no-one is going to read? Why go through the pain of peer review? Why, in fact, wait for the actual election results to come in? So here is my list on hot takes on the Thuringia state election.

  1. Everyone is talking about the AfD, but the real story of this election is the Left. Bodo Ramelow was the first member of the Left to become Minister President of a federal state. His red-red-green coalition was defeated, but only because his partners lost electoral support. The Left’s vote share actually increased a bit so that for the first time since 1990, the Left has become the strongest party in a Land election. Ramelow himself is even more popular than his party and may be able to continue, either as a caretaker/minority Minister President or at the helm of some new (and very complicated) coalition.
  2. Single-digit SPD results are almost normal now. The SPD has always struggled in Thuringia. Now, the SPD has once more dipped into single-digit territory (after Bavaria and Saxony). A few years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Now, it’s not really a huge surprise.
  3. Germany is not yet the Netherlands, but we are getting there. Journalists and pundits still talk about the “Volksparteien” – the CDU/CSU-SPD duopoly – as if this were the normal state of affairs in Germany. But it seems unlikely that were are going back to a two-dominant-and-some-minor-parties arrangement any time soon. If the FDP makes it past the electoral threshold, there will be six parties in the new state parliament. Just like in the Bundestag, the Bavarian state parliament, and the Landtag in Brandenburg, to name a few. For the time being, fragmentation and volatility are the new normal.
  4. The Green Wave has not reached Thuringia. Nationwide, the Greens are still the second party and poll between 20 and 25 per cent. They have made some inroads in the eastern states, where they have struggled for most of the last three decades. Opinion polls looked moderately good for them, but in reality, they came dangerously close to the threshold. In fact, it is still not clear whether they will make into parliament. This does not mean that the wave has ended today. Thuringia is a small state that is in no way representative and was always a difficult arena for them (think lots of wood and history, few universities/cities).
  5. The most extreme flavour of the AfD remains popular in the (south-)east. It’s not a secret that the AfD is much stronger in the eastern states than they are in the west. Currently, a result in the 20s seems to be normal in the southern part of the former GDR, with some pockets were they go even beyond 30 per cent. The result in Thuringia is well within that range. The interesting point is that the AfD in Thuringia is led by a man who pushes the envelope of being a right-wing populist, a man whose rhetoric, policies and associates are more in line with traditional German right-wing extremism. Höcke has voiced support for rank-and-file members of the NPD when the AfD was still a polite bunch of Eurosceptics. He has spread racist tropes about Africans, has marched with Neo-Nazis and campaigned for a U-turn in Germany’s approach to its traumatic past. He infamously called the Holocaust memorial in Berlin a “monument of shame in the heart of our capital”. And yet, only days after a Christchurch-style attack on a synagogue, Höcke’s AfD won about a quarter of the vote. Some may have cast their vote in spite of him (he was not exactly popular in pre-election surveys), but at least fraction must have known what they were doing. Which is a very scary notion.

Sep 212019
 

The ‘Institut für Staatspolitik’ is a well-known far-right ‘think tank’. Their self-stated meta-political mission is to educate the future nationalist. The long-term objective is to achieve a stealthy transformation of German society. They have been around for a while, and there are books and chapters about them, written by people who study right-wing extremism for a living.

Their head honcho is one Götz Kubitschek, a prominent right-wing publisher who is well connected within the more intellectual sector of the larger right-wing extremist movement. He is an associate of Björn Höcke, who in turn leads the right-most faction within the AfD.

Another AfD leader speaks at a far-right

Höcke says that he comes to the Institute to dose up on ‘intellectual sustenance’ (yes, that’s how he rolls). It was at the Institute that Höcke gave a speech in which he claimed that Africans were, quite literally, ‘a different breed’ – one of many statements that, amazingly, did not end his political career.

Alice Weidel is the co-leader of the AfD group in the Bundestag. Weidel used to be one of those legendary ‘economic liberals’. Most of whom left the party in 2015. In this role, she wanted Höcke expelled from the AfD for his outrageous statements as late as 2017.

Now Weidel followed the example of her co-leader Gauland by speaking at the Institute‘s ‘academy’ for future leaders. Rumour has it that Kubitschek brokered an agreement between Höcke and Weidel. In a video that is making the rounds she tells Kubitschek that ‘it feels great’ to be there. Once more, move on: nothing to see here.

Jun 232019
 

The “Alternative for Germany” began its political life as a softly eurosceptic breakaway from the political mainstream but has changed beyond all recognition. Using a very large dataset covering the full 2013-17 period, Carl Berning and I trace the transformation of the AfD’s electorate, which now fits the somewhat stereotypical radical right template. Read the full article, or watch the highlights in just under 90 seconds.

How the AfD and their voters veered to the Radical Right, 2013-17
Watch this video on YouTube.

May 272019
 
Regional support for the

The AfD was founded near Germany’s financial centre of gravity (Frankfort) by members of the old western elites. But early on, the eastern states of Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia became important for the further development of the party. It was here, during the 2014 state election season, that the AfD began to toy (very reluctantly at first) with anti-Muslim sentiment. And the ensuing radicalisation of the AfD was pushed by leaders from these three states (Gauland, Höcke, and Petry).

Lokale Hochburgen (Wahlbezirke) von AfD und Linkspartei, 2017

Lokale Hochburgen (Wahlbezirke) von AfD und Linkspartei, 2017. Click for larger version.

In the process, the south-east of the former GDR has become the AfD’s heartland. When Andre Poggenburg, another hardliner, broke away over the AfD’s alleged compromises (and his personal finances and conduct), he set up a new party for “Mitteldeutschland” – the ill-defined and sometimes ill-reputed part at the south-eastern edge of the country.

In the 2017 federal election, the AfD did extraordinarily well here. Most of the wards in which the AfD is the dominant party can be found in this corner of Germany.

Regional support (district level) for the AfD in the EP 2019 election

Regional AfD support in the EP 2019. Made with this excellent tool created by the electoral commission Click for larger version.

The results of yesterday’s European election are similarly revealing. While their national performance – almost two points below their 2017 national result – must look disappointing from their point of view, they polled up to 33 per cent in some of the south-eastern districts, making them by far the strongest party. And the next round of voting (and government formation) in Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia will be interesting, to say the least. If the cordon sanitaire holds, it could result in truly awkward coalitions. And if it doesn’t, all bets are off.

But quite apart from these more practical consequences, such levels of disparity are quite something to behold.

May 262019
 
Results of the EP 2019 in Germany (exit polls as of 7pm)

Results of the EP 2019 in Germany (exit polls as of 7pm)

It will take some time to get nearly-final results for Germany, let alone for the EU, but the picture emerging from the exit polls in Germany is reasonably clear. So, in time honoured tradition, here are my hot takes:

  1. News of a far-right takeover were exaggerated, to say the least. The only relevant Eurosceptic party, the radical right AfD, performed a the lower band of expectations. While their vote share increased by three percentage points compared to 2014, they remained two points below their result in the 2017 Bundestag election. Given the EP elections are supposed to be second-order contests in which Eurosceptics in general and righ-wingers in particular vent their anger, this is really a bit embarrassing. Journalists will pin it on Ibiza-Gate, but the declining salience of migration, their string of funding scandals and last not least the AfD’s veering to the right that puts off more moderate voters are better explanations.
  2. Left-libertarian, pro-European views can be a vote winner. The Greens, who dared to propose “more Europe” and who put two prominent sitting MEPs on top of their list that, for want of a better word, could be described as “critical left”, doubled their vote share, winning as many votes as the two more traditional parties on the left combined.
  3. Multi-partyism is doing well in Germany. The party system may look more fragmented than it would in a federal contest because there is no threshold in place, but the drop is massive: in 2009, the two historically big parties CDU/CSU and SPD had a combined vote share of nearly 59 per cent. In 2014, this number was even higher at 63 per cent. Now we are looking at something in the range of 44 per cent. There also seems to be a massive increase in votes for “other” parties, but I have no details on this yet.
  4. It sucks to be a Social Democrat. The Christian Democrats are not doing terribly well, but they managed to remain the strongest parties by quite a margin. The SPD on the other hand have dropped well below a result of 20 per cent that was rightfully seen as disappointing in 2009 (in 2014, they clearly benefited from Martin Schulz being the leading candidate for the S+D). I know I keep banging on about this, but the result neatly illustrates the argument that Kitschelt made 25 years ago: Social Democrats are fighting a losing battle against New Left parties on the one hand and New Right parties on the other. At least in the German case, they are also competing with the Christian Democrats. It will be interesting to see to what degree this pattern applies to other countries, too.