The warning signs have been present for some time. Les Républicains are on the verge of a crackup. Caught between Macron’s LRM and Le Pen’s RN, the party’s electoral space […]
Or does the daily interaction between immigrants and the native population foster positive contacts that lead to pro-immigration attitudes? And what role do self-selection of liberal-minded individuals into multi-cultural neighbourhoods on the one hand and “white flight” on the other play?
These are (I think) fascinating questions that have occupied me for a long time. Thanks to my fantastic colleagues in the SCoRE project, we are a bit closer to answering them. Tomorrow, we’ll present first findings and a couple of policy recommendations at an EPC event in Brussels. If you can’t/couldn’t make it to Belgium, watch this short video and read either the full policy brief or the executive summary.
SCoRE is our multinational project that explores the link between local and regional living conditions on the one hand and radical right attitudes and behaviours in these four countries on the other. Sometimes, serendipity is really a thing. Because we had our individual-level data collection scheduled for this year anyway, we gained some unique insights into all four big Western European elections of 2017.
But perhaps you’re pressed for time or not sure if you really want to read four (fairly short) reports? With the European Parliamentary elections on the horizon, I made a short explainer/teaser video about them to bring you up to speed in just over two minutes. I have a hunch that afterwards, you will want to read all four pieces.
Elections in Europe: great expectations.
2017 was a year of high-profile national elections in Europe, in which the Radical Right was expected to do particularly well. Balanced and neutral as ever, the Express claimed that the votes in France, Germany, and the Netherlands could DESTROY the EU. The Independent also flagged up the Dutch, German, and French elections, but added the Italian referendum, the Austrian presidential elections (both actually in 2016), and the British local elections, which, in hindsight, seems particularly quaint. Most observers missed the much more problematic Austrian parliamentary elections, and no one (arguably including the PM) expected Britain to go the polls, again.
SCoRE election data from four European countries
For better or worse, the individual-level data collection for our project on sub-national context and radical right support in Europe (SCoRE) was scheduled for 2017 anyway. In SCoRE, we try to bring together particularly fine-grained official data on living conditions (including immigration, unemployment, local economic growth, and access to basic services) with survey data on right-wing attitudes and other attitudinal and behaviour variables that are geo-referenced. In other words: we can see how the way people think is linked to where they live, and what it is like there. And with the British PM’s decision to have a snap election, we became an election study on the side.
All politics is local: a close look at regional patterns of radical right voting in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK
What sets SCoRE apart from other projects is its focus on regional and even local patterns of voting. To showcase this, my colleagues have produced a series of reports on the elections in Europe from this particular angle.
Will Allchorn and Jocelyn Evans (University of Leeds) study the switch from UKIP to the Conservatives in the 2017 election. One of their most interesting findings (I think) is that “the switchers are more strongly anti-European suggesting a tactical preference for a governing party able to deliver Brexit.
Eelco Harteveld and Sarah de Lange show that support for the Dutch Radical Right is not strongly correlated with a rural-urban divide. The PVV thrives in areas that are economically deprived and suffer from demographic stagnation, independent of urbanisation.
In Germany, the AfD is very much an eastern party. However, Carl Berning demonstrates that in the 2017 election, the
AfD did also well in the south-western states. A (perceived) sense of local decline seems to be a major factor.
Finally, a strong rural/urban divide sets in radical right voting is characteristic for France. Gilles Ivaldi and Jocelyn Evans show that support for the Front National was broken up into two distinct clusters, one in the northern rust belt, the other in the south.
- One of the best (and most depressing) articles on Trump I’ve read so far: “Inside Trump’s Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation”
- If you learnt R as a grad student and if that was some time ago (cough), here is help to get you started on the new ways of doing things in R
- To further drive this home, here is a quick and only slightly dirty analysis of the Weinstein effect in newspaper reporting using tidytext
- What remains of the traditional French centre-right after Macron is poaching on the Front National. Art Goldhammer nails it.
- Meanwhile, the Front National is once more in hot water over the misuse of EU funds.
The right-wing Breitbart News Network is expanding its U.S. operations and launching sites in Germany and France, its U.S. editor-in-chief told Reuters, as it seeks to monetize the anger and anti-immigrant sentiment unleashed by Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign...
Installing surveybias for Stata
You can install surveybias directly from this website (
net from https://www.kai-arzheimer.com/stata), but it may more convenient to install from SSC
ssc install surveybias
Assessing Bias in Presidential Pre-Election Surveys
. use onefrenchsurvey
The French presidential campaign of 2012 attracted considerable political interest. Accordingly, numerous surveys were fielded. onefrenchsurvey.dta (included in our package) contains data from one of them, taken a couple of weeks before the actual election. The command I will discuss in this post is called (*drumroll*) surveybias and is the main workhorse in our package. surveybias needs exactly one variable as a mandatory argument: the voting intention as measured in the survey, which is appropriately called “vote” in this example. Moreover, surveybias requires an option through which must submit the true distribution of this variable. Absolute or relative frequencies will do just as well as percentages, since surveybias will automatically rescale any of them.
Ten candidates stood in the first round of the French presidential election in 2012, but only two of them would progress to the run-off. While surveybias can handle variables with up to twelve categories, requesting estimates for very small parties increases the computational burden, may lead to numerically unstable estimates and is often of little substantive interest. In onefrenchsurvey.dta support for the two-lowest ranking candidates has therefore been recoded to a generic “other” category. The first-round results, which serve as a yardstick for the accuracy of the poll, are submitted in
popvalues(). For other options, have a look at the documentation.
. surveybias vote, popvalues(28.6 27.18 17.9 9.13 11.1 2.31 1.15 1.79 0.8) ______________ ________________________________________________________________ vote Coef. Std. Err. z P>|z| [95% Conf. Interval] ______________ ________________________________________________________________ A´ Hollande -.0757639 .0697397 -1.09 0.277 -.2124512 .0609233 Sarkozy .0477294 .0689193 0.69 0.489 -.0873499 .1828087 LePen -.0559812 .0823209 -0.68 0.496 -.2173271 .1053648 Bayrou .3057213 .0953504 3.21 0.001 .1188379 .4926047 Melenchon -.0058251 .0988715 -0.06 0.953 -.1996096 .1879594 Joly -.0913924 .2154899 -0.42 0.671 -.5137449 .33096 Poutou -.8802476 .4482915 -1.96 0.050 -1.758883 -.0016125 DupontAigna -.5349338 .3031171 -1.76 0.078 -1.129032 .0591648 other .1841789 .3177577 0.58 0.562 -.4386147 .8069724 ______________ ________________________________________________________________ B B .2424193 .0767485 3.16 0.002 .0919949 .3928437 B_w .0965423 .039022 2.47 0.013 .0200605 .1730241 ______________ ________________________________________________________________ Ho: no bias Degrees of freedom: 8 Chi-square (Pearson) = 18.695468 Pr (Pearson) = .01657592 Chi-square (LR) = 19.540804 Pr (LR) = .01222022
The top panel lists the Ai′ for the first eight candidates plus the “other” category alongside their standard errors, z- and p-values, and confidence intervals. Ai is a party-specific, multi-party version of Martin, Traugott, and Kennedy’s measure A and reflects bias for/against any specific party. By conventional standards (p ≤ 0.05), only two of these values are significantly different from zero: Support for François Bayrou was overestimated (A4′ = 0.31) while support for Philippe Poutou was underestimated (A7′ = –0.88).
Poutou was the little known candidate for the tiny “New Anticapitalist Party”. While he received more than twice the predicted number of votes (1∕exp(–0.88) ≈ 2.4), the case of Bayrou is more interesting. Bayrou, a centre-right candidate, stood in the previous 2007 election and came third with a very respectable result of almost 19 per cent, taking many political observers by surprise. In 2012, when he stood for a new party that he had founded immediately after the 2007 election, his vote effectively halved. But this is not fully reflected in the poll, which overestimates his support by roughly a third (exp(0.31) ≈ 1.35). This could be due to (misguided) bandwagon effects, sampling bias, or political weighting of the poll by the company.
The lower panel of the output lists B and Bw, a weighted version of our measure. B, the unweighed average of the Ai′s absolute values, is much higher than Bw. This is because the estimates for all the major candidates with the exception of Bayrou were reasonably good. While support for Poutou and also for Dupont-Aignan was underestimated by large factors, Bw heavily discounts these differences, because they are of little practical relevance unless one is interested specifically in splinter parties.
As outlined in the article in which we derive B, B’s (and Bw’s) sampling distribution is non-normal, rendering the p-value of 0.002 somewhat dubious. surveybias therefore performs additional χ2-tests based on the Pearson and the likelihood-ratio formulae, whose results are listed below the main table. In this case, however, both tests agree that the null hypothesis of no bias is indeed falsified by the data.
While their p-values are clearly higher than the one resulting from the inappropriate z-test on B, they are close to the p-value for Bw. This is to be expected, because the upward bias and the non-normality become less severe as the number of categories increases, and because the weighting reduces the impact of differences that are small in absolute numbers but associated with large values on the log-ratio scale.
surveybias leaves the full variance-covariance matrix behind for your edification. Parameter estimates, chi-square values and probabilities are available, too, so that you can easily test all sorts of interesting variables about bias in this poll.
Photo by Mashthetics
- Over at the LSE blog, Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi, the grand seigneurs of Front National blogging, argue just that: The shock of Sunday’s French municipal elections was the Socialist defeat (this is actually reblogged from their own 500signatures site). The Guardian agrees.
- For Art Goldhammer, it is the end of municipal socialism.
- Part of the fallout was the appointment of Manuel Valls as new French PM. John Gaffney thinks that this was a desperate move that will come back to haunt Hollande.
- But Art Goldhammer links to a source claiming that Hollande actually has been wanting Valls to be PM for a long time.
- And here is an “interview” on the Monkey Cage – interesting questions/answers on Hollande’s electoral disaster, but in a slightly odd format.
- First, the electoral system for the locals. It is slightly weird (no surprises here). La Jeune Politque has an explainer (not sure how complete it is), and also a map identifying some of the interesting contests. They were also live-blogging the first round of the French locals.
- EUobserver has a short summary of the results. The Guardian has some additional coverage.
- Writing ahead of the election, James Shields (over the LSE blog) thinks the FN will remain isolated and hampered by the electoral system.
- The 500 signatures blog by Messrs. Evans and Ivaldi has forecasts (now backcasts) of the national result as well as background stories on the races in the big three (Paris, Lyon, Marseilles).
- Euractiv has another short summary and outlook for the second round.
- Art Goldhammer looks at the (slightly) longer game, i.e. the implications for the Hollande adminstration.
Have I missed something important?
[accordion] [spoiler title=”Extreme Right and Ethnic Politics in Eastern Europe”]Radical politics is an enduring feature of democratic party competition in contemporary democracies across the globe. This panel will seek to advance our understanding of radical right politics by focusing on the relationship between ethnic minorities and radical right parties within the region of Eastern Europe. The panel will bring together a group of scholars from various sub-fields of the discipline to examine the roots and consequences of political polarisation and right wing extremism.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Radical/Extreme Right Party Ideology, Strategy and Organisation”]Radical and/or extreme right political parties continue to be the focus of much media attention and academic research. Of course, the success of (some of) these parties in recent elections in large part explains the interest they arouse and the coverage they receive. But if we scratch a little deeper and start asking questions about why parties of this kind continue to post impressive electoral results in many countries, along with the context in which they compete, we must turn to examining the parties themselves. And if we do, we can start to notice changes in ideology, in strategy, and/or in organization, as evidenced, for example, by the French FN’s apparently moderated ideology, or by Marine Le Pen’s strategy to ‘open up’ the French right, or by Geert Wilders’ efforts to build up the PVV organization. Therefore, given their importance, this panel will focus on the parties of the ‘New Right’ themselves, and invites papers that examine extreme/radical right party ideology, strategy, and/or organization. We would like to encourage both conceptual papers and empirical papers that engage in comparative analysis [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”The Eurozone Crisis and the Radical Right”]This panel will consider whether – and if so, in what ways – the onset of the economic and Eurozone crises have enhanced or hindered political opportunities for the radical and extreme right-wing in Europe. This includes: reactions to the bail-outs and European political institutions; the role of Euroscepticism in radical right party campaigns, discourse and electoral outcomes; and the broader response of European electorates to the crisis, and their receptiveness or otherwise to radical right politics. The panel organisers are especially interested in papers that draw on innovative methodological approaches, are anchored in comparative analysis, and that consider both demand- and supply-side factors. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”The New Right and the ‘Squeezed Middle’: Service Sector Vulnerability and Populist Appeal”]Many explanations of populist New Right appeal have focused upon the role of economic insecurity as a motivation for supporting parties with exclusionary economic and social policies that target ‘true’ nationals over immigrants and other outgroups. The classic economic argument applied to countries such as France and Belgium finds blue-collar workers, as well as routine non-manual employees, attracted by populist New Right parties’ welfare chauvinism, moving away from the traditional Socialist and Social Democratic parties and class encapsulation. A sector argument finds public-sector employees in protected positions less open to such appeals than private counterparts open to external competition. However, the blue-collar group represents a shrinking proportion of European societies’ workforce and by extension electorate, and thus a decreasingly attractive target pool for entrepreneurial populist parties. Instead, through public-sector downsizing as well as decreased competitiveness, the current economic crisis threatens as much public-sector and service workers, still from routine non-manual but potentially to a growing extent from lower cadre / managerial positions. Whilst educational attainment has previously acted as a block on potential support for ethnocentric and xenophobic parties amongst these groups, the evolution of many of these parties’ positions to campaign more on anti-Islamist rather than traditional racist tenets may mean that these parties can appeal to the now economically vulnerable ‘squeezed middle’ in a way that was untenable in the past. This panel welcomes papers, either case-study or comparative, which look at the empirical manifestations of this dynamic, in particular how support bases for populist New Right parties have changed across time, socially and attitudinally. Papers should ideally use electoral or public opinion survey data, if developing micro-explanations, or census and workforce employment data for meso- and macro-approaches. Papers should not deal exclusively with theoretical or descriptive discussions of party ideology, or political economy explanations of insecurity.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”The Populist Voter”]Why do people vote for populist parties? The extant literature is inconclusive on why citizens do so. Some scholars argue that people vote for populists because they agree with the ideology of these parties. Other scholars claim that populist voters are mainly driven by political dissatisfaction: they vote for populist parties because they are unhappy with the established political order. Also, it has been argued that voters primarily vote for these parties because of their charismatic leaders. We welcome papers that focus on these or other motivations to vote for populist parties. Moreover, we are also interested in factors that might impact on the populist vote choice, such as party system characteristics, the state of the economy, or socio-demographic variables such as education, income, age, gender and religiosity. We accept qualitative and quantitative papers on right-wing populism, left-wing populism or both. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”The Radical Right in the Post-Communist Context: New Perspectives on an Old Phenomenon”] Abstract:
The recent electoral performance of radical right parties in Central and Eastern Europe seems to confirm the pervasive appeal of these parties across the whole European space. To a varying extent, radical right parties in post-communist countries resemble a phenomenon sui generis, perhaps due to their historical legacies and/or the idiosyncrasies of their context. Parties such as Ataka in Bulgaria or Jobbik in Hungary list as recent examples of this, yet research says little about the commonalities and differences of these parties vis-à-vis similar parties in Western Europe. In brief, new perspectives are needed to assess this phenomenon in context.
This panel aims to bring together papers on radical right parties in Central and Eastern Europe, their voters, and/or their interaction. Papers that investigate the radical right in the region conceptually, empirically, and/or comparatively are solicited. Prominence will be given to contributions addressing the ideology of these parties; their organisation; their political opportunity structure; and those explaining their electoral performance. Papers employing new data and bridging qualitative and quantitative traditions will be especially welcome, but papers using either qualitative or quantitative methods will certainly be considered. [/spoiler][/accordion]