Abstract and Keywords
Belgium and the Netherlands are fertile ground for radical right parties, including the Flemish Bloc and its successor Flemish Interest (VB), and the List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) and the later Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands. The LPF presented a mix of anti-immigrant and anti-elitist positions; the PVV was strict on immigration and against European integration; the VB was a nationalist/regionalist party that became successful only after adopting the anti-immigration issue. The LPF showed how a successful but badly organized party can both rise and fall quickly. The PVV shows that a strong leader can establish an electorally successful party that is less effective politically, with an uncertain future because of its dependency on the leader. The VB shows that a party that connects with the electorate’s “demands” can have a series of good election results without having direct policy effects and can be vulnerable to more effective competitors.
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