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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Populist radical right parties have long been considered to mobilize their voters on specific issues, which they are deemed to “own.” Voters support these parties largely because of their “nativist” agenda, and more precisely because of their stance against immigration. In fact, research had established a “winning formula” of electoral persuasion for radical right parties, referring to a combination of “economically neoliberal” and “authoritarian” appeals that would jointly explain the strong electoral support. However, populist radical right parties have transformed their positions, through “second order messages,” by investing in a socioeconomic issue agenda. These parties can increase their electoral support by siding with their working class voters on redistributive issues, particularly through a welfare chauvinist frame. This chapter argues that populist radical right parties have strategically shifted on this latter dimension in order to adapt to their voters’ preferences. It shows that, in view of increased electoral persuasion, populist radical right parties modify some of their positions to tailor them to their working-class core electoral clientele.

Keywords: populist radical right, electoral clientele, nativism, welfare chauvinism, strategic adaptation, party position, issue agenda

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