Party competition
in The extreme right in Western Europe
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This chapter covers the influence of different patterns of party competition on the right-wing extremist party vote. The five main ways in which the political space of a system may be mapped include government expenditure flows, use of elite studies, reference to voter attitudes, internal analysis of party election programmes, and use of expert judgements. It is suggested that right-wing extremist parties are likely to be affected by the proximity of their mainstream right competitors. The examples of Austria, France and Italy imply that right-wing extremist parties may continue to experience success at the polls even if their mainstream right opponents undergo ideological radicalization. It is shown that convergence between the mainstream left and the mainstream right is correlated to higher electoral scores for the parties of the extreme right.



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