- Sympathy for the ‘devil’? Voting for populists in the 2006 and 2010 Dutch general elections
- Electoral Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 32 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
What motivations do voters have to vote for populist parties? How do their motivations differ from those of voters for mainstream parties? Analyzing new empirical material - the Dutch elections of 2006 and 2010 - we demonstrate that policy preferences, protest attitudes and evaluations of party leaders are important reasons to vote for populist parties. Yet only protest attitudes distinguish voters for populist parties from voters for mainstream parties; evaluations of party leaders turn out to be equally important for both. We theorize how protest attitudes and party leader evaluations overlap and employ an exploratory simulation technique to test this. We find that populist parties differ strongly from each other with regard to the specific patchwork of motivations of their voters.
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