A New Chapter in the Evolution of Right-wing Populist Electoral Winning Formulas The Implementation and Impact of Portfolio Diversification in Austria Cover Image
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A New Chapter in the Evolution of Right-wing Populist Electoral Winning Formulas The Implementation and Impact of Portfolio Diversification in Austria
A New Chapter in the Evolution of Right-wing Populist Electoral Winning Formulas The Implementation and Impact of Portfolio Diversification in Austria

Author(s): David M. Wineroither, Gilg U. H. Seeber
Subject(s): Electoral systems
Published by: Masarykova univerzita
Keywords: Accountability; party competition; electoral behaviour; right-wing populism; representation

Summary/Abstract: Right-wing populist parties (RPPs) have been exceptionally successful in Austria since the mid-1980s. Since the mid-2000s, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) has faced challengers from within its own party family despite its continuing effort to adapt to shifting electoral markets. We argue that the exceptionally high vote shares secured by competing RPPs in multiple rounds of general elections can be attributed to a new winning formula of portfolio diversification. Supply-side data show that the FPÖ and its rivals varied widely in their policy-based and non-programmatic efforts of linkage building with voters. Using ESS data, we find evidence in the class basis of party electorates that suggests patterns of diversified linkage efforts expanded the joint voter base of RPPs by gaining support among groups of voters hitherto not resonating with RPPs while holding on to the vote of their core constituency. In addition, portfolio diversification plausibly allows RPPs to moderate some of their specific electoral vulnerabilities (e.g. cross-class appeal, repercussions of participation in government).

  • Issue Year: XXIX/2022
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 167-188
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: English