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The Electoral Supporter Base of the Alternative for Germany

30 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2017 Last revised: 13 Dec 2017

Achim Goerres

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science

Dennis C. Spies

University of Cologne

Staffan Kumlin

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science; Institute for Social Research, Norway

Date Written: September 25, 2017

Abstract

Using the data from a recent nationwide survey, we provide the first analysis of the supporter base of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) since the party’s split and ideological re-orientation in mid-2015. Deriving our hypotheses from the literature on Populist Radical Right Parties (PRRPs) in Western Europe, our empirical findings strongly indicate that the electoral success of Germany’s newest right-wing party is due to the same set of socio-economic, attitudinal and contextual factors proven so important in other countries. Right-wing political attitudes concerning immigration, political distrust, fears of personal economic decline, as well as gender and socialisation effects are the most relevant explanatory variables. There is little support for recent interpretations of the AfD as solely the result of an insubstantial protest against mainstream parties. Rather, the party already appears to have formed a coherent supporter base motivated by both cultural and economically right-wing policy preferences.

Keywords: AfD, voting, Germany, panel study, Populist Radical Right Parties

Suggested Citation

Goerres, Achim and Spies, Dennis C. and Kumlin, Staffan, The Electoral Supporter Base of the Alternative for Germany (September 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2942745

Achim Goerres (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science ( email )

Lotharstrasse 65
Duisburg, D-47057
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.achimgoerres.de

Dennis Spies

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Staffan Kumlin

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 1097
Blindern
Oslo, 0317
Norway

Institute for Social Research, Norway ( email )

PO Box 3233 Elisenberg
Oslo, 0208
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://socialresearch.no

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