Collective Emotions and Protest Vote

47 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2019 Last revised: 25 Jan 2019

See all articles by Carlo Altomonte

Carlo Altomonte

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Gloria Gennaro

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre

Francesco Passarelli

University of Teramo

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2019

Abstract

We leverage on important fi ndings in social psychology to build a behavioral theory of protest vote. An individual develops a feeling of resentment if she loses income over time while richer people do not, or if she does not gain as others do, i.e. when her relative deprivation increases. In line with the Intergroup Emotions Theory, this feeling is ampli fied if the individual identi fies with a community experiencing the same feeling. Such a negative collective emotion, which we de fine as aggrievement, fuels the desire to take revenge against traditional parties and the richer elite, a common trait of populist rhetoric. The theory predicts higher support for the protest party when individuals identify more strongly with their local community and when a higher share of community members are aggrieved. We test this theory using longitudinal data on British households and exploiting the emergence of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Great Britain in the 2010 and 2015 national elections. Empirical fi ndings robustly support theoretical predictions. The psychological mechanism postulated by our theory survives the controls for alternative non-behavioral mechanisms (e.g. information sharing or political activism in local communities).

Keywords: electoral behaviour, protest vote, populism, relative deprivation, community cohesion, UK Independence Party.

Suggested Citation

Altomonte, Carlo and Gennaro, Gloria and Passarelli, Francesco, Collective Emotions and Protest Vote (January 1, 2019). BAFFI CAREFIN Centre Research Paper No. 2019-107. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3315401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3315401

Carlo Altomonte (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Gloria Gennaro

Bocconi University - Baffi Carefin Centre ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan
Italy

Francesco Passarelli

University of Teramo ( email )

Campus Coste S. Agostino
Via R. Balzarini 1, Località Colleparco
Teramo, TE 64100
Italy

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
284
PlumX Metrics