Prominence over Proximity? The Effects of Terrorist Attacks on Party Preferences for Incumbent versus Populist Radical Right Parties

European Political Science Review

38 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2021 Last revised: 30 May 2023

See all articles by Emma Hoes

Emma Hoes

University of Zurich

jonne kamphorst

European University Institute

André Krouwel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 16, 2021

Abstract

How does a terrorist attack affect party preferences? Based on existing theories, we would either expect incumbent parties to benefit because of a rally-effect, or populist radical right parties to gain due to a radicalization of voters' preferences. These competing theories are tested with a unique data set of a large sample of voters' responses on a Voting Advice Application. We do so using a novel way to leverage exogenous events using big public opinion data. We show that a terrorist attack has a positive effect for the main incumbent party, even when voters' positions on the issues owned by the populist radical right parties become more radicalized. This means that during crises, voters rally around the flag and prefer prominence over proximity.

Keywords: Terrorist attacks, Rally-effect, Populist Radical Right Parties, Immigration, VAA data

JEL Classification: D00

Suggested Citation

Hoes, Emma and kamphorst, jonne and Krouwel, André, Prominence over Proximity? The Effects of Terrorist Attacks on Party Preferences for Incumbent versus Populist Radical Right Parties (August 16, 2021). European Political Science Review, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3906031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3906031

Emma Hoes

University of Zurich ( email )

Affolternstrasse 56
Zürich, 8050
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://https://emmahoes.com/

Jonne Kamphorst (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

André Krouwel

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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