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Linda Bos and Wouter van der Brug, "Public images of leaders of anti-immigration parties: Perceptions of legitimacy and effectiveness," Party Politics, 16 (November, 2010), 777-799. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol16/issue6/ ]

First paragraph:
In the last two decades we have witnessed a rise of right-wing populist parties or anti-immigration parties, especially in Western Europe. Some of these parties have been very successful in national elections, whereas others have been rather unsuccessful in attracting votes. Because of their location at the far right of the political spectrum (Ignazi, 2002; Lubbers, 2000: 82), their ethnocentric (Rydgren, 2005) or xenophobic stance (Betz, 1998; Jackman and Volpert, 1996; Schain et al., 2002), their resentment against immigrants and/or opposition to the immigration policies of the government (Carter, 2005; Fennema, 1997) and their anti-constitutional or anti-democratic (Carter, 2005), anti-political establishment (Schedler, 1996), anti-party or anti-elitist appeal (Hainsworth, 2000; Schain et al., 2002), these parties generally have been treated as unique species within political party and voting literature.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. The distribution of the central variables: means and standard deviations
Table 2. Predictors of party preference: preliminary analysis (regression analysis with robust standard error
Table 3. Fixed effects model on generic party preference
Table 4. Effect of left-right distance on party preference

Last Paragraph:
There is one aspect, however, in which our study prompts us to amend results from previous research, which showed that supporters of anti-immigration parties arrive at their party choice through the same ideological and pragmatic considerations that lead others to vote for established parties (Ivarsflaten, 2005; Van der Brug and Mughan, 2007; Van der Brug et al., 2000, 2003, 2005). Our study showed that this is only the case when anti-immigration parties are seen as legitimate and effective. If citizens see an antiimmigration party as legitimate, they will evaluate it by the same standards they use to judge other parties. Whether that will make the party successful in elections will depend on the distribution of voters and the competition from other parties. However, our analyses strongly suggest that being seen as legitimate and effective are necessary, but not sufficient, preconditions for being successful.

Last updated October 2010