Carl Dahlström and
Peter Esaiasson, "The immigration issue and anti-immigrant
party success in Sweden 1970-2006: A deviant case analysis,"
Party Politics, 19 (March 2013), 343-364.
[Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol19/issue2/
The immigration issue is prevalent in most western European
democracies. In some countries - Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland -
anti-immigrant parties have been able to use the issue as a
vehicle for electoral success. In other national contexts,
anti-immigrant parties have been less successful in
exploiting the issue for electoral gains, this article asks
- Figures and
- Table 1. National election results in percentage of
votes for New Democracy and the Sweden Democrats,
- Figure 1. Level of policy disagreement between MPs
and adult citizens 1994-2006.
- Figure 2. Most important problem facing the country,
- Figure 3. Policy issues in Election Manifestos,
- Figure 4. Policy issues in televised party leader
- Figure 5. Voters' perception of the prime issue for
any political party during the campaign, 1982-2006.
- Table 2. New Democracy and the immigration
- Table 3. Established parties and the immigration
- Table 4. Agreement between members of parliament and
their respective voters on a policy proposal to accept
ewer refugees into tht country.
(First paragraph of conclusion) This article has argued that
established parties in Sweden have typically chosen a
dismissive issue strategy to hinder the electoral success of
anti-immigrant parties. Empirically, this article first
demonstrated that there is substantial citizen demand for
anti-immigrant policies: During the past decades citizens
have expressed relatively strong support for a more
restrictive immigration policy; the gap between policy
preferences of voters and MPs on the immigration issue has
been large and persistent; and according to citizens' views,
the immigration issue has consistently been one of the most
important problems facing the country. Using primary data
from quantitative analyses of election manifestos and
televised party leader debates, it has been shown that the
immigration issue has generally received little attention in
election campaigns between 1970-2006.