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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 ]

First paragraph:
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 why.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. National election results in percentage of votes for New Democracy and the Sweden Democrats, 1988-2006.
Figure 1. Level of policy disagreement between MPs and adult citizens 1994-2006.
Figure 2. Most important problem facing the country, 1987-2006.
Figure 3. Policy issues in Election Manifestos, 1970-2006.
Figure 4. Policy issues in televised party leader debates, 1970-2006.
Figure 5. Voters' perception of the prime issue for any political party during the campaign, 1982-2006.
Table 2. New Democracy and the immigration issue.
Table 3. Established parties and the immigration issue 1991-2006.
Table 4. Agreement between members of parliament and their respective voters on a policy proposal to accept ewer refugees into tht country.

Last Paragraph:
(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.

Last updated March 2013