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Party, leader or candidate? dissecting the right-wing populist vote in Finland

  • Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen (a1) and Peter Söderlund (a2)

Abstract

What populist right parties offer (the supply side) should be examined in relation to the preferences of the populist right electorate (the demand side). This article examines how the supply and demand in the electoral market are met by assessing the relative importance of party, party leader, and district-level candidate for the right-wing populist vote. The study is set in an electoral system, which uses preferential voting for candidates in multi-member districts, namely Finland, where all three objects of vote choice may matter. We analyse post-election survey data for the 2011 parliamentary election in which the right-wing populist True Finns party gained almost one fifth of the national vote. The results show that being guided by the characteristics of the party leader is a much stronger predictor the of the True Finns vote than being affected by party or district-level candidate characteristics.

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Party, leader or candidate? dissecting the right-wing populist vote in Finland

  • Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen (a1) and Peter Söderlund (a2)

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