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Mainstream Party Strategies Towards Extreme Right Parties: The French 2007 and 2012 Presidential Elections

  • João Carvalho
Abstract

The electoral success of extreme right parties (ERPs) has attracted a disproportionate number of studies. By contrast, research into the mainstream parties’ reactions to ERPs has engendered little interest. With few exceptions, the effects of the centre-right parties’ strategic options in electoral competitions with ERPs remain unexplored. To overcome this shortcoming, this investigation examines the strategies employed by the French centre-right party – Union pour un Movement Populaire (UMP) against the Front National in the 2007 and the 2012 presidential elections by focusing on the topics of immigration and integration. This study suggests that the adoption of accommodating approaches in both elections was followed by distinct levels of success in 2007 and 2012. Drawing on a qualitative comparative analysis, this article explores three hypotheses in order to enhance understanding of the divergent effectiveness of the UMP’s accommodative approaches in the elections studied.

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João Carvalho is invited Assistant Professor at ISCTE-IUL, and Principal Researcher at CIES-IUL, Lisbon. Contact email: joao.miguel.carvalho@iscte.pt.

Footnotes
References
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Government and Opposition
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