Eager to leave? Populist radical right parties’ responses to the UK’s Brexit vote
journal contributionposted on 26.09.2019, 14:11 by Stijn van Kessel, Nicola ChelottiNicola Chelotti, Helen DrakeHelen Drake, Juan Roch Gonzalez, Patricia Rodi
Populist radical right (PRR) parties are naturally Eurosceptic. Many responded positively to the British referendum vote to leave the European Union; various observers even spoke of a potential PRR-instigated ‘domino effect’. We ask whether this Brexit-enthusiasm prevailed in the proximate aftermath of the UK referendum, by means of a comparative analysis of PRR parties’ national election campaigns in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy. The analysis considers whether the UK referendum result served as an external stimulus for PRR parties to harden their Euroscepticism and politicise the issue of European integration. The results show that this has, generally speaking, not been the case, and that Brexit has also not stimulated or amplified calls for leaving the EU. Relating our findings to literature on the politicisation of European integration and strategic party behaviour, we argue that PRR parties had few incentives to act differently given the uninviting political opportunity structure.
Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/R001847/1]
- Loughborough University London