Support for the Far Right

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm off to Canada tomorrow to present a paper on the relationship between asylum seekers and support for far-right parties in English local elections (authored with a Ph.D. student of mine) at a conference. Rather than force you to read this article once it sees the light of day in publication (let alone now in its rather unpolished form), I'll skip to the end: variance in the number of asylum seekers across constituencies has no observable relationship with support for the BNP or UKIP.

However, the punchline: both (legal) immigrants and indigenous non-white population do have a strong relationship with support for far-right parties. But, as I've been saying all along, they're not racist. Or at least they say so. As for their supporters . . .

An interesting aside here will be to further break down differences in support between the BNP and UKIP. UKIP are clearly populist, and their appeal has racist undertones, but they strongly claim to not be racist (unless you're an EU immigrant, which they want to ban) and placing them on the far-right scale is not as easy for political scientists as, say, the explicitly "non-racist" BNP.


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