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Voting - Relationship between economic factors and the probability to vote on populist parties : A study of 2006 Swedish election to parliament

by Pete, Kristof

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of the thesis is to identify relationships between economic factors and the probability to vote on populist parties. The results are in turn based on the populist parties’ outcome in the 2006 Swedish election to parliament. Parties below the 4 percent margin, prior to the election, which is the percentage point required to enter the parliament, are defined as populist parties. Furthermore, based on theoretical and previous empirical research, seven economic variables are chosen; disposable income, income distribution, municipal tax rate, unemployment and higher education. In addition to these five, are the number of crime incidents reported, and the share of people born outside of the European Union also included. Moreover, the study is conducted at a regional, or more explicitly, at a municipal level, implying that 290 observations are used for each variable, in a total of five regressions. These are performed to test the diversity of populist parties.The findings confirm that there are obvious relationships between the chosen variables and the probability of voting on populist parties, as the majority of the regressions explain 25 to 35 percent of the variation in the voting decision. These figures seem consistent, since ideological and factual issues are more important to populist party sympathizers.Nevertheless, the results show that when it comes to the economic variables - unemployment, education, disposable income and consequently the municipal tax rate are the ones which concerns people the most when voting on populist parties. Additionally, as the share of people born outside of the European Union increases, the probability of voting in favor of Sverigedemokraterna also increases.Finally, the growth of populist parties or of Sverigedemokraterna in particular, forces the conventional parties to adopt similar political standpoints in order to gain votes. Implying that if the present economic and political situation persists, populist parties’, especially Sverigedemokraterna’s policies will thrive in Swedish politics.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:economic voting populism behaviour political competition

ISBN:

Date of Publication:09/25/2007

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