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How to Cope with Successful Right-Wing Populist Parties? The Case of Switzerland

Party Manifestos
Populism
Party Systems
Cecilia Biancalana
Université de Lausanne
Cecilia Biancalana
Université de Lausanne
Laurent Bernhard
University of Fribourg

Abstract

The success of the European right-wing populist parties (RRPP) have been analysed from different perspectives. Besides voting support, scholarship has focused the impact of RRPP on party system and government system (Zaslove & Wolinetz 2018) and consequences on the RRPP in terms in mainstreaming (Akkerman, De Lange & Rooduijn 2016). However, despite some attempts, the responses by mainstream parties in relation with the ongoing achievement by the RRPP, especially for those that participate to government coalition, have been neglected so far. This paper aims to study how the Swiss mainstream parties have responded to the challenge posed by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), one of the most successful RRPP in Western Europe (Albertazzi & McDonnell 2015; Mazzoleni 2018). Focusing on party manifestos and policy-making on immigration and EU issues throughout an in-depth analysis of roll call voting in the lower house of the Federal Assembly, the paper will analyse the interplay between the SVP, the Liberals, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats from 1995 to 2018.