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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Gender Gap in Radical Right Voting: The Supply Side

Party Manifestos
Eelco Harteveld
University of Amsterdam
Eelco Harteveld
University of Amsterdam
Stefan Dahlberg
University of Gothenburg
Andrej Kokkonen
University of Gothenburg

Women are considerably less likely to vote for radical right-wing parties than men in most countries. Some theorizing exists on the topic, but empirical testing has been limited and results have been contradictory (e.g. Givens 2004, Gidengil et al 2005; Rippeyoung 2007). The size and background of this ‘gender gap’ differs between countries. We argue that this phenomenon can only be fully understood in the context of the supply side: whether men and women are attracted differently to these parties depends on what these parties offer in terms of ideology, leadership and style. We analyze to what extent differences in the size of the gender gap can be attributed to such party-level characteristics, and whether different parties attract male and female voters for different reasons. We expect that the gender gap will be smaller for radical right-wing parties that are located closer to the general female position. Especially, the role of emancipatory values is of interest. Several radical right parties increasingly campaign on the defense of liberal emancipatory values (such as gender equality) against allegedly conservative (non-Western) immigrants, and this could potentially turn women and the radical right into unexpected allies. Additionally, this study might even explain differences in the overall electoral success of radical right-wing parties. We combine large-scale voter survey data with party-level data (expert surveys and manifesto content analyses), allowing us to investigate a large number of European parties.
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