Not So Radical After All: Ideological Diversity Among Radical Right Supporters and Its Implications
Radical right voters and parties are often characterized as conservative and traditionalist on issues of gender, sexuality, and morality. Common wisdom is that they reject the progressive sociopolitical shifts that began in the 1970s and early 1980s. However, some radical right parties, such as the Dutch Party for Freedom, maintain moderate positions on morality issues. Are radical right supporters still traditionalist? Latent class analysis applied to European Social Survey data from 10 West European countries reveals that radical right supporters belong to three ideologically distinct classes. The fastest growing group is the sexually-modern nativists, who make up about 45% by 2016. Contrary to extant literature, traditionalism no longer appears to be a major motivation for today’s radical right. Instead, immigration and nationalism are now the core common concerns for radical right supporters in Western Europe. This development may be due to the Euro crisis and the migration crisis, which have increased the salience of national borders.