The far right vote in the European elections: It’s not the economy, stupid

Alexandre Afonso

Graph

In the European elections yesterday, the far right has done extremely well in the UK, in France, Austria and Denmark (four fairly affluent Northern countries) while – Greece set aside – it has stayed non-existent in the countries most severely hit by the crisis, Portugal and Spain. Golden Dawn in Greece is the exception, but it is nowhere near UKIP, the Front National or the Danish People’s party. The idea that crisis and unemployment feed the far right is appealing, but it does not seem to be supported by facts.

I have made a quick scatterplot plotting together the share of votes for the biggest far right party in each country that took part in the EP elections 2014 yesterday (on the y axis, from Euractiv) and the harmonised unemployment rate (on the x axis, from Eurostat) (datafile here). Any mistake in the coding of far-right parties…

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