Comparative European Politics

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 872–896 | Cite as

Understanding shifts in voting behaviour away from and towards radical right populist parties: The case of the PVV between 2007 and 2012

  • Hilde Coffé
  • Job van den Berg
Original Paper


Over the last few decades, radical right populist (RRP) parties have been electorally successful in different European countries. The success of some of these parties has, however, not been stable. Some RRP parties have indeed been successful at some elections but experienced substantive electoral losses in subsequent elections. The aim of our study is to test the extent to which changes in political attitudes during an electoral cycle relate to the likelihood of voters to switch their voting intentions from any party to a RRP party and from a RRP party to any other party. Taking advantage of Dutch panel data (LISS) collected in 2007, 2010 and 2012 (N = 1,494 for 2007–2010; N = 2,126 for 2010–2012), our binary logistic regression analyses indicate that growing sympathy for the party leader (Geert Wilders) initiates a move to the PVV while decreasing sympathy for Geert Wilders relates to a shift away from the PVV. Changes in attitudes towards immigrants, Euroscepticism and political inefficacy and distrust, do not seem to matter when mean levels for these attitudes are controlled for.


radical right populism volatility PVV party leader change in party preference the Netherlands 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of Wellington - Political Science & International Relations ProgrammeWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.TNS NIPO/Kantar PublicAmsterdamNetherlands

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