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Who votes for the European far right? And why?

by editor

As recent national elections in several European countries have shown, far-right voters no longer fit the stereotype of the angry, old white man, but now often include women, young people and even migrants.

In this episode we unpack what drives voters to abandon the mainstream and more traditional party loyalties for the far right, and how poverty, or fear of it, motivates typical supporters of the AfD in Germany, Geert Wilder’s PVV in the Netherlands, or Chega in Portugal.

Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by POLITICO reporters Hanne Cokelaere, James Angelos and Aitor Hernandez-Morales, who were recently dispatched to countries where far-right parties are gaining ground ahead of June’s European election.

Later on we have a fascinating conversation with Catherine de Vries, professor of political science and dean of international affairs at Bocconi University in Milan. Her research focuses on how economic hardship and problems with public services such as schools, health care or transport can fuel the far right.

Further reading:

Germany’s far-right believers blame spy claims on ‘witch hunt’ by James Angelos

Portugal’s far-right vaccine stops working in the Algarve by Victor Jack

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