1st Edition

Radical Left Voters in Western Europe

By Raul Gomez, Luis Ramiro Copyright 2023
    258 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Radical Left Voters in Western Europe explores who votes for Radical Left Parties in contemporary Western Europe, and why.

    Once considered a relic of the past which was doomed to disappear in affluent societies, Radical Left Parties were able to survive unprecedented electoral crises in the 1980s and 1990s to become a stable and significant feature of contemporary West European politics. Despite this, our knowledge of the electorate of contemporary Radical Left parties is extremely limited. To fill this gap, this book analyzes the radical left electorate in 17 West European countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) for a period of 18 years (2000–18). The research combines data from multiple sources (surveys, country-level data, and party-level data) to show how, amidst social and political change, Radical Left Parties have been able to maintain a relatively sizeable and clearly identifiable electorate with fairly similar socio-demographic and attitudinal features. Moreover, the book argues that in order to explain electoral support for Radical Left Parties it is important to consider not only voter characteristics but also the characteristics of the parties themselves and of the political and economic context in which they compete for votes.

    This book will be of interest to scholars of comparative politics, political sociology, electoral behaviour, and political parties.

    1 Introduction. Radical left parties in Western Europe and their electorates: decline, transformation, and persistence

    2 Explaining support for radical left parties: a framework for analysis

    3 The social basis of radical left parties: social stratification and the radical left in contemporary Western Europe

    4 Values, political attitudes, and policy positions of radical left parties’ voters: a distinctively progressive constituency

    5 Non-electoral political participation and civic engagement of radical left voters: a mobilized electorate

    6 The effect of the political, institutional, and socioeconomic context: economic crises and political discontent as factors fostering support for the radical left

    7 Parties’ behaviour, party competition, an d voter support for the radical left: the importance of parties’ policy positions

    8 Conclusion. Explaining voter support for radical left parties in Western Europe: the role of individual and contextual factors


    Raul Gomez is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool, UK. His research interests lie at the intersection of sociology and comparative political science, and his areas of expertise include electoral behaviour, political parties, and public opinion. His research has been published in journals such as the European Journal of Political Research; British Journal of Political Science; Journal of Common Market Studies; West European Politics; and Party Politics.

    Luis Ramiro is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at UNED, Spain. He is Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics of Sciences Po Paris, France. His research centres on political attitudes, political organisations, and political behaviour. His most recent publications have focused on the vote for radical-left parties, party organization, and political attitudes. His work has been published in the European Journal of Political Research; West European Politics; Party Politics; European Political Science Review; and Political Studies.