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You need answer the questions. The questions are

What are the social/economic roots of radical left parties?

How have these parties fared once in government? The paper should be 300 words.

Chapter 5
The Radical Left and Immigration
Copyright 2016. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.
Resilient or Acquiescent in the
Face of the Radical Right?
Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
Expectations that the Great Recession would result in greater support for
RLPs have been fulfilled only partly (see chapters 2 and 18 of this volume).
The general picture is one of moderate and uneven growth. While electoral
gains for radical right populist parties have also been varied, they appear to
have gained more in both national elections and in elections to the European
Parliament (not least in the early stages of the Great Recession).1 What can
explain these apparently counter-intuitive developments? Luke March has
highlighted that RLPs ‘lack a vision’ in contrast to the relative success of
radical right parties (hereafter RRPs) in crafting a narrative that resonates with
many voters’ sense of grievance and insecurity.2 Moreover, while Cas Mudde
found reasons to caution against linking the crisis to a growth in the salience of
anti-immigration sentiment, recent data highlights a need for further scrutiny.3
There has been considerable debate regarding whether or not mainstream
parties have adopted less tolerant policy stances on migration control and
integration in response to the growth of the radical Right, indicating a ‘contagion effect’. In this chapter, we ask whether the radical Right’s exploitation
of migration-related issues has also obliged RLPs to change their policies.
It could be argued that RLPs are caught between two key responses: on the
one hand, defending a universalist position of (international) solidarity with
often marginalised and oppressed communities; on the other, being wary of
immigration as a manifestation of globalisation at home, undercutting wages
and job security. Odmalm and Bale identify a similar dilemma facing the Left
as a whole, but it is arguably more acute for RLPs given their adherence to
critiquing globalisation and to making common cause with the oppressed.4
This might also coincide with a strategic dilemma of building support from
migrant communities versus the fear of losing votes of the working class
(often seen as a traditional source of RLP support).
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AN: 1402497 ; Luke March, Daniel Keith.; Europe’s Radical Left : From Marginality to the Mainstream?
Account: s8944803.main.ehost
Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
Below, we explore how RLPs have responded to these dilemmas where
parties of the radical Right have grown significantly since the crisis (see
Table 5.1). Taking the examples of Denmark (Socialist People’s Party [SF]
and Red-Green Alliance [EL]), Sweden (Left Party), the Netherlands (Socialist Party [SP]) and Greece (Syriza), we contrast parties that have maintained
a broadly ‘solidaristic’ stance on immigration with those who have adopted
(or sustained) more restrictive and integrationist policies. We analyse these
parties because they come from the largest of the RLP sub-categories that
March identifies – the democratic socialists.5 This provides a basis for future
comparative research with other RLP subgroups.
Our analysis draws on interviews with party elites and is supplemented
by aggregate data from the Comparative Manifestos Project (CMP) and
the Chapel Hill Expert Survey. The interviewees included members of the
parties’ leading bodies and immigration spokespeople. These interviewees
were selected because they were well positioned to provide information
regarding debates on immigration within their parties and actions (e.g.
protests) that the parties engaged in as they responded to the radical
We begin by reviewing divisions in the existing literature regarding the
way that we should expect RLPs and RRPs to interact. On one side, writers
such as Arzheimer view RLPs and RRPs as occupying totally different parts
of the spectrum and as not being in competition. Yet there is another prevalent view, which has become stronger with Syriza’s more populist turn, that
left and right radicalism are part of the same protest phenomenon or are more
similar than they might otherwise appear.7
The following section compares the stances of RLPs on the three particularly salient migration-related issues of immigration, asylum and integration.
We find only limited evidence of contagion, although it would be wrong to
say that RLPs are entirely immune. A degree of variation does, however, exist
in RLP immigration policies and in their responses to the radical Right, with
the main explanation being party origins and office-seeking strategies. What
stands out, however, is that even the RLPs that are most restrictive (i.e. seek
to restrict levels of net immigration) are still relatively inclusive and promote
rights for migrants in their programmes.
The chapter then analyses the organisational and electoral strategies
pursued by RLPs. We examine the extent to which RLPs compete with the
radical Right for support and to which they have confronted the radical Right
in campaigns and protests. We argue that the leaders of the RLPs studied
here do not perceive electoral competition as coming from the radical Right.
Instead, most seek to present their parties as a repository for disaffected supporters of social democratic parties when these parties adopt more restrictive
immigration policies. While the RLPs had generally been active in protesting
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Party for
22 (Sept
19 (Sept
2015 poll)
2015 poll)
The Netherlands
Left Party Democrats
16.8 and 7.0 and
36.3 and 6.3 and 7
People’s Party People’s Party
RLP and RRP Electoral Results in Parliamentary Elections as Share of the Vote (and Recent Opinion Poll Data)
Sources: Parties and Elections in Europe, ‘The Netherlands’, available at http://www.parties-and-elections.eu/. 2015. (election results); Ipsos, Politieke Barometer, IPSOS.
‘Political Barometer’ available at: http://www.ipsos-nederland.nl/content.asp?targetid=1155 (opinion polls), 2015.
Poll average taken from: http://peilingwijzer.tomlouwerse.nl/. 1 September 2015.
Table 5.1
The Radical Left and Immigration
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
against the radical Right, we show that RLPs have made only limited achievements in forging links with migrant community groups.
As Joost van Spanje notes, the conventional wisdom has been that the electoral success and increased prominence of the radical Right in political debate
has had a significant impact on other political parties and promoted a toughening of policies on immigration.8 How far might we expect RLPs to have
been susceptible to such ‘contagion effects’? This depends on the extent to
which such a contagion effect exists and how far it extends across the political spectrum. Indeed, recent attempts to gauge the impact of RRPs on other
party families have come to rather divergent conclusions.
First, Tjitske Akkerman’s analysis of Western European party positions
on immigration since the early 1990s finds that while some centre-right parties adopted restrictive positions on immigration and migrant rights, this has
not spread to social democratic parties.9 Aside from some more restrictive
positions on labour migration, the mainstream Left has generally followed
‘a fairly consistent cosmopolitan course’.10
Similarly, Sonia Alonso and Sara Claro da Fonseca highlight the ideological and strategic dilemmas facing mainstream left parties.11 To them, such
parties’ memberships consist of two groups: a well-educated group with liberal values and ‘an inclination towards … social egalitarianism and solidarity
that is defined in universalist … terms’; the other, the traditional working
class who feel threatened by elements of globalisation such as immigration.
Their research, based on analysis of the party stances using CMP data, suggests that mainstream left parties have shifted towards ‘tougher’ migration
policies. Last, Tim Bale et al. use a qualitative analysis of responses by social
democrats to the radical Right in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and
Austria to highlight considerable variation.12
RLPs are generally overlooked in these studies. Nevertheless, van Spanje
calls into question the idea that the impact of contagion is greater for parties of the Centre-Right than the Left or that that parties of what he calls the
‘niche’ Left are the least affected by contagion. His analysis indicates that
some of these parties have shifted their position (he cites the French and
Greek communists and Danish and Italian Greens as examples).13
In contrast, Alonso and da Fonseca suggest that left-libertarian radical
parties may be beneficiaries of the dilemmas which immigration presents the
Centre-Left. Any move towards a tougher immigration stance risks alienating the Centre-Left’s more universalist-inclined supporters who may prefer
more radical parties maintaining such policies. Similarly, Kai Arzheimer
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The Radical Left and Immigration
argues that RLPs are least likely to be affected since they have a very different demographic of support and ‘occupy diametrically opposed positions in
West European policy space’.14 Overall, then, recent research is divided and
unclear on the extent to which the radical Right has redefined RLP positions
on migration. The positions of RLPs on immigration, should however, be of
interest to political scientists when Bale et al. find that the positions of RLPs
are significant in shaping the positions of the Centre-Left. More concretely,
when RLPs politicise immigration it becomes harder for social democratic
parties to avoid the issue.15
Furthermore, the dilemmas facing RLPs over immigration issues are not
entirely new. During the 1970s the French Communist Party, adopted a ‘welfare chauvinist’ position towards migrant communities in its traditional power
bases of working-class communities. This policy became most visible when
a communist mayor of a Parisian suburb oversaw the destruction of accommodation for migrant workers.16 This has even been interpreted as effectively
facilitating rather than pre-empting the emergence of the radical Right.
This section analyses RLP positions on immigration, asylum and integration.
It demonstrates that our case studies generally promote policies inconsistent
with the idea that they have undergone significant contagion from the radical
Right. While it points to a general overlap in the parties’ policies on immigration issues, it highlights several important differences.
Starting with the parties that favour less restrictive immigration policies, the
Left Party has maintained a relatively open immigration policy compared
with other Swedish parties (excluding the Greens). It opposes restrictive EUlevel policies and visa regulations and calls for an easing of ‘Fortress Europe’
policies.17 It has generally viewed labour migration as a good thing and while
it is concerned that migrants are used as a source of cheap labour to undercut
wages and conditions for Swedish workers, it campaigns for all workers to
be included in trade union collective bargaining arrangements rather than for
migration restrictions.18 In addition, the Left Party calls for social policies to
combat inequalities that migrants face.
Syriza also has relatively flexible programmatic positions on immigration.
It has sought an easing of rules on Greek citizenship and to grant citizenship to
large numbers of ‘illegal’ migrants. It argues that Greece is suffering a humanitarian crisis because of large migration flows but rather than tighter restrictions,
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
it wants migrants to be freer to travel into the European Union to their favoured
destinations.19 Syriza also opposes laws that deny citizenship (and social and
political rights) to the children of migrants born in Greece. It wants better
regulation of labour contracts for migrant workers. It seeks to address their
exploitation, in terms of lower wages and poor working conditions, to provide
help for migrants receiving physical abuse from their employers.20 The party
also seeks to give migrants access to welfare services and education.
In contrast, the SP has taken a more ambiguous stance on immigration policy. It has held a rather restrictive position on levels of immigration for nearly
30 years. Its arguments are largely on economic grounds, claiming that open
labour markets are a feature of neoliberalism that exploits the migrant and the
national worker.21 The SP does not think that the Netherlands is full, but that
immigration should take place at a more manageable rate that does not destabilise the Dutch labour market.22 Overall the party’s stance combines some
restrictions on immigration, including restoration of work permits to East
European workers, with policies to combat discrimination against migrants.
It wants to see Dutch labour standards applied to migrant working conditions
and fines for companies that violate these rules.23 It opposes policies of repatriation suggested by the radical Right or plans to restrict migrants’ voting
rights and access to social security.
In Denmark, the SF did not agree with Denmark’s controversial ‘24 year’
rule (a law restricting the right for family reunification to those over the age
of 24 years old in order to prevent forced marriages). However, before the SF
entered office in coalition with the social democrats in 2011 it accepted the
need to compromise on the issue, since the social democrats are more restrictive on immigration.24 SF seeks to remove application fees for residency;
however, it argues that migrants seeking family reunification should demonstrate that they are engaged in work or education and talks more of attracting
skilled workers.25 In comparison, the EL has been more open to increased
immigration. It has sought to make it easier for migrants to obtain citizenship
and to facilitate family reunification by abolishing the ‘24 year rule’.26
A clear distinction has been apparent between the approaches of the Left
Party, EL and Syriza compared with the more restrictive immigration policies of SF and SP. Nevertheless, we also find areas of overlap between the
parties. While none of them favoured an open borders policy, even the more
restrictive policies of the SP and SF are designed to slow the pace and to
focus on integration first, but do not oppose increased immigration rates in the
future. Where the parties have called for restrictions on immigration, this has
largely been based on opposition to neoliberalism and the distortion of labour
markets. All the parties have opposed employers seeking to lower wages
through cheap migrant labour and all claim to seek to prevent the exploitation
of migrants by ensuring that they receive equal pay and employment rights.
There is little sign of welfare chauvinism, with most parties seeking equal or
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The Radical Left and Immigration
additional benefits for migrants. However, while Syriza and the Left Party
most clearly emphasise cosmopolitanism/internationalism, the other parties
tend to emphasise national solutions to immigration problems.
The Left Party criticises Swedish government asylum policies, calling for a
more generous approach, including full respect for international conventions,
and arguing that too many asylum-seekers have been forced to return to their
country of origin despite risks of persecution.27 It calls for more funding to
be provided for local authorities dealing with asylum cases and to ensure that
welfare payments to asylum-seekers are raised to allow a decent standard
of living.28 In Greece, Syriza was also generally sympathetic to the rights
of asylum-seekers, arguing that their predicament was a humanitarian crisis
that must be addressed. However, it saw the problem as one for the European
Union as a whole and not just for Greece. In particular it criticised the Dublin II Convention that makes the first EU country that asylum-seekers enter
responsible for providing asylum. Instead, Syriza called for reforms to spread
the burden imposed upon Greece, a speeding up of asylum procedures and
the granting of travel papers to migrants. Since coming to power, however,
the party has been obliged to adopt policies which are at odds with its opposition rhetoric. While initially the new government appeared to be acting on
its commitments, aiming to close the detention camps set up to cope with the
large number of asylum seekers, the intensification of the asylum crisis and
pressures from the EU to engage in a broader asylum agreement with Turkey
have led to a very restrictive policy. As part of the EU-Turkey agreement,
Greece has been deporting some asylum seekers and detaining others in conditions as bad as those in place under previous governments.29
The SP is closer to the other RLPs on asylum issues than on other immigration-related policy areas. It has called for changes to make it harder to send
asylum-seekers back to dangerous states including Iraq and Somalia and giving child asylum-seekers the right to stay after five years. It opposed detention
centres, and wanted to provide aid to Greece on the EU border to improve the
conditions facing asylum-seekers.30
Similarly, the SF has called for more humane conditions for asylum-seekers and for reforms to ensure that asylum-seekers can work outside asylum
centres after staying in Denmark for a period of six months.31 It seeks better
protection for child refugees and to tackle human trafficking. However, while
the SF wanted to maintain Denmark’s annual quota of 500 refugees, the EL
called for this to be expanded.32 The EL campaigned to make it harder to send
asylum-seekers back to Iraq where they could face persecution.33 It called for
improvements in the conditions for asylum-seekers and to make it easier to
apply for asylum.34
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
In sum, all the parties examined have had more in common over asylum
policy than in the other two policy areas (at least until Syriza entered government). They have generally wanted more open asylum policies (or at
least to defend existing commitments) and sought to prevent the return of
asylum-seekers to states where they were at risk from persecution. They have
demanded better conditions for asylum-seekers (including access to welfare
benefits and the right to live outside detention centres) as well as fairer and
speedier procedures. Internationally, they have sought conflict prevention in
asylum-seekers’ states of origin, and some seek to abolish or reform the Dublin II Accord. To most RLPs, it is necessary to reform this process to relieve
the burden on southern European states.
The Left Party has maintained a policy of multiculturalism and has called for
interaction between communities. It supported language courses for migrants
but opposed citizenship or cultural tests. Instead it has wanted greater
emphasis on encouraging the recruitment of migrants into employment and
opportunities for communities to study in their native language.35 Syriza has
also adopted a broadly multicultural approach, respecting the different values
of communities (e.g. criticising the publication of cartoons portraying the
Prophet Mohammed). It seeks to remove the requirement of speaking Greek
as a criteria for residency, promotes intercultural schools and education
schemes for migrants to notify them of their social rights.36
In comparison, the SP has stressed the importance of integration in protecting migrant workers from segregation.37 It argues that the over-representation
of migrant communities in crime statistics, and their experiences of educational underachievement and poor housing would have been prevented
had the party’s integration policies been applied.38 The SP has stressed the
need for education and citizenship tests but has sought to prevent these from
becoming a financial burden on migrant communities.39 While critics of the
SP’s stance have argued that it effectively places the blame upon the migrant
communities and that its original policies on integration were racist, SP politicians have argued that their policy is not rooted in religion or ideas of cultural superiority and that it sought to ensure that migrants are treated fairly.40
The Danish RLPs have been split on the issue of integration. The SF sought
to send a message that migrants must integrate and respect the ways of Danish society – including democracy, freedom of speech and equality – and to
counter the radicalisation of migrants. It demanded housing and education
policies to dismantle ghettos and to relocate migrants by ensuring all schools
have 30 per cent socially vulnerable migrants to ensure wealthy municipalities take greater responsibility. While the SF opposed a citizenship test it
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The Radical Left and Immigration
supported language tests and giving migrant families vouchers to help them
experience cultural activities.41
These policies were fiercely criticised by the EL, which adopted a multicultural approach. Unlike the SF, it argued that counselling rather than
Denmark’s ‘24 year rule’ should tackle forced marriage.42 The EL opposed
language tests and argued that children from migrant backgrounds should
learn their parents’ native languages.43 It also criticised the SF for stigmatising immigrants by talking of breaking up ‘ghettos’ and associating them
with crime.44 Instead, it called for community mentors to provide role models
for young migrants and urban regeneration to combat the poverty faced by
All five parties have wanted to reduce the cost of obtaining citizenship and
most took a liberal position towards the rights of migrant communities to
freedom of speech. Generally they have supported rights to wearing religious
dress including the Burqa and shared a willingness to tackle Islamophobia.
The parties have also largely agreed on helping migrants to succeed through
integrating into the labour market, through better language training, work
placements with industry and expanding access to education.
However we can identify three differences between RLPs on integration.
First, some parties called for greater levels of cultural integration such as
citizenship or language tests while others favour a multicultural society.
Second, the parties have differed in terms of their willingness to link migrant
communities to crime and social problems. Third, some parties promoted
integration through using housing and education policies to avoid segregation
and to break up so-called ‘ghettos’. Others sought to help migrants where
they reside through urban regeneration policies and argued that it is immoral
to encourage migrants to move location.
Summarising the results of our analysis we have found a high degree of
overlap on a number of immigration policies in the five RLPs. In general
terms it appears that they have maintained a principled position on immigration, indicating that RLPs have experienced limited contagion from the
radical Right. Data from the CMP (see Table 5.2) and Chapel Hill Expert
Survey (see Table 5.3) also show that all five RLPs maintained positions that
oppose highly restrictive migration policies and tough positions on integrating migrants. Moreover, this data indicates that since 2008 V and the SP may
have become less restrictive on immigration (see Table 5.3).
However, we have also found some important differences between the
policies of RLPs. Some (V, EL, Syriza) were more engaged in taking and
promoting multiculturalism and have less restrictive immigration policies
than others (SP, SF). This is again reinforced by the Chapel Hill data and to
some extent by manifesto data on multiculturalism (summarised in Tables 5.2
and 5.3).
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V Positive
V Negative
Comparative Manifesto Project Data: Multiculturalism Positive or Negative Expressed as a Percentage of the Manifesto
*Formerly Synaspismós
Source: Pola Lehmann, Theres Matthieß, Theres Merz, Nicolas, Regel, Sven, Annika Werner. Manifesto Corpus. Version: 2000–2014 (Berlin: WZB Berlin Social Science
Center, 2015).
Table 5.2
Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
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The Radical Left and Immigration
Table 5.3
Chapel Hill Expert Survey Data on Immigration and Multiculturalism
vs Integration
Left Party
Key: Position on immigration policy: 0 strongly opposes tough policy, 10 strongly supports tough policy.
Importance/salience of immigration policy: 0 not important at all, 10 very important.
Source: Ryan Bakker, Erica Edwards, Liesbet Hooghe, Seth Jolly, Jelle Koedam, Filip Kostelka, Gary Marks,
Jonathan Polk, Jan Rovny, Gijs Schumacher, Marco Steenbergen, Milada Vachudova, and Marko Zilovic.
1999–2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey Trend File. Version 1.1 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2015). Available at: chesdata.eu.
This section will show that RLP responses to the radical Right (and their
immigration policies more generally) have been shaped by both contextual
factors and internal party developments. The wider environment and the
nature of the radical Right clearly matter. For example, the humanitarian
crisis in Greece and the actions taken by Golden Dawn made the nature of
immigration debates more immediate. Golden Dawn is qualitatively different from the parties in the other countries studied here as it is on the extreme
Right, rather than simply being a radical right populist party.46 Consequently,
Syriza encountered additional pressure to engage in seeking protection for
migrants, through housing shelters and educating the police due to the physical attacks on migrants. Institutional factors also come into play with Syriza
having called for the removal of immunity for MPs in response to violence
by politicians from Golden Dawn.47
However, the more restrictive immigration policies and tougher integration
policies of the SP and SF are not simply a direct result of contagion from
the Right but have been shaped by internal factors. The SP has had the most
restrictive and integrationist policies. These were motivated by ideological
conviction and its own attempts to prevent divisions between migrants and
workers in the 1980s that pre-date the rise of the radical Right in the Netherlands. In Denmark, SF politicians claimed it was not a fear of losing votes
that led it in this direction but the adoption of an office-seeking strategy and
its attempt to forge cooperation with the social democrats (who did fear the
loss of votes to the Right).48 This is supported by reports that its attempts to
develop relations with the social democrats involved major compromises.49
In this respect a form of indirect contagion can be identified. Chapel Hill data
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
also indicates that Syriza adopted a more restrictive position on immigration
in 2014, which may reflect its office-seeking strategies.
RLPs have had some impact in terms of enacting immigration policy
reforms while participating in coalition governments during the crisis. Syriza
was criticised for coalescing with the anti-immigration right-wing populist
Independent Greeks (ANEL) in January 2015. However, as the junior partner, ANEL appeared to have had limited impact on immigration policy and
a human rights activist, Tassia Christodoulopoulou, became minister for
immigration. Syriza passed reforms to make it easier for migrants to gain
Greek nationality (without support from ANEL but from the social democratic
PASOK). While these reforms may have been narrower than those Syriza had
promised, this represented a significant change.
In contrast to the position encountered by Syriza, it has been more common for RLPs to be junior partners in governing coalitions. In Denmark, the
SF worked to relax internal EU border controls introduced by the previous
government.50 Having been constrained by its coalition agreement in 2011, it
only sought minor reforms including the relaxation of family reunification for
migrants. Since it was only a support party to the government and not a coalition member, the SF’s rival EL appeared to have more success in negotiating
concessions in 2012, including a deal to reduce the time that refugee children
spent in asylum centres. This raises questions as to whether RLPs may have
more influence over immigration policy by remaining outside the coalition,
ironically perhaps mirroring the practice of radical right parties.
Elizabeth Gautier of the PCF argues that ‘Left Parties don’t yet have a
successful strategy to contest the extreme right’.51 Indeed, none of elites from
the RLPs studied here thought that their parties’ organisational or programmatic responses to the radical Right had been particularly successful given
the ongoing growth of the latter. Studies of Swedish municipalities show that
a stronger stance against the Sweden Democrats from the Left Party correlates with stronger gains for the Right and simply brings more attention to
the radical Right.52
Interviews with officials responsible for immigration policy from our case
studies suggest that they do perceive the Great Recession to have contributed
to the growth of the radical Right. The RLPs studied here, have however
differed in the extent and nature of their readiness to confront RRPs directly
during the economic crisis. The Swedish Left Party has a strong anti-fascist
tradition, and has been to the fore in opposing the right-wing populist Sweden
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The Radical Left and Immigration
Democrats.53 Left Party politicians initially refused to share the stage with
Sweden Democrats while forcefully arguing against their policies. Prior to
the 2010 election, the Left Party was active in organising counterdemonstrations and rapid response tactics to oppose Sweden Democrat meetings.54
Since the Sweden Democrats gained parliamentary representation in 2010,
the adversarial strategy of the Left Party continued; however it focused on
parliamentary debates and social media to counter the radical Right’s claims.
Syriza too has been active in organising protests against the radical Right
and has regularly organised conferences to promote migrant rights. It has
run a ‘Solidarity for all’ campaign to encourage Greeks to show solidarity
with migrants throughout the economic crisis. The party sought to educate
the police to break Golden Dawn’s influence and visited schools to educate
children about migrant issues and racism, in order to limit Golden Dawn’s
appeal and to promote a cultural change. At the European level, it has worked
with groups including European Antifascist Manifesto and organised protests
and seminars against the threat from the Right.55 Activists in the party have
wanted to go further, however, in holding counterdemonstrations and organising ‘defence committees’ to protect migrants.
By contrast the Dutch SP has been critical of Geert Wilders, the leader of
the radical right Party for Freedom, but has also been reluctant to organise
protests and to engage in such direct confrontation with the radical Right.
Instead, the party’s vote- and office-seeking strategies have seen its leaders
seek to campaign on issues that they believed would deliver more votes, rather
than to spend time organising to fight the radical Right. In Denmark, the SF
has opposed the Danish People’s Party. Its youth organisation was active in
organising counterdemonstrations against them. Since the economic crisis,
however, immigration became less of an issue for the SF and the more radical
EL became more engaged in campaigns on immigration. The EL was highly
active in protesting against the Danish People’s Party (e.g. at demonstrations
in May 2013 in Copenhagen). This has become one of the EL’s top priorities.56
The RLPs have all tolerated the right of RRPs to contest elections but they
have all opposed the radical Right in parliament, in publications and in the
media. The policy documents of V and Syriza now identify the radical Right
as their main ‘enemy’ due to the nature of their policy proposals.57 It is clear
that some RLPs have also taken an adversarial approach towards confronting
RRPs through organising counterdemonstrations.
Most of the RLPs studied here have developed some links with migrant communities. The Swedish Left Party has long maintained links with migrant
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
community organisations.58 The Dutch SP has also been active in campaigning to promote increased rights for refugees in The Hague where politicians
are active in helping to organise refugee shelters. Of our case studies, however, only Syriza has really made it a priority to develop such links during the
crisis. This was when the problems faced by migrants had become a major
humanitarian problem. Where Syriza has governed at the local level it has
engaged in providing free food and shelter for homeless migrants, and protecting them from attacks by the Far Right. Syriza also engaged in direct action to
provide meals for migrants. In Denmark, the EL worked with asylum-seekers,
who have gone underground having left government centres and protested in
Copenhagen alongside Iraqi refugees facing deportation in 2011.59
To at least a limited extent, however, our case studies suggest that RLPs
have encountered internal divisions over immigration and their responses to
the radical Right. Both the SP and the EL experienced internal debates about
the selection of migrant candidates for parliamentary elections. For example,
when a female Muslim candidate, Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, gained a place on
the EL’s list for the parliamentary elections in 2007, a debate unfolded as to
whether this broke the party’s secular image. Similarly, feminists within V
have regularly criticised the treatment of women in migrant communities and
changes to SF’s immigration policies resulted in internal criticisms. In 2010,
the SP’s then-leader Agnes Kant faced internal dissent when she labelled
scapegoating of migrants by Geert Wilders’ PVV as the number one threat
to Dutch society.
Migrants remain poorly represented as parliamentarians in several of our
case studies (EL 0 per cent; SF 0 per cent; Syriza 6.5 per cent; SP 6.6 per
cent; conversely the Left Party has 24 per cent).60 No party had implemented
quotas to ensure the representation of migrants in their parliamentary groups
or national leaderships (however the data for the Left Party warrants further investigation). The Left Party’s congress has, however, made a vague
commitment to increasing the proportion of its elected representatives from
immigrant backgrounds.61 Whether or not this has contributed to its higher
levels of representation of migrant candidates warrants further investigation.
Most of the parties studied (including the Left Party, SP and SF) have
failed to launch new links with migrant communities since the onset of the
crisis and only Syriza has explicitly invited migrants to join. It appears that
RLPs may be lagging behind trade unions in terms of launching initiatives to
recruit members from migrant communities.62 While researchers have found
that data on the proportion of RLP party members from migrant backgrounds
is not available, this is generally regarded as lower than their relative share of
the general population.63 Moreover, SP politicians argue that their party sees
migrant groups as relatively disparate, rather than a united group, and prefers
to deal with them on class terms.64
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The Radical Left and Immigration
While RLPs including Syriza organise conferences on migration and the
radical Right alongside other organisations including the Rosa Luxemburg
Foundation, they appear to have struggled to conceptualise the position of
migrants in society. These conferences have revealed tensions as RLP politicians have portrayed migrants as the ‘most working class’ or revolutionary
group in society, while representatives from migrant organisations have
argued that this takes a reductionist approach to their experiences.65
Research on the radical Right shows that a major source of its increased support has come from the male urban working class, historically seen as more
likely to vote left than right. This group tends to have lower educational qualifications and fears that competition from immigrants threatens its welfare,
jobs and culture.66 Several RRPs have also promoted interventionist welfare
policies that may appeal to these groups. The extent to which RLPs find themselves in competition with RRPs seems likely to be shaped by the extent to
which they depend on working-class support. RLPs often claim to be parties
‘for the working class’ and therefore appear susceptible to contagion.
However, party elites and spokespeople on immigration issues interviewed for all case studies claimed that that there were several reasons why
their parties only encountered limited electoral competition from the radical
Right. First, they believed their parties to be insulated by significant levels of
middle-class, public-sector or highly educated supporters who were unlikely
to defect to the Right. Second, their working-class supporters may have
values that are directly opposed to the radical Right, making an oppositional
strategy towards the radical Right popular. In Denmark, for example, the EL
gained support from the SF following a shift by the latter to more restrictive
approaches to immigration.67
Third, geographical differences can mean that the parties compete in different regions. In Sweden, for example Left Party politicians highlighted
their party’s support from unionised voters in the North while the SD has
tended to get support from non-unionised voters in the South. Last and most
significantly, they believed that their parties mostly competed with social
democratic and other left/green parties for voters, providing little reason for
contagion to occur.
RLP elites might be expected to downplay processes of contagion to present their parties as having stuck to their ideals. However, their arguments
are consistent with our analysis of party programmes and gain some support
from the available literature on RLP voters. For instance, Luke March and
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
Charlotte Rommerskirchen find that the presence of a successful radical right
party can reduce RLP electoral results by 3 per cent; however, they show that
RLP’s are mostly in competition with social democratic parties.68
The idea of a large transfer of votes between RLPs and RRPs is rejected
by Ramiro’s analysis of European Social Study data that finds only marginal
overlap between their voters in most countries.69 Ramiro argues that the vast
majority of those who end up voting for a RLP are not the same individuals
who consider voting for a RRP. Despite some degree of overlap in their voters’ social groups, it appears that RLP voters have different values. The literature on the SP adds support to this finding. Both the SP and Geert Wilders’
Party For Freedom (PVV) attract lower educated and income groups, working and lower-middle class; however, there is little evidence of voters switching between the parties.70 This is reinforced by research from the Netherlands
that finds little overlap between the votes of the SP and PVV in parliament
(and particularly on migration).71 In Sweden, Left Party voters also tend to
be ‘immigrant friendly’, freeing the party to take an adversarial approach.72
More broadly, Eurobarometer surveys indicate that ‘left-wing’ voters are the
least likely to say that immigrants do not contribute to the economy.73 This
indicates that the core voters of RLPs and RRPs are fundamentally different.
However, we do not discount room for overlap between the peripheral protest
voters that the parties try to attract.
The literature on our case studies supports the idea that their electorates
might present barriers to contagion. The RLP electorate is essentially split
between working class and highly educated groups.74 More specifically,
European Social Survey data suggests that all of our cases derive less than
half of their support from those identifying as working class (Left Party
34 per cent; SP 29 per cent; Syriza (plus KKE) 28 per cent and EL and SF
combined 18 per cent).75 For example, the Left Party draws more heavily on
support from the middle classes, students and public-sector workers than the
working classes.76 Studies also show that in 2012 the typical Syriza voter had
a degree or was still in university and that the party gained little support from
industrial workers.77
Several RLPs including the EL, SP and Syriza increased their vote simultaneously with RRPs, which some party leaders interpreted as a sign they
were not at risk of losing their voters.78 However, success may also give new
reasons for competition. After 2012 Syriza’s new-found success involved
expansion beyond the middle-class intelligentsia, to include a wider spectrum
of poor and working-class voters, it came into more direct competition with
Golden Dawn. Similarly, the EL’s politicians have targeted winning voters
from the Danish People’s Party and sections of the working class after their
party expanded in 2010.79 Even so, however, we find limited evidence of
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The Radical Left and Immigration
Support from Migrant Voters
While migration may or may not be an issue that could lose RLPs workingclass supporters, it may also be one that could generate new sources of support including support from migrant communities (as might related issues
such as the easing of citizenship rules). The evidence available on the voting
intentions of migrant communities is, however, patchy. Individual country
studies and some collective research projects (analysed below) have tried to
tease out voting intentions, but their findings are quite variable and inconsistent between cases. However, most of these studies find that the Left tends to
benefit from migrant votes.
One of the few comparative studies of migrant voting behaviour draws
upon the perspectives of national experts making use of available national
data to parse the allegiances of migrant communities.80 The analysis of the
Netherlands indicates lower levels for support for RLPs among migrant
communities than for the country as a whole: instead migrant communities
overwhelmingly supported the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid – PvdA).
While this may have been due to the SP’s ambivalent stance on immigration,
more recent studies suggest higher levels of migrant community support for
the SP – of up to 22 per cent of migrant community support.81 In Sweden,
non-European migrants were nearly three times as likely to support the Left
Party as other voters and high levels of support from migrants for RLPs were
also apparent in Denmark.82 Syriza’s policies have also been reciprocated by
support from those migrants who are able to vote.83
In explaining these trends, some analyses point to the relative youth of many
migrant communities, while others highlight rationalist explanations in that
RLP welfare policies may be appealing due to migrants’ lower socio-economic
status.84 There may be significant ‘group effects’ in shaping migrant voting
behaviour but the factor which seems less significant is ideology – indeed most
analyses highlight the paradox that migrants may hold values that are more conservative than the parties for whom they vote.85 Since most studies of migrant
voting are based on research carried out before the crisis, research is needed to
investigate how migrants’ voting may have been affected by austerity measures
or increases in anti-migrant rhetoric. Research is also needed to explore the way
in which legal restrictions on migrant voting may impact on RLPs.
Several of the RLPs studied here appear to be developing a distinctive narrative on immigration issues, which emphasises internationalism and open
migration and which often sets them apart from social democratic rivals.
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
However, they have generally struggled to express this in a way that has been
convincing to voters or has been able to prevent the growth of the radical
Right. It remains to be seen whether RLPs can successfully emulate Syriza’s
attempts to promote solidarity between migrants and workers.
Our analysis of RLPs in countries where the radical Right has grown during the crisis finds little evidence of contagion in terms of a tightening of
immigration policy. This is reflected in the positions on immigration we have
identified in RLP programmes as well as data from interviews regarding the
attempts RLPs have made to protest against the growth of the radical Right.
It is also supported by data from the CMP and Chapel Hill datasets. Questions
remain, however, as to the extent to which the growth of the radical Right
has contributed to the increased tendency of RLPs to promote left-populist
appeals (a theme highlighted by several chapters in this volume).86
The long-term implications of this remain unclear. On the one hand, engaging
in left populism might encourage RLPs to emulate Syriza’s inclusive approach
to migrants and to appeal to a range of social groups on a local level. On the
other, it could foreseeably lead to the promotion of restrictive and integrationist positions similar to those developed by the SP in the 1980s. It also remains
to be seen whether the anti-establishment appeals made by left-populist RLPs
make them any better positioned to win votes from the radical Right.
The findings of this chapter are significant in several respects. First, they
point to the norm that RLPs adopted more policy-oriented than office-seeking
positions on immigration issues. This may pose significant barriers to their
inclusion in office as junior coalition partners alongside social democratic
parties. Indeed, the case where contagion was most evident, was that of
the SF in Denmark where the social democrats had undergone a process of
contagion. The SF’s office-seeking strategy required it to make significant
compromises on immigration policy before it could gain acceptance as a
coalition partner. There are some signs that in office, Syriza has also taken
a more restrictive approach to immigration. While the SP has also adopted
office-seeking strategies, there is little sign that this has coincided with more
restrictive immigration policies. This may be because, for an RLP, the SP
already had relatively restrictive immigration policies and therefore faced less
pressure to make such compromises.
Second, it is significant that the RLPs studied here have maintained a
policy-seeking approach on a number of immigration-related issues. The
finding that RLPs have generally been committed to internationalism and
more open migration systems may not surprise those familiar with these parties. However, that such positions have been largely maintained despite the
growth of the radical Right, is significant in that it suggests that contagion
across the party system from the radical Right is not as significant as some
writers suggest. Moreover, it presents a way in which RLPs and RRPs are not
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The Radical Left and Immigration
as similar as is often claimed. Our findings suggest that the ‘theory of two
extremes’ struggles to account for the immigration policies of RLPs as these
significantly differ from those of RRPs.
Third, our findings suggest that any electoral overlap between the parties
may come from peripheral protest voters rather than their core supporters.
Overall, however, taking principled positions on immigration issues does not
appear to have gained RLPs much electoral traction, in all likelihood due to
the popularity of anti-immigration positions. Questions also remain regarding
the extent to which migrants can constitute a source of support for RLPs. We
also find that RLPs’ programmatic commitments to defending migrant rights
have not been accompanied by new or sustained attempts to build links with
migrant organisations or to field migrant candidates in parliamentary elections.
1. Sofia Vasilopoulou, ‘Far-Right Euroscepticism in the 2014 European Parliament Elections’. Paolo Chioccetti, ‘The Radical Left at the 2014 European Parliament
Election,’ in The Left in Europe After the EU Elections: New Challenges, ed. Cornelia Hildebrandt (Berlin: Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung, 2014), 7. in Is Europe afraid of
Europe? ed. Kostas Ifantis (Athens: Wilfried Martens Centre, 2014).
2. Luke March, ‘Problems and Perspectives of Contemporary European RLPs:
Chasing a lost world or Still a World to Win?,’ International Critical Thought 2, no. 3
(2011): 336.
3. Cas Mudde, The Relationship between Immigration and Nativism in Europe
and North America (Washington, Migration Policy Institute: 2012), 30. Mudde found
that the proportion of EU citizens viewing immigration as one of the two main challenges facing their country actually fell in the early years of the crisis. However, this
increased from 8 per cent in 2011 to 18 per cent in 2014. Moreover it increased from
9 per cent in 2008 to 15 per cent in 2015 and may thereafter have contributed to RRP
success. Given the growing debate surrounding the immigration crisis, this tendency
seems likely to increase further. See Eurobarometer 2015, accessed 20 September
2015, http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/cf/showtable.cfm?keyID=2212&nationID=
4. Pontus Odmalm and Tim Bale, ‘Immigration into the Mainstream: Conflicting Ideological Streams, Strategic Reasoning and Party Competition,’ Acta Politica
(2014) Accessed 20 September. doi: 10.1057/ap.2014.28.
5. Luke March, Radical Left Parties in Europe (Routledge: London, 2012, 17).
Notwithstanding that the SP was, until recently widely seen to be a left-populist party
and that the Socialist People’s Party has can be understood as having ceased to be an
RLP by 2014 when it became a Green Party.
6. References to the interviews are curtailed in the text to preserve readability.
7. This is the so-called ‘mirror thesis’ or the ‘theory of the two extremes’. See
Daphne Halikiopoulou, Nanou Kyriaki and Sofia Vasilopoulou. ‘The Paradox of
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
Nationalism: The Common Denominator of Radical Right and Radical Left Euroscepticism,’ European Journal of Political Research 51, no. 4 (2012): 504–39. Alistair
Clark, Karin Bottom and Colin Copus, ‘More similar than they’d like to admit?
Ideology, Policy and Populism in the Trajectories of the British National Party and
Respect,’ British Politics 3, no. 4 (2008): 511–34. Also in online blogs Othon Anastasakis, ‘The Far Right in Greece and the Theory of the Two Extremes,’ Open Democracy, 31 May 2013, available at https://www.opendemocracy.net/othon-anastasakis/
8. Joost van Spanje, ‘Contagious Parties: Anti-Immigration Parties and Their
Impact on Other Parties’ Immigration Stances in Contemporary Western Europe,’
Party Politics 16, no. 5 (2010): 570.
9. Tjitske Akkerman, ‘Immigration Policy and Electoral Competition in Western
Europe. A Fine-Grained Analysis of Party Positions over the Past Two Decades,’
Party Politics 21 (2015): 60.
10. Ibid., 9.
11. Sonia Alonso and Sara Claro da Fonseca, ‘Immigration, Left and Right’, Party
Politics 18, no. 5 (2012): 865–84.
12. Tim Bale et al., ‘If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them? Explaining Social
Democratic Responses to the Challenge from the Populist Radical Right in Western
Europe,’ Political Studies 5 (2010): 424.
13. Joost van Spanje, ‘Contagious Parties’, 576.
14. Kai Arzheimer, ‘Working Class Parties 2.0? Competition between Centre Left
and Extreme Right Parties,’ in Class Politics and the Radical Right, ed. Jens Rydgren
(London: Routledge: 2013), 77.
15. Tim Bale et al., ‘If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them?’, 423.
16. See David Bell and Byron Criddle, ‘The Decline of the French Communist
Party’, British Journal of Political Science 19, no. 4 (1989): 515–36.
17. Left Party, ‘Party Programme,’ Published 5–8 January 2012, accessed 20 September 2015, http://www.vansterpartiet.se/material/partiprogram.
18. Left Party, Partiprogram på lättläst svenska: Stockholm, 2015. Available at
http://www.vansterpartiet.se/assets/Partiprogrammet-lattlast-svenska.pdf, 25.
ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟ ΖΗΤΗΜΑ. Available at, http://www.syriza.gr/theseis/pros_diavoulefsi_metanasteytiko.pdf (Syriza: Athens, 2014), 2.
20. Ibid., 3.
21. SP, Nieuw Vertrouwen: Verkingsprogramma 2013–17 (SP: Amersfoort 2012)
Available at, https://www.sp.nl/verkiezingen/2012/programma/gedeelde-toekomst,
22. Kox interview.
23. SP, European Election Manifesto, ‘No to this EU’ (SP: 2014 Amersfoort), 9.
24. Inger Johansen, ‘The Left and Radical Left in Denmark’, in From Revolution
to Coalition, Radical Left Parties in Europe, ed. Birgit Daiber, Cornelia Hildebrandt
and Anna Striethorst (Berlin: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2012), 15.
25. SF, ‘Plads Til Alle Der Vil’, accessed 20 September 2015, http://sf.dk/det-vilvi/et-mangfoldigt-danmark/udlaendinge-og-integration. SF Copenhagen.
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The Radical Left and Immigration
26. RGA, ‘Udlændingepolitik og statsborgerskab’ Published online
29 October 2013, accessed 20 September 2015, http://enhedslisten.dk/artikel/
27. Left Party, ‘Handledning Flyktingmottagande’ (Stockholm: Left Party, 2015),
accessed 20 September 2015, http://www.vansterpartiet.se/assets/Handledning-flyktingmottagande1.pdf.
28. See Vasterpartiet, ‘Förbättrat flyktingmottagande’. Stockholm, 2008. Available at, http://www.vansterpartiet.se/assets/frbttrat_flyktingmottagande.pdf.
29. Syriza, ‘ΟΙ ΠΡΟΣΦΥΓΙΚΕΣ’, 4.
30. SP, ‘No to this EU’, 15.
31. SF, Socialdemokraternes og SF’s Forslag Til en Integrationsreform for Danmark, SF, Copenhagen 2011, 6.
32. EL, ‘Udlændingepolitik og statsborgerskab’.
33. Johansen, ‘The Left and Radical Left in Denmark’, 20.
34. EL, Sprgsmål og svar om flygtninge i Europa, accessed 20 September 2015,
35. Left Party, Parliamentary motion 2013/14:A301. Published online 3 October
2013, accessed 20 September 2015, http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/
36. Syriza ‘ΟΙ ΠΡΟΣΦΥΓΙΚΕΣ’, 8.
37. SP, ‘Nieuw Vertrouwen: Verkingsprogramma 2013-17’, 13.
38. Kox interview
39. SP, Nieuw Vertrouwen: Verkingsprogramma 2013-17, 13.
40. Kox interview.
41. SF, ‘Integrationsreform for Danmark’, 3.
42. Ibid., 6.
43. EL, ‘Udlændingepolitik og statsborgerskab’.
44. Rohleder interview.
45. EL, ‘Udlændingepolitik og statsborgerskab’.
46. See Sofia Vasilopoulou and Daphne Halikiopoulou, eds. The Golden Dawn’s
‘Nationalist Solution’: Explaining the Rise of the Far Right in Greece (Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
47. See Syriza, The Election Programme of Syriza for the Election 6 May 2012.
Syriza: Athens 2012.
48. Enevoldsen interview.
49. Copenhagen Post, ‘Justice Ministry grants seven year old second chance at
residency,’ 9 January 2012, accessed 20 September 2015, http://cphpost.dk/news14/
immigration-denmark/justice-ministry-grants-seven-year-old-second-chance-at-residency.html. See also Johansen ‘The Left and Radical Left in Denmark,’ 16.
50. Thomas Larson, ‘Heading towards a change of government in Denmark’, EU
Observer. 14. September 2011, accessed 20 September 2015, https://euobserver.com/
51. Speaking at the Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung Conference in Berlin 8 July 2015.
52. Carl Dahlström, and Anders Sundell, ‘A losing gamble. How mainstream parties facilitate anti-immigrant party success,’ Electoral Studies (2012) 31: 353–363.
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Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith
53. Carl Dahlström and Peter Esaisson. ‘The Immigration Issue and Anti-Immigrant Party Success in Sweden 1970-2006: A Deviant Case Analysis’, Party Politics
19 (2011): 343.
54. Barbara Steiner, ‘The Swedish Left party’, in From Revolution to Coalition,
RLPs in Europe, ed. Birgit Daiber, Cornelia Hildebrandt and Anna Striethorst (Berlin:
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2012), 67.
55. Thilo Janssen, The Parties of the Left in Europe (Berlin: Rosa Luxemburg
Stiftung, 2014): 20.
56. Pernille Skipper, ‘Tale: KRGAbenhavn er for alle,’ 26 May 2013, accessed 20
September 2015, https://enhedslisten.dk/artikel/tale-kbenhavn-er-alle-71430.
57. Syriza (Founding Statement) ‘Τι είναι και τι θέλει ο Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής
Αριστεράς’. Published online July 2013, accessed 20 September 2015, http://www.
58. Henning Süssner, ‘Sweden’, in The Left in Government in Latin America and
Europe, ed. Birgit Daiber (Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung: Brussels, 2010), 49.
59. Per Clausen, ‘Ehl. opfordrer til at stRGAtte flygtninge under jorden,’ Published 14 September 2009, accessed 20 September 2015, https://enhedslisten.dk/
60. The proportion of the population that is foreign born in these countries is
as follows: Denmark 8.5 per cent, Netherlands 11.6 per cent, Sweden 16 per cent,
Greece, 10 per cent. See OECD, ‘Migration and Foreign Born Population,’ 2015,
accessed 1 March 2016, https://data.oecd.org/migration/foreign-born-population.
htm. Also, Trading Economics, ‘International Migration Data,’ accessed 1 March
2016, http://www.tradingeconomics.com/greece/international-migrant-stock-percentof-population-wb-data.html.
61. Left Party, ‘Strategy for the future of the Left Adopted by the Left Party’s 39th
Congress,’ 5–8 January 2012 (Left party: Stockholm, 2012).
62. Gregory Mauzé, ‘The Left and Migrants: How to think about Struggles in
Common by Migrants, Non-migrants and Minorities?’ 21 June 2013, accessed 1
March 2016, http://www.transform-network.net/cs/blog/blog-2013/news/detail/Blog/
63. Anna Striethorst, Members and Electorates of Left Parties in Europe (Berlin:
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung: 2011).
64. Interview with SP immigration spokesperson Sharon Gestuizen.
65. For example debates between officials from RLPs and migrants at the Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung Conference, ‘The Left and Immigration’ 29–30 May 2013, Brussels.
66. Tim Bale, ‘Cinderella and Her Ugly Sisters: the Mainstream and Extreme
Right in Europe’s Bipolarising Party Systems,’ West European Politics 26, no. 3
(2003): 71.
67. Johansen, ‘The Left and Radical Left in Denmark’, 22.
68. Luke March and Charlotte Rommerskirchen, ‘Explaining Electoral Success and Failure,’ in Radical Left Parties in Europe, ed. Luke March (Abingdon:
Routledge: 2011), 192.
69. Luis Ramiro, ‘Support for RLPs in Western Europe: Social Background, Ideology and Political Orientations,’ European Political Science Review 5 (2014): 2.
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The Radical Left and Immigration
70. Stijn van Kessel and Andre Krouwel, ‘Fishing in the Same Pond? Comparing
the Electorates of the Socialist Party and the Freedom Party in the Netherlands.’ Paper
for the Dutch-Flemish annual political science conference Politicologenetmaal, 31
May to 1 June 2012.
71. Simon Otjes and Tom Louwerse, ‘Populists in Parliament: Comparing LeftWing and Right-Wing Populism in the Netherlands,’ Political Studies 63 (2015): 75.
72. Dahlström and Esaiasson, ‘The immigration issue’.
73. Tim Bale, ‘Turning Round the Telescope: Centre-right Parties and Immigration and Integration Policy in Europe’, Journal of European Public Policy 15, no. 3
(2008): 315–30.
74. Ramiro, ‘Support for RLPs’, 14.
75. We thank Louis Ramiro and Laura Morales for providing this recoded data
from the European Election Study data. Currently there is no separate data available
for the Danish and Greek RLPs.
76. Steiner, ‘The Swedish Left Party’, 70.
77. Julian Marioulas, ‘The Greek Left’, in From Revolution to Coalition, Radical
Left parties in Europe, ed. Birgit Daiber, Cornelia Hildebrandt and Anna Striethorst
(Berlin: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung 2012), 295.
78. Interview Tiny Kox, SP Senate Group Leader.
79. Inger Johansen, ‘The Danish People’s Party – A success story’ Situation on the
Left,’ in Europe after the EU Elections, ed. Cornelia Hildebrant (Rosa Luxemburg
Foundation: Berlin, 2014), 100.
80. Karen Bird, Thomas Saalfeld and Andreas Wust, eds. The Political Representation of Immigrants and Minorities: Voters, Parties and Parliaments in Liberal
Democracies (London: Routledge, 2010).
81. Clemens Wirries, ‘A party for the “Simple People” The Socialist Party of the
Netherlands’, in From Revolution to Coalition, RLPs in Europe, ed. Birgit Daiber,
Cornelia Hildebrandt and Anna Striethorst (Berlin: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2012),
82. Bird, Saalfeld and Wust, The Political Representation of Immigrants and
83. Paul Mason, ‘Trying to understand Syriza’ 14 May 2012, accessed 20 September 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18056677.
84. Wirries, ‘A Party for the “Simple People,”’ 158.
85. Johannes Bergh and Tor Bjrgarklund, ‘The Revival of Group Voting: Explaining
the Voting Preferences of Immigrants in Norway,’ Political Studies 59 (2011): 308–27.
86. Syriza has taken a ‘populist turn’: see Giorgos Katsembekis, ‘The Rise of the
Greek Radical Left to Power: Notes on Syriza’s Discourse and Strategy’, Linea Sur 9
(2015): 159. However, we also see that some RLPs such as the SP have engaged less
in populist appeals since the beginning of the international economic crisis: see Stijn
van Kessel, ‘Dutch Populism During the Crisis’, in European Populism in the Shadow
of the Great Recession, ed. Hanspeter Kriesi and Takis S. Pappas (Colchester: ECPR,
2015), 109.
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