Religion as Catalyst or Restraint of Radical Right Voting?

T. Immerzeel, E. Jaspers, M. Lubbers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It is often found that religious people are underrepresented among the radical right electorate, despite radical right parties' claim of being defenders of the Judeo-Christian society. This study investigates this paradoxical finding and examines to what extent two dimensions of religion-practice and belief-play a role in voting for a radical right party across seven West European countries. Using the European Values Study from 2008, it was found that religiously active people are indeed less likely to vote for a radical right party, because they tend to vote for a Christian party. However, the study challenges the common wisdom that religion alone is a restraint on radical right voting and shows that orthodox believers in three countries-Belgium, Norway and Switzerland-feel more threatened by the presence of immigrants and therefore are more likely than their mainstream counterparts to vote for a radical right party. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-968
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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