Working class economic insecurity and voting for radical right and radical left parties

Take Sipma, Marcel Lubbers, Niels Spierings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The radical right's rise is widely assumed to go hand-in-hand with increasing economic insecurity, as manual workers are considered typical radical right voters. We question whether economic insecurity actually drives working class members to vote for radical parties, both right and left. Using European Social Survey data from 12 Western European countries (2002–2014), we tested whether less secure employment links to vote for such parties. We did this by distinguishing people in permanent employment from those in the same social class but not in permanent employment. Our outcome was surprising: whereas perceived job insecurity correlated with radical right voting, actual economic insecurity in terms of temporary employment was not associated with greater likelihood of voting for a radical right party among the working class. Instead, it was the radical left for which we found indications that it appealed more to groups of people in such an insecure economic position.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102778
JournalSocial Science Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Economic insecurity
  • Job insecurity
  • Radical left
  • Radical right
  • Voting behaviour
  • Working class vote


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