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Article

Drivers of Support for the Populist Radical Left and Populist Radical Right in Belgium

An Analysis of the VB and the PVDA-PTB Vote at the 2019 Elections

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2020
Keywords populism, voting, behaviour, Belgium, elections
Authors Ine Goovaerts, Anna Kern, Emilie van Haute e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study investigates how protest attitudes and ideological considerations affected the 2019 election results in Belgium, and particularly the vote for the radical right-wing populist party Vlaams Belang (VB) and for the radical left-wing populist party Partij van de Arbeid-Parti du Travail de Belgique (PVDA-PTB). Our results confirm that both protest attitudes and ideological considerations play a role to distinguish radical populist voters from mainstream party voters in general. However, when opposed to their second-best choice, we show that particularly protest attitudes matter. Moreover, in comparing radical right- and left-wing populist voters, the article disentangles the respective weight of these drivers on the two ends of the political spectrum. Being able to portray itself as an alternative to mainstream can give these parties an edge among a certain category of voters, albeit this position is also difficult to hold in the long run.


Ine Goovaerts
Ine Goovaerts is a Doctoral Candidate of the Democratic Innovations and Legitimacy Research Group at the University of Leuven. Her research focuses on the quality of political discourse, with a specific focus on incivility and argumentation quality.

Anna Kern
Anna Kern is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science of Ghent University. Her research focuses on political participation, political equality and political legitimacy. Her work has been published in journals such as West European Politics, Local Government Studies, Social Science Research and Political Behavior.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies, European Political Science and Acta Politica. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.

Sofie Marien
Sofie Marien is Associate Professor at the University of Leuven, where she is director of the Democratic Innovations and Legitimacy Research Group. Her research has appeared in journals such as Political Behavior, European Journal of Political Research, European Sociological Review and Political Research Quarterly.
Article

Access_open Emotions and Vote Choice

An Analysis of the 2019 Belgian Elections

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Belgium, elections, emotions, voting behaviour
Authors Caroline Close and Emilie van Haute
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article digs into the relationship between voters’ political resentment and their electoral choice in 2019 by focusing on the respondents’ emotions towards politics. Using the RepResent 2019 voter survey, eight emotions are analysed in their relation to voting behaviour: four negative (anger, bitterness, worry and fear) and four positive (hope, relief, joy and satisfaction). We confirm that voters’ emotional register is at least two-dimensional, with one positive and one negative dimension, opening the possibility for different combinations of emotions towards politics. We also find different emotional patterns across party choices, and more crucially, we uncover a significant effect of emotions (especially negative ones) on vote choice, even when controlling for other determinants. Finally, we look at the effect of election results on emotions and we observe a potential winner vs. loser effect with distinctive dynamics in Flanders and in Wallonia.


Caroline Close
Caroline Close is Assistant Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Charleroi campus). Her research and teaching interests include party politics, representation and political participation from a comparative perspective. She has published her work in Party Politics, Political Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Representation, Acta Politica and the Journal of European Integration. She regularly contributes to research and publications on Belgian politics.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections, and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies, European Political Science and Acta Politica. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
Article

Access_open Introduction: Parties at the Grassroots

Local Party Branches in the Low Countries

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2020
Authors Bram Wauters, Simon Otjes and Emilie van Haute
Author's information

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University, where he leads the research group GASPAR. His research interests include political representation, elections and political parties, with specific attention for diversity. He has recently published on these topics in journals such as Party Politics, Political Studies, Politics & Gender and Political Research Quarterly. He is co-editor (with Knut Heidar) of ‘Do parties still represent?’ (Routledge, 2019).

Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes is Assistant Professor of Dutch Politics at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University. His research focuses on political parties, parliaments and public opinion. His research has appeared in various journals, including American Journal of Political Science and European Journal of Political Research.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies or European Political Science. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
Article

Access_open Do Characteristics of Consociational Democracies Still Apply to Belgian Parties?

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Belgium, political parties, party membership, political participation, political representation
Authors Emilie Van Haute and Bram Wauters
AbstractAuthor's information

    Belgium has long been described as a typical case of a consociational or consensus democracy. This article aims at identifying whether political parties in Belgium share the internal characteristics of parties in consensus democracies: passive mass memberships, the importance of purposive and material incentives for joining, and representation of a clear subculture in the social and attitudinal profiles of their members and via overlapping memberships with related organizations. We mobilize longitudinal party membership data and party member surveys conducted in three different time periods. We show that pillar parties still exercise their role of mobilization and representation of societal segments, but these segments tend to become smaller over time. New parties offer alternative options of mobilization and representation, although not always in line with the specific institutional arrangements of consociational democracy.


Emilie Van Haute
Emilie Van Haute, Cevipol, Université libre de Bruxelles.

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters, Research Group GASPAR, Ghent University.
Research Note

N-VA: geboorte of verrijzenis?

Over hoe politieke partijen op verschillende manieren ‘nieuw’ kunnen zijn

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2018
Authors Stefanie Beyens, Kris Deschouwer, Emilie van Haute e.a.
Author's information

Stefanie Beyens
Stefanie Beyens is universitair docent en postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Daar doet ze onderzoek naar succesvolle publieke organisaties: hoe worden/blijven ze effectief en legitiem, hoe dragen ze bij aan succesvol bestuur? Haar proefschrift, verdedigd in 2016, ging over de overlevingskansen van nieuwe politieke partijen en haar werk over partijen en verkiezingen is gepubliceerd in West European Politics, Party Politics en Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer is onderzoeksprofessor aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Hij verricht onderzoek over politieke partijen, verkiezingen, stemgedrag en het democratisch functioneren van verdeelde samenlevingen. Hij coördineert aan de VUB het Strategisch Onderzoeksprogramma EDGE (Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe).

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is professor in de politieke wetenschappen aan de Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), waar ze ook adjunct-directeur is van het Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Ze is gespecialiseerd in politieke partijen, politieke participatie, verkiezingen en democratie.

Tom Verthé
Tom Verthé is postdoctoraal assistent aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek aan de Universiteit Gent en gastprofessor aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn onderzoek focust op partijen, verkiezingen en stemgedrag en verscheen onder meer in Party Politics, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Italian Political Science Review en Res Publica.

    The last local elections in Wallonia were marked by the introduction of a new legislation concerning the way mayors are appointed. Before 2006, mayors were appointed by the regional government. Since the last elections, a new decree institutes that is automatically appointed mayor the candidate having most preferential votes from the list having most seats. In this article, we explore how the new legislation has affected the way voters behave in 2006 and also how it has affected parties when it comes to coalition agreements. What appears is that the new legislation has a fairly limited impact. Voters did not cast more preferential votes in 2006 than in 2000. The logics of coalitions have not been changed significantly. Finally, the only notable – even if not spectacular – impact of the new Walloon decree is that the elections have been much more focused on the candidates that were leading their list, the ones that were presented by their party as their candidate to become mayor. These candidates have more often been appointed mayors in 2006 than in 2000 and the proportion of preferential votes that they have received is higher in 2006. In that sense, even if the degree of change must not be exaggerated, Walloon local elections are slightly turning into a horse race between candidates leading their list.


Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet is doctor in de politieke wetenschappen en FNRS-postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Université libre de Bruxelles. Zijn werken en publicaties gaan hoofdzakelijk over de kieswet, de kieshervormingen en de lokale politiek.

Pascal Delwit
Pascal Delwit is professor politieke wetenschappen aan de Université libre de Bruxelles. Zijn werken en publicaties focussen hoofdzakelijk op de Belgische en Europese politiek, de verkiezingen en de politieke partijen.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is promovenda in de politieke wetenschappen en assistente aan de Université libre de Bruxelles. Haar werken en publicaties handelen in hoofdzaak over de politieke participatie, de partijleden en de Belgische politiek.

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Docteur en science politique. Chercheur au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, en collaboration avec les secrétariats des partis politiques.

Emilie van Haute
Assistante en science politique au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles.
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