How to counter exclusionary far right politics with a progressive inclusionary agenda on equality

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Policy recommendations
• Co-opting the policy agendas of far-right parties is not a winning strategy for social democrats and trade unions because in most cases accommodation will probably alienate a large proportion of their traditional left-wing supporters.
• ‘Copycat’ strategies that extend well beyond ‘ownership’ issues are rarely successful: policy accommodation increases the salience of the immigration issue, thus running the risk of further inflating support for the far right.
• The percentage of voters in the centre-left supporter pool with exclusively cultural immigration concerns is low in most countries. Centre-left voters worried about immigration instead tend to be driven primarily by economic considerations. These supporters will likely abandon left-wing parties and organisations if they adopt far right populist positions.
• Left-wing governments and trade unions should focus on addressing economic grievances by reducing labour market insecurity, promoting economic growth and ensuring effective welfare protection. They should reclaim ownership of issues they are associated with, most notably equality. Successful strategies galvanise the centre-left’s core supporter base and mobilise beyond it by addressing the (economic) grievances that concern large parts of the electorate.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Trade Union Institute
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2023

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