Research on contemporary European politics has shown that immigrant population size is strongly associated with vote totals for anti-immigrant political parties. Competitive threat theories suggest that this association should be positive, whereas intergroup contact theories imply that it should be negative. A two-level analysis of vote totals for the French Front National (FRN) suggests that the direction of this association depends critically on the level of analysis. At the department (i.e., state or regional) level, large immigrant populations are associated with higher FRN vote totals. At the commune (i.e., town or city) level, however, large immigrant populations are instead associated with lower FRN vote totals. These findings challenge the conclusions of previous analyses of populist-right voting and provide further evidence that contact and threat dynamics often operate simultaneously, albeit at different levels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science