Swaying to the extreme: Group relative deprivation predicts voting for an extreme right party in the French presidential election

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Description: Why do people vote for the extreme right (ER)? Despite considerable evidence suggesting the role of group relative deprivation (GRD) in accounting for prejudice, collective action and support for protest movements, there is surprisingly little research that has tested the impact of various types of relative deprivation in explaining the support for the ER. Using a large and representative sample of the French population tested before the 2012 presidential election, we hypothesised and found that GRD is a better predictor of the intention to vote for Marine Le Pen, the ER candidate, than individual relative deprivation. GRD remained a significant predictor of voting for the ER even when controlling for social dominance orientation and prejudice, while it did not predict self-placement on the left-right political continuum. Thus, the sense that the French as a group are unjustly treated compared to immigrants living in France underpins the vote for the ER but not, as we demonstrate, for any other populist party. We discuss how the rhetoric of the ER parties can appeal to voters and expand their base over and above the support coming from those who are overtly prejudiced. Data and supplementary materials [doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/C3K9Y]

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