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The People Know Best: An empirical research on why lower educated people are more likely to vote for left- and right-wing populist parties in The Netherlands

Kumru, T. (2018) The People Know Best: An empirical research on why lower educated people are more likely to vote for left- and right-wing populist parties in The Netherlands.

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Abstract:This thesis addresses the relationship between educational attainment and populist voting in The Netherlands. It further aims to examine this relation in depth in order to find out which attitudinal factors possibly mediate this relationship for left- and right-wing populist voting. Using data derived from the Religion in Dutch Society (SOCON, 2011/2012) survey, this thesis empirically tested a set of hypotheses concerning attitudinal factors (e.g.: political trust, Euroscepticism, perceived ethnic threat and anti-Muslim attitudes) which could serve as mediators for this relationship. The results indicate that lower educated people are indeed more likely to vote for a populist party than their higher educated counterparts. However, the results also show that, despite the fact that several variables are significantly correlated with voting for a certain party, these factors do not mediate this relationship. The attitudinal factors that turned out to have a significant (but not mediating) effect for left-wing populist voting are political trust and Euroscepticism. For right-wing populism, only perceived ethnic threat turned out to have a significant effect as attitudinal factor. These findings show that there is a considerable difference between the attitudinal factors as to which left- and right-wing populist parties appeal. Although these factors cannot strictly be regarded as mediators, their significant effect on voting behavior shows that they do influence the relationship between educational attainment and populist voting to a certain degree.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74817
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