Research Article

Predicting the Rise of EU Right-Wing Populism in Response to Unbalanced Immigration

Figure 1

Immigration affects the support for right-wing populism I. (a) Among the EU countries involved in the recent migrant crisis, support for RW populism is generally higher in those countries that accepted a larger number of immigrants relative to the country’s population size. Shown is June 2016. Seeing democracy as the majority rule principle, we presume that RW populism becomes a dominant political option when the percentage of RW voters exceeds 50%. Judging based on a cumulative exponential function that fits the data reasonably well——RW populism in the examined EU countries may take over if the percentage of immigrants in the total population approaches 22%. Shown is also a linear fit roughly giving that the RW populism reaches the majority for the percentage of immigrants equal to approximately 30%. Coefficients of determination () for the two models are 0.3866 and 0.4077, respectively. Akaike weights indicate that, given the dataset at hand, the exponential model is better with probability 44.3%, while the linear model is better with the remaining probability 55.7%. (b) Similar as in the other EU countries, Austrian data reveal that the increase in the percentage of immigrants is accompanied with an increase in the percentage of RW populist voters. Here too a cumulative exponential function fits the data well. This function predicts the rise of RW populism in Austria when the percentage of immigrants is slightly below the 20% mark.