Project title 

Why Do Working Class Voters Support the Populist Radical Right? A Mixed-Methods Study of a Changing Political Landscape in Sweden

Principal investigator

Jens Rydgren, Professor in Sociology, Stockholm University


Gabriella Elgenius, Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Gothenburg, and Maria Tyrberg, PhD Student in Political Science at the University of Gothenburg.

Project details

2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31

Funding source

Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project description

This 3-year mixed methods project explores the relationship between class politics and support for the populist radical right, with the overall aim of answering questions about why and how the Sweden Democrats has gained electoral support among the working class in Sweden. We will hereby address the theoretical puzzle of realignment processes in which working class voters has increasingly started to move from center-left to the populist radical right. This is an important societal change that has significant consequences for governance and policy making. Since populist radical right parties tend to side with center-right parties in parliament, working class voters’ increased support for the populist radical right have contributed to shifting policies toward the right.

Our project contributes by combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, collecting unique data at both individual and contextual levels. By comparing municipalities that share relevant socio-economic and sociodemographic features, but that differ considerably in support for the Sweden Democrats, we will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the realignment of class voting is taking place.