It is common wisdom in radical right research that men are over-represented among the radical right electorate. We explore whether a radical right gender gap exists across 12 Western European countries and examine how this gap may be explained. Using the European Values Study (2010), we find a radical right gender gap that remains substantial after controlling for socioeconomic and political characteristics. However, our results indicate strong cross-national variation in the size of the gap. Explanations for these differences are explored by looking at the outsider image and the populist discourse style of the radical right parties, which are hypothesised to keep women from voting for the radical right. Our results do not confirm this expectation: differences in party characteristics do not account for cross-national differences in the gender gap. Implications of these findings and suggestions for further research are discussed.
- radical right
- party characteristics