The impact of candidates’ vocal expression on policy agreement and candidate support: differences between populist radical right and other voters

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This study assesses to what extent the vocal expression used by political candidates relates to voters’ likelihood of agreeing with a policy and of voting for the candidate introducing the policy. Experimental video data with hypothetical candidates presenting migration policies were collected among a representative sample of the Dutch population (N = 4,727). The candidates delivered the policies using either a hard vocal expression (indicating a more aggressive, austere and dominant style) or a soft vocal expression (indicating a friendlier and more amicable style). The analysis reveals that using a hard (versus soft) vocal expression negatively affects the likelihood of supporting a candidate and agreeing with the policy, an effect which is significantly stronger among citizens who do not support the populist radical right Freedom Party (PVV) than among those who do support the PVV. This negative effect of a hard (versus soft) expression among those not supporting the PVV is significantly stronger when the presented policy on the integration of immigrants is moderate rather than restrictive.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Early online date11 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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