El surgimiento de la derecha radical en España: la explicación del voto a VOX en las elecciones andaluzas de 2018

Carmen Ortega, José Manuel Trujillo, Oñate Pablo


Este trbajo analiza el apoyo electoral a Vox —partido de derecha radical populista— en las elecciones andaluzas de 2018 —primeras en las que obtuvo representación en España—, aplicando en una aproximación cuantitativa los principales modelos explicativos sugeridos por la literatura comparada para dar cuenta del éxito de este tipo de formaciones. Los resultados ponen de manifiesto que el principal factor influyente fue la afinidad ideológica y programática, en especial en relación con la unidad nacional. Por el contrario, no aparecen evidencias tan sólidas sobre el impacto de la situación de precariedad socioeconómica ni de las actitudes hacia la inmigración.


Until recently, Spain was one of the few European democracies lacking a populist radical right party. The Andalusian 2018 regional election opened the door of the regional parliament to Vox, a good example of the populist radical right party family: Vox gained a 11% vote share and 12 seats in the regional parliament, supporting a right-wing government in the region (for the first time after 36 years of governments by socialist PSOE). In the national and regional elections that followed the Andalusian 2018 regional one Vox increased its results, gaining access to a number of regional parliaments and to the national one, becoming part of the political landscape and influencing governments formation and political national and regional agendas. This article analyses the electoral support for VOX in that Andalusian 2018 regional election. Of course, that support must be understood as a multifaceted and multidimensional phenomenon due to factors in the micro, meso and macro levels, which explanation is to be found both in the demand, offer and contextual perspectives. The aim of the paper is to tests several theoretical approaches suggested by the comparative literature to explain the vote for the populist radical right parties. Most of the explanations of the vote for the populist radical right parties in the comparative literature can be grouped in three different approaches or models. The sociological model understands that the reasons explaining the vote for popular radical right parties vote are to be found in the socio-demographic traits of the electorate, as well as those trends raised by the socio-economic deprivation or social uncertainty raised with the globalization and the financial crisis starting in 2008/2010. The Modernity losers or globalization losers would vote for populist radical right parties due to their increasing social, cultural and economic uncertainty and deprivation. The second approach is the one that understands the vote for populist radical right parties as a model of ‘protest vote’: voters upset with the traditional mainstream parties and the way they manage the political system (‘politics as usual’) would look for new alternatives when casting their vote. The populist radical right parties appear as a good ‘new’ alternative to their eyes. The third model explains the vote for these populist parties with similar factors traditionally used to explain the vote for mainstream traditional parties: ideological and party manifesto proximity to those of the popular radical right parties, when traditional ones have leant to the center of the political spectrum and don´t pay attention (or not in the way those electors think they should) to new issues: nationalism, nativism, anti-immigration, law and order, traditional values, strong charismatic leaders, etcetera. This third model also pays attention to contextual factors (such as immigration and unemployment figures) or institutional ones (such as decentralization degree or the electoral system features). In order to test these models, we post several hypotheses and test them using binomial logistic regression models, analyzing both the regression coefficients and the marginal effects. We used data from the post-electoral survey number 3.236 conducted by Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (N= 2.913 cases). We built our contextual variables with data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Our explaining or independent variables are the following ones: For the socio-demographical variables, we took into account sex, age, education, social class, and employment situation. To gauge the protest vote we considered sentiments of political inefficiency, negative attitudes towards politics, and negative assessment of mainstream political party leaders. Finally, in order to measure the relevance of ideology or political position towards relevant issues, we took into account ideological parties and self-placement, self-position regarding immigration, law and order, preferred model of territorial organization of the state, and political corruption. The analysis of our results shows that the main factor explaining the vote for Vox is ideology and proximity to its manifesto proposals, with a remarkable significance of the one regarding the preferred model of territorial organization of the state (particularly, the option “a centralized state”, given the relevance of this issue in Spain, after the October 2017 independence declaration approved by the Catalonian Parliament). Therefore, even though several factors and approaches are to be considered to a larger or shorter extent, the third explanatory model of the vote for the populist radical right parties (factors traditionally used to explain the vote for other parties) is the most relevant one. We found no strong evidence of neither immigration nor socio-economic deprivation impacting the vote for the radical party. On the one hand, "higher" socioeconomic strata show a greater probability of voting for Vox compared to that registered among unskilled manual workers; on the other, unemployment has a significant and positive effect on the vote for Vox compared to the vote for the two parties on the right (but not compared to the vote for the PSOE and AA), an effect that, in any case, is nuanced when controlled by the ideological variable. We are convinced further analyses will test the relevance of contextual factors, and the importance of sub-regional (electoral district/provincial) political opportunity structures, giving the regional-level aggregated could be hiding differences that could, in the last instance, explain the differences in the vote for the populist radical right party. This analysis of the vote for Vox in the Andalusian regional 2018 elections provides the explanation for the upsurge of this kind of party in Spain. The success of this party in the national and regional elections that followed the Andalusian one offers new cases to test the findings of our analysis. Spain in no-longer different regarding the lacking of a populist radical right party in their national and regional political arenas. Learning what factors explain its success will help us to understand what its future may be.

© Revista de estudios regionales 2014 Universidades Públicas de Andalucía