The eurozone crisis and immigration is fuelling the rise of the far-Right across Europe, according to a study by the Demos think-tank.
Researchers used advertisements on Facebook pages to persuade over 10,000 followers of 14 far-Right parties in 11 European countries to fill in detailed questionnaires about their beliefs.
The study found the mainly, young men were angry about their governments and the EU combined with deep hostility to Muslim immigrants.
Asked why they joined PPAMs (populist political party and movement), respondents answered as follows:
Increasingly, commentators discuss European populists’ growing hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Respondents were classified in the anti-Islam category when they criticised Islam, Muslims or Arabs. An average of 10 per cent (sd=11) of respondents made such criticisms.
By far the highest proportion of anti-Islam responses were given by EDL respondents (41 per cent; n=804) while no CasaPound Italia respondents (n=424) included anti-Islam comments.
Men were slightly more likely to provide anti-Islam responses — on average 11 per cent (sd=12) did so compared with 8 per cent (sd=10) of women. In contrast to anti-immigration responses, there was little variation with age
An average of 17 per cent (sd=10) of respondents included immigration scepticism as a reason for joining a PPAM. The proportion of respondents expressing anti-immigration sentiment ranged from 36 per cent of Sweden Democrats respondents (n=568) to 1 per cent of CasaPound Italia respondents (n=424).
Women were slightly less likely to cite anti-immigration reasons than men — on average 15 per cent (sd=10) of women respondents compared with 19 per cent (sd=13) of men did so.
Interestingly, younger respondents were more likely to specify anti-immigration reasons — on average, 20 per cent (sd=12) of 16–20-year-olds cited it, while just 10 per cent (sd=11) of those aged 51 or over did.