Impact of Public Attitudes to migration on the political environment in the Euro-Mediterranean Region
The more immigration is important in the public debate, the more seats far-right parties tend to win. In other words, the number of seats won by radical right parties in a country closely follows the salience of immigration when measured as the percentage of people saying it is one of the most important issues affecting their country.
Reporting tends to follow consumer preferences, rather than vice versa (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2010), the effects of media reporting on political attitudes tend to be non-durable. However, media reporting is likely to affect what is on the political agenda.
Individuals are only likely to re-consider their political behaviour if their emotions are engaged by that issue. Only salient issues engage emotions. On the other hand, issues that individuals do not consider to be salient, or important, will not cause them to change their attitudes and behaviour because they do not become emotionally engaged with them.
Based on the models developed in this report, it is likely that radical right parties are likely to win in excess of 21% of European Parliament seats in 2019, slightly more than the 18% of seats they won in 2014.