European journal of political research vol:27 issue:2 pages:181-202
The Vlaams Blok, a 'new' extreme right-wing party, grew substantially during the 1980s in the Flemish part of Belgium. Two alternative hypotheses about the motivation and attitudes of voters for extreme right-wing parties are examined. Is the voters' choice for such a political party inspired by substantive considerations about the programme of the party (the 'rational choice' model), or is right-wing voting mainly an expression of protest? The Flemish part of the Voters' Study relating to the 1991 General Election contains useful data for answering these questions. The likelihood of voting for the Vlaams Blok, as a function of thirteen relevant attitudinal variables, is analysed by means of logistic regression. Voting for the Vlaams Blok is determined by a negative attitude towards immigrants. Nationalist attitudes and feelings of social isolation seem to have a partial and moderate additional impact. In addition, there is some evidence that a vote for the Vlaams Blok should also be seen as a protest vote by some of the voters.