Hanson, Trump, UKIP, Alternative for Germany, Marine Le Pen, and the anti-immigration but pro-welfare state populist parties in northern Europe are all smeared by the media as far right parties but also are described as right-wing populists. Media bias is still constrained by the median voter theorem.
You cannot be on the far right but win lots of votes because the extremes of the political spectrum account for few votes. What do you think left-wingers stay within the Labour Party despite wanting its leader to be tried for war crimes.
Even in proportional representation systems, few far right and far left party set up on their own two feet and survive because of thresholds to win seats. There are Communist parties in European parliaments but their representation is small except for the Bundestag.
You cannot get into the 2nd round of the French presidential election, come 2nd in 40 British Labour Party seats, win the safest Labour Party seats in Queensland, and be attacked from Ted Cruz from the right and still be a far right winger.
All right-wing populist parties combine that heady brew of nationalism,opposition to immigration and free trade, and staunch support of the welfare state. Not surprisingly, something like 40% of their votes come from the traditional labour parties and social democratic parties.
Source: EUROPP – The ‘reluctant radicals’ who offer conditional support to the far-right are key to understanding the success of right-wing populist parties in European elections.
Countering their appeal to the electorate cannot start with saying that anyone who votes for them is weird because the secret ballot allow secret malice.
The left is surprisingly bad at playing catch-up in identity politics. As one UKIP supporter said, I am a white working class Englishmen not on the benefit so Labour does not speak for me.
An inquiry established by Labour’s former policy chief, Jon Cruddas, MP found that Labour needs to
“stop patronising socially conservative Ukip voters and recognise the ways in which Ukip appeals to former Labour voters”, the report says, adding: “Labour is becoming a toxic brand. It is perceived by voters as a party that supports an ‘open door’ approach to immigration, lacks credibility on the economy, and is a ‘soft touch’ on welfare spending.”
At present, the report argues, Labour is “largely a party of progressive, social liberals who value principles such as equality, sustainability, and social justice.
It is losing connection with large parts of the voter population who are either pragmatists in their voting habits or social conservatives who value family, work, fairness and their country.” It adds: “Labour is becoming dangerously out of touch with the electorate and … unwilling to acknowledge this growing estrangement.”