A Bradley Effect in France?

by Erik Voeten on March 16, 2010 · 2 comments

in Campaigns and elections

The anti-immigrant Front National did much better than pollsters expected in recent French regional elections. Arthur Goldhammer reports that the French newspaper Le Monde suggests that this may be due to a Bradley effect: the idea that voters are reluctant to admit that they are voting against a popular black candidate or (by extension) for a party widely deemed to be racist. The Monkey Cage featured a lot of discussion on this issue during the 2008 Presidential election. The general consensus appeared to be that there was no evidence for a Bradley effect during the 2008 election and that the effect in general had been waning in recent years. My colleague Dan Hopkins concluded (non-gated, gated) in his brilliant study into the Bradley (or Wilder) effect that it is “the product of racial attitudes in specific political contexts, not a more general response to under-represented groups.” It seems like France represents another potential political context to study this effect. Indeed if, and I think Dan is right, political context conditions attitudes on racial and ethnic issues, then this should be a very fruitful area for comparative research.



Adam Berinsky March 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Here is an article that looks at a similar process in Spain:


anon March 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Goldhammer doesn’t seem to suggest that there is a Bradley effect at work in France, though. My reading of his post is that there is a protest vote that is hard for the pollsters to pin down.

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