The objective of this paper is to study the party preferences of migrants in a comparative perspective. While long considered politically quiescent, recent studies show that migrants participate politically in their settlement countries. While in the US there is a long tradition of studies of ethnic minorities’ party preferences, European scholars have only recently addressed the issue using mainly case studies.
Drawing on prior studies on the voting behavior of migrants and ethnic minorities, we test several hypotheses related to individual and contextual factors explaining the formation and the direction of migrants’ party preferences. Using data from individual surveys conducted in the context of the Localmultidem project (http://www.um.es/localmultidem/) to samples of migrant groups and natives in 7 European cities across 5 different countries (Budapest, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Zurich, and Geneva), our results suggest that individual factors are more important to explain the formation of party preference but that contextual factors affect the difference between migrants and natives in their party choice.
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