Divergence over conformity: Change in immigration attitudes after the electoral success of an anti‐immigration populist party in the Finnish 2015 parliamentary elections

Jan‐Erik Lönnqvist, Rasmus Mannerström, Sointu Leikas
Published Online:
05 Jun 2018
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 54 Issue 3

Additional Options

The populist, anti‐immigration‐oriented Finns Party was considered the winner of the Finnish 2015 parliamentary elections. In a representative sample of young adults (N = 606), a longitudinal pre‐ post‐election design revealed that attitudes towards immigration became more favourable among those disappointed by the outcome and those who did not vote for the Finns Party. Among the latter, both supporting the green‐red rival parties and disliking the Finns Party independently predicted increased support for migration. Other attitudes did not change. The results highlight the importance of social processes and identity concerns, particularly self‐categorization, as drivers of attitude change. While previous work has focused on conformity dynamics, our results suggest that diverging from an unwanted identity may be associated with attitude change.

© International Union of Psychological Science