Daunis Auers (University of Latvia)
Over the space of just five years, the radical right populist All for Latvia! political party has gone from winning just a 1.48% share of the vote in the 2006 Latvian parliamentary election, to entering government in a three-party coalition in October 2011. This paper presents a case study of the roots of this electoral success, arguing that it can be attributed to three factors: (i) In contrast to other parties in Latvia, All for Latvia! is a genuine grass-roots movement with a wide-spread, active and mobilized membership; (ii) the alliance with For Fatherland and Freedom / Latvia’s National Independence Movement provided VL! with the financial resources needed to campaign in Latvian elections; (iii) since its electoral alliance and then merger with the nationalist For Fatherland and Freedom / Latvia’s National Independence Movement party it has increasingly adopted a more moderate programmatic “master frame” developed by radical-right populist parties in other European states, that is more acceptable to the mainstream public; and (iv) a genuinally charismatic leader.