Old Voters on New Dimensions: Why Do Voters Vote for Pensioners' Parties? The Case of the Netherlands

Simon Otjes*, Andre Krouwel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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This article analyzes the electoral support of the Dutch pensioners' party 50Plus. Due to its open electoral system and aging population, the Netherlands is a key case to study pensioners' parties. Our study shows that this pensioners' party appeals to voters who are characterized by their age and their dependence on the welfare state as well as their policy positions on new lines of political conflict. In particular, their position on the new economic dimension (which concerns welfare state reform) and the new cultural dimension (which concerns immigration and EU integration) is distinct. Moreover, even when the majority of voters for this new party once supported the larger mainstream parties, they are now dissatisfied with the established politics. With rapidly aging populations across established democracies, this study is not just relevant for those studying pensioners' parties, but rather gives an important insight into the electoral dynamics and popular support for mainstream politics, the welfare state, and social security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-47
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Economic issues
  • generational politics
  • new political parties
  • The Netherlands

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