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date: 24 May 2024


A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations
Peter ByrdPeter Byrd

Term given to the tactic pursued by extremist parties of gaining power through covertly entering more moderate, electorally successful, parties. Within those parties they maintain a distinct organization while publicly denying the existence of a ‘party within the party’. Entryism is a more acute problem for parties in two party/majoritarian systems than in multiparty/proportional systems. In majoritarian systems such as Britain there is no real political life to the left of Labour or to the right of Conservative, hence there is an incentive for extremist parties to enter Labour or Conservative. In proportional systems the ‘barriers to’ entry into the political system are lower.... ...

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