What happens when the electorate of a country is suddenly increased by hundreds of thousands of new potential voters? How do parties adjust their strategies in response to such an event? To address these questions I exploit a quasi-experiment represented by the arrival in France of about 1 million repatriates from Algeria, the so-called pieds noirs, which happened in 1962. To study the causal impact of the pieds noirs on voting, I instrument their location choice based on the average temperature by department. I find that the arrival of the pieds noirs increased turnout and the vote share of far-right parties while it decreased the vote share of center-right parties in both legislative and presidential elections between 1962 and 1974. I then analyse how this shock affected the political strategies of the different French parties by looking at more than 10,000 political manifestos issued by candidates in the legislative elections during the same period. I show that far-right parties behaved as a political entrepreneur and started to discuss issues associated with the pieds noirs already in 1962. The other parties subsequently adapted their manifestos using the same words of the far-right. These findings shed light on how radical parties can affect mainstream ones by pushing new issues in their agenda.
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