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Pressmeddelande   •   Feb 20, 2019 08:35 CET

One in four European voters support an authoritarian populist party, according to the new edition of the Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index presented today.

Populism equals the support for Social democratic parties

Authoritarian populists in Europe are gaining ground. 71 million, equivalent to 26.8 percent, of Europe's 264 million eligible voters chose to vote for a authoritarian populist party last time they voted in a national election.

– Populism has established itself as the third ideological force in European politics. The combined support for left- and right-wing populist parties now equals the support for Social democratic parties and is twice the size of support for liberal parties. It is a historic shift that we are seeing. Unlike three to four years ago, left-wing populist parties have stagnated and the current growth is solely explained by growing support for right-wing populist parties, says Andreas Johansson Heinö, publisher at Timbro and author of the Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index.

The most comprehensive index of populism in Europe
The Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index (TAP) is based on election data from national elections stretching back to 1980. The study covers a total of 267 parties, in 300 elections in a total of 33 countries during the period 1980-2018. This makes TAP the most comprehensive index of populism in Europe.

– Authoritarian populist parties are characterized by the fact that they see politics as a conflict between the "elite" and a homogeneous people with coherent interests. These parties have an authoritarian view of democracy that threatens many of the values that so far have been at the heart of European democracy, says Andreas Johansson Heinö.

A new interactive site
A novelty this year is that all the election data has been made available online. Andreas Johansson Heinö hopes that the new site will be a useful tool for journalists and researchers.

– During this spring, both European Parliament elections and national elections in for example Spain, Denmark and Finland await. We already know that populist parties will be at the center of the media reporting. The index puts today's development into perspective, says Andreas Johansson Heinö.

Visit to download the report and access the data

For more information contact

Andreas Johansson Heinö, PhD in political science, publisher at Timbro
Twitter: @JohanssonHeino
Telephone: 073-596 72 08

Philip Lerulf, Head of Communications
Twitter: @Lerulf
Telephone: 073-448 23 75

About Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index (TAP)
Authoritarian Populism has established itself as the third ideological force in European politics. This poses a long-term threat to liberal democracies. The Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index (TAP) continuously explores and analyses electoral data in order to improve the knowledge and understanding of the development among politicians, media and the general public. TAP contains data stretching back to 1980, which makes it the most comprehensive index of populism in Europe. Since the start in 2016, TAP has become an important source of knowledge and the index is regularly mentioned in international media, including The Economist, Die Welt and La Repubblica.

Timbro is a free market think tank founded in 1978. Our mission is to promote ideas and political reforms in support of market economy, free entrepreneurship, individual freedom and an open society. Over the last 40 years, Timbro has established itself as an influential voice in Swedish public debate. Our publishing house publishes 15-20 books per year and our project managers are frequent commentators in national and international media. Timbro is part of the European think tank network Epicenter and has close contact with the Atlas Network in the United States.

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