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​Populism in Europe remains strong, index shows

Pressmeddelande   •   Jul 11, 2017 06:15 CEST

Right-wing populism in Europe is twice as large as left-wing populism, but left-wing populism has grown in recent years while right-wing populism has stagnated. These are the main conclusions of this year’s edition of the Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index, which maps the success of all populist parties in Europe between 1980 and 2017.

– Populist parties are characterized by their opposition to separation of powers as well as their idea of a homogenous population and the tireless critique of the “elite”. They have an authoritarian view of democracy that threatens the core of European democracy, the author of the report, Andreas Johansson Heinö, said.

Last year’s edition of the Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index was recognized by, among others, The Economist, and has been translated into several languages, for example Greek, Spanish and English.

– Those who want to see the setbacks of Wilders and Le Pen as a sign of populism reaching its peak describe it with the concept “Peak Populism”. However, today populist parties are in power in countries such as Poland, Hungary and Greece. In France, populists won more votes than Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the presidential election. In Italy, Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is the biggest party in the polls and in Sweden, the Sweden Democrats is polling at second place in almost every poll, the author continued.

Brief summary of the report

  • Authoritarian populism has replaced liberalism as the third most important ideological force in European politics.
  • Popular support for populist parties is still at unprecedented levels, but has not increased since 2015.
  • Right-wing populism is twice as large as left-wing populism. However, popular support of right-wing populism has stagnated while support of left-wing has doubled since 2010.
  • Anti-democratic parties remain marginalized. Nonetheless, we have seen an increase in their support during the last year.

Read the entire report in Swedish here.

Read the English summary here.


Andreas Johansson Heinö, author of the report and head of Timbro publishing

Telefon: +46 735 967208


Twitter: @johanssonheino

Timbros uppdrag är att utveckla idéer och långsiktigt bilda opinion för marknadsekonomi, fri företagsamhet, individuell frihet och ett öppet samhälle. Vi tror på allas rätt att forma sitt eget liv, i sin egen takt och att ta ansvar för detsamma. Allra viktigast för arbetet i en tankesmedja är att engagera intressanta personer, eftersom det är människor som utvecklar, formulerar och bär idéer.