Populism now mainstream across Europe

A wave of populist political parties, predominantly on the far-right, has tripled in votes over the past two decades.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Populism now mainstream across Europe - NewsMavens
Donald and Melania Trump. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

Populist parties in 11 European countries have secured enough votes to put their leaders into power.

According to analysis of parties' performance over two decades in national elections in 31 European countries, one in four Europeans now vote for populist representatives.

Matthijs Rooduijn, a political sociologist at the University of Amsterdam, who led the research project, said:

“The breeding ground for populism has become increasingly fertile, and populist parties are ever more capable of reaping the rewards..."

"Today it has become increasingly mainstream: some of the most significant recent political developments like the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump cannot be understood without taking into account the rise of populism."

Details from the story:

  • Exclusive Guardian research revealed one in four Europeans are now populist, after a wave of far-right and populist political parties have tripled their vote over the past two decades.
  • The parties have securing enough votes to put their leaders into power in 11 countries, including Italy, Poland and Hungary, according to the research.
  • Populism has been consistently on the rise since at least 1998, its data showed.
  • Supporters of populist politics say it opens up the political sphere to more democratic processes by putting "the people" first. Meanwhile, critics say it in fact goes against democratic procedures by undermining the media or promoting anti-immigration nativism and authoritarianism.
  • The research was conducted by the Guardian and 30 political scientists.
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