The Progressive Post

Populism Report: July – September 2016

20/10/2016

With the support of European populist parties at a standstill, this year’s general trend has continued during summer months too. However, their decelerating expansion across Europe is at best a neutral, and in no way a positive development. According to opinion polls, it seems that populist forces have managed to stabilize and consolidate their support base. While in a number of EU member states the support of populist parties is already significant, in a number of other countries, such as Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Austria, they even amount to the most popular political forces or are aspiring to achieving it. Even though in some countries we have witnessed a decrease in demand for populists, this trend has been most typical – besides the Brits facing post-Brexit realities – only in Poland, where the degree of support for populists was high enough already. In turn, the examples of Latvia, Cyprus and Slovakia are a warning sign that European populists are capable of further expansion. It can also be instructive that according to these findings, excessive anti-migrant campaigns do not necessarily lead to an expanding voter base, as among the V4 countries only Slovakia has seen a significant increase in support for populist forces during the third quarter.

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