Authoritarian Populism has established itself as the third ideological force in European politics. This poses a long-term threat to liberal democracies.
According to this year’s Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index, Hungary, Greece and Italy are the three countries where support for authoritarian populist parties is stronger. Unlike Malta, Ireland and the United Kingdom, where the populists are finding no convenient territory, as it seems.
According to the Timbro Institute survey, which is presented for the third year this year in Greece, KEFIM, the independent, non-party, non-profit organization based in Athens, Greece is one of the four EU member states that the government consists only of populists, while the populist parties in the country gathered more than 50% of the votes in the last national elections in September 2015.
As far as Europe is concerned, authoritarian populism has established itself as the third ideological force in Europe – an evolution that is expected to be maintained after this year’s European elections.
At the same time, 1 in 4 Europeans voted an authoritarian populist party in the last national elections. Support for these parties reaches Europe-wide 22.2%, a record-breaking figure for Europe, 1.5% higher than last year.
On the same index, the figures show that 1 in 3 governments in Europe is supported by at least one authoritarian populist party whereas right-wing populism is on the rise, with left-wing populism stagnating. The exception is the Mediterranean countries where the populist parties of the radical left have greater influence.
Andreas Johansson Heino, the author of the Index, said: “The authoritarian populist parties are characterized by the fact that they see politics as a conflict between the” elite “and a homogeneous people with cohesive interests. He adds that “these parties have an authoritarian view of democracy that threatens many of the values at the heart of European democracy.”
Heino notes that in the spring, the election of both the European Parliament and national elections is imminent in Spain, Denmark, and Finland.
“We already know that populist parties will be at the center of the media. The indicator puts these trends in a broader perspective, “he concludes.
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.