Historic shift: Populism now as big as social democracy in Europe


There are obvious reasons for the Social Democrats’ bitter attack on so-called right-wing populism and migration criticism in the run-up to the EU elections this spring.

According to social-liberal think tank Timbro’s new populist index, more than one in four voters in Europe are now voting for populist parties – which is the same number of people who vote for social democratic parties.

Populism as a political force in Europe is now twice as strong as liberalism and equal to social democracy. It is a historic shift that we see, says Andreas Johansson Heinö, publishing director at Timbro.

A total of 71 million, corresponding to 26.8 percent, of Europe’s 264 million citizens entitled to vote chose to cast their vote on a populist party at the last national election in their country.