What is it about?

Populism has become the biggest danger for democracy. We study the competition in the left, between populist and non-populist left parties. Who votes for left populist parties instead of the traditional left? We show that left voters that choose populist are more critical towards the EU and view immigration more negatively.

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Why is it important?

Our study extends evidence mostly based on case-studies to all EU countries where non-populist and populist parties competed for the left vote in the 2014 European election. It shows, among other things, that not only the EU, but also immigration is important to understand support for populist parties. This means that the europeist, migration-friendly stance of non-populist left parties (mainly socialist ones) subjects them to eventual competition not only from right wing populists but also from left wing ones. Socialist and other non-populist parties need to devote time and efforts to explain better their position. Failure to do so may alienate those who have not abbandoned them (yet) for populist challengers.


I hope this article helps to understand a bit better the support for populism and its connection to immigration. Because although we may not like populists (or even politicians at large), they are certainly going to affect the way Europeans live and many policy realms.

Andrés Santana
Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Electoral support for left wing populist parties in Europe: addressing the globalization cleavage, European Politics and Society, June 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/23745118.2018.1482848.
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