he Populism Tracker of The Progressive Post aims at becoming the most comprehensive website investigating the trends of populism in all the countries of the European Union. The website is operated by FEPS and Policy Solutions.
The website allows readers to track the popularity of all European populist parties on our Populism Map, analyse the trends with the help of our continuously updated Populism Graph, and read our studies, research and analyses published by Policy Solutions, FEPS and their partners on the subject of populism.
The past few years have seen a surge in the public support of populist, euroskeptical and radical parties throughout almost the entire European Union. In several member states, their popularity matches or even exceeds the level of public support of the centre-left. In the 2014 EP elections, populist and euroskeptical parties have emerged as the strongest political force in four countries, and in another six they have become the second strongest parties. In a further seven countries, the third strongest parties were also right or left-wing populists. Of the 28 EU member states, local populists attained at least 10% of the votes in 17 countries. Populism has gained spectacularly in strength in such key member states as France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Hungary or Greece.
At the same time, it has also become obvious that not only left-wing populist parties are capable of winning over former mainstream left-wing voters, but so are right-wing populist parties. The French Front National, the Dutch PVV and the Hungarian Jobbik have managed to draw masses of voters who had previously opted for the left. The main challengers of the European centre-left are no longer only the parties on the centre-right, but also those on the populist spectrum on either side.
Even though the centre-left parties, think tanks and researchers are aware of this challenge, there is still more that could be done in this field. There is occasional research on individual populist parties in some member states, but there is no regular overview – updated on a monthly basis – how the popularity of populist parties changes in the EU28, where new parties appear and old ones disappear.
That is the reason why Policy Solutions and FEPS have launched this website, which we hope will become a useful tool to better understand the trends behind populism.