Part or chapter of a book
Electoral basis of populist parties
Political Populism. A Handbook
157 - 168 p.
Populism, Voter, Attitudes, Elections
The electoral success of populism has been one of the most significant political developments of recent decades, which has accelerated dramatically in the 2010s. While most of the research on populism has concentrated on conceptual issues, the analysis of populist discourse or explaining the rise of populist parties, the relevance of the ‘demand-side’ of populist politics is increasingly recognized in the literature on this subject (Pauwels 2014; Van Kessel 2013). This article engages in a review of that literature on the basis of electoral support for populist parties, and the motives of voters for supporting those parties. Working from the predominance of populism being defined as a ‘thin ideology’ (Mudde 2004), it addresses two dominant strands of research, which relate to the radical right-wing and left-wing manifestations of populism, to propose a review of current knowledge on the social and attitudinal basis of voting for radical populist parties. The last section identifies future research avenues in the field of populist electoral politics.