Saturday, 04 February 2023 12:29

Real Instituto el Cano : Right-wing populism, the Spanish exception (study)

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Very few European countries have proven immune to the appeal of right-wing populism. The exception is Spain: despite economic crisis and fast-eroding political trust, Spain has not seen any right-wing populist party obtain more than 1% of the vote in national elections in recent years. What might explain this remarkable absence of an electorally successful Spanish right-wing populist party?

Using public data (including statistics and opinion polls), interviews with experts and original polling, this case study scrutinises various factors influencing right-wing populist success in Spain – or lack thereof. First, it sets out why it is so remarkable that Spain should not have a right-wing populist presence in politics. Several explanations are discussed, including the historical weakness of the Spanish national identity and the Spanish people’s pro-Europeanism. These factors all seem to influence the (lack of) demand for a populist message by Spanish people. In and of themselves, however, these factors fail fully to explain the absence of a right-wing political party. Finally, this case study considers so-called supply-side factors, particularly the failure of parties that have tried to appeal to right-wing populist sentiments in Spain and the effects of the Spanish electoral system.

(Extract)

Read the study

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