Right-wing populism, also called national populism and right-wing nationalism,
is a political ideology
which combines right-wing politics
rhetoric and themes. The rhetoric often consists of anti-elitist
sentiments, opposition to the Establishment
, and speaking to the "common people
". Both right-wing populism and left-wing populism
object to the perceived control of liberal democracies
by elites; however, populism of the left also objects to the power of large corporations and their allies, while populism of the right normally supports strong controls
In Europe, the term right-wing populism is used to describe groups, politicians and political parties that are generally known for their opposition to immigration
, especially from the Islamic world
, and for Euroscepticism
. Right-wing populism in the Western world
is generally associated with ideologies such as anti-environmentalism
, and protectionism
. European right-wing populists may support expanding the welfare state, but only for the "deserving"; this concept has been referred to as "welfare chauvinism
From the 1990s, right-wing populist parties became established in the legislatures of various democracies. Although extreme right-wing
movements in the United States
(where they are normally referred to as the "radical right
") have been characterized atomistically, some writers consider them to be a part of a broader, right-wing populist phenomenon.
Since the Great Recession
, European right-wing populist movements such as the National Rally
(formerly the ''National Front'') in France, the League
in Italy, the Party for Freedom
and the Forum for Democracy
in the Netherlands, the Finns Party
, the Sweden Democrats
, Danish People's Party
, the Freedom Party of Austria
, the UK Independence Party
and the Brexit Party
began to grow in popularity, in large part due to increasing opposition to immigration from the Middle East
, rising Euroscepticism
and discontent with the economic policies of the European Union
. U.S. President Donald Trump
won the 2016 United States presidential election
after running on a platform that included right-wing populist themes.
Classification of right-wing populism into a single political family
has proved difficult and it is not certain whether a meaningful category exists, or merely a cluster of categories since the parties differ in ideology, organization and leadership rhetoric. Unlike traditional parties, they also do not belong to international organizations of like-minded parties, and they do not use similar terms to describe themselves.
argues that two definitions can be given of the "populist radical right": a maximum and a minimum one, with the "maximum" group being a subgroup of the "minimum" group. The minimum definition describes what Michael Freeden
has called the "core concept" of the right-wing populist ideology, that is the concept shared by all parties generally included in the family. Looking at the primary literature, Mudde concludes that the core concept of right-populism "is undoubtedly the "nation
". "This concept", he explains, "also certainly functions as a "coat-hanger" for most other ideological features. Consequently, the minimum definition of the party family should be based on the key concept, the nation". He however rejects the use of "nationalism
" as a "core ideology" of right-wing populism on the ground that there are also purely "civic" or "liberal" forms of nationalism, preferring instead the term "nativism
": a xenophobic form of nationalism asserting that "states should be inhabited exclusively by members of the native group ("the nation"), and that non-native elements (persons and ideas) are fundamentally threatening to the homogeneous nation-state". Mudde further argues that "while nativism could include racist arguments, it can also be non-racist (including and excluding on the basis of culture or even religion)", and that the term nativism does not reduce the parties to mere single-issue parties, such as the term "anti-immigrant" does. In the maximum definition, to nativism is added authoritarianism
—an attitude, not necessary anti-democratic or automatic, to prefer "law and order
" and the submission to authority—and populism
—a "thin-centered ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, "the pure people" versus "the corrupt elite", and which argues that politics should be an expression of the "general will of the people", if needed before human rights or constitutional guarantees. Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser reiterated in 2017 that within European right-wing populism there is a "marriage of convenience" of populism based on an "ethnic and chauvinistic definition of the people", authoritarianism, and nativism. This results in right-wing populism having a "xenophobic nature."
Roger Eatwell, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bath
, writes that "whilst populism and fascism differ notably ideologically, in practice the latter has borrowed aspects of populist discourse and style, and populism can degenerate into leader-oriented authoritarian and exclusionary politics." For populism to transition into fascism or proto-fascism, it requires a "nihilistic culture
and an intractable crisis."
pulism is like fascism in being a response to liberal and socialist explanations of the political. And also like fascism, populism does not recognize a legitimate political place for an opposition that it regards as acting against the desires of the people and that it also accuses of being tyrannical, conspiratorial, and antidemocratic. ... The opponents are turned into public enemies, but only rhetorically. If populism moves from rhetorical enmity to practices of enemy identification and persecution, we could be talking about its transformation into fascism or another form of dictatorial repression. This has happened in the past ... and without question it could happen in the future. This morphing of populism back into fascism is always a possibility, but it is very uncommon, and when it does happen, and populism becomes fully antidemocratic, it is no longer populism.
In summary, Erik Berggren and Andres Neergard wrote in 2015 that "
st researchers agree ..
, anti-immigration sentiments
, nativism, ethno-nationalism
are, in different ways, central elements in the ideologies, politics, and practices of right-wing populism and Extreme Right Wing Parties." Similarly, historian Rick Shenkman describes the ideology presented by right-wing populism as "a deadly mix of xenophobia, racism, and authoritarianism." Tamir Bar-On also concluded in 2018 that the literature generally places "nativism" or "ethnic nationalism" as the core concept of the ideology, which "implicitly posits a politically dominant group, while minorities are conceived as threats to the nation". It is "generally, but not necessarily racist"; in the case of the Dutch PVV
for instance, "a religious inority, i.e. Muslims
instead of an ethnic minority constitutes the main 'enemy'".
Scholars use terminology inconsistently, sometimes referring to right-wing populism as "radical right
" or other terms such as new nationalism
. Pippa Norris
noted that "standard reference works use alternate typologies and diverse labels categorising parties as 'far
' or 'extreme' right, 'new right
' or 'neofascist
', 'national populist
', 'protest', 'ethnic', 'authoritarian
', 'antiparty', 'ultranationalist
' and so on".
Motivations and methods
To Roger Eatwell
and Matthew Goodwin
, "national populists prioritize the culture and interests of the nation, and promise to give voice to a people who feel that they have been neglected, even held in contempt, by distant and often corrupt elites." They are part, Eatwell and Goodwin follow, of a "growing revolt against mainstream politics and liberal values. This challenge is in general not anti-democratic. Rather, national populists are opposed to certain ''aspects'' of liberal democracy as it has evolved in the West. ..heir
"direct" conception of democracy differs from the "liberal" one that has flourished across the West following the defeat of fascism and which has gradually become more elitist in character." Furthermore, national populists question what they call the "erosion of the nation-state", "hyper ethnic change" and the "capacity to rapidly absorb igh
rates of immigration", the "highly unequal societies" of the West's current economic settlement, and are suspicious of "cosmopolitan and globalizing agendas".
Populist parties use crisis in their domestic governments to enhance anti-globalist reactions; these include refrainment towards trade and anti-immigration policies. The support for these ideologies commonly comes from people whose employment might have low occupational mobility. This makes them more likely to develop an anti-immigrant and anti-globalization mentality that aligns with the ideals of the populist party.
and Nicolas Lebourg
see "national populism" as an attempt to combine socio-economical values of the left and political values of the right, and the support for a referendary
republic that would bypass traditional political divisions and institutions. As they aim at a unity of the political (the ''demos''), ethnic (the ''ethnos'') and social (the ''working class'') interpretations of the "people", national populists claim to defend the "average citizen" and "common sense", against the "betrayal of inevitably corrupt elites".
As Front National ideologue François Duprat
put in the 1970s, inspired by the Latin American right of that time, right-populism aims to constitute a "national, social, and popular" ideology. If populism
itself is shared by both left and right parties, their premises are indeed different in that right-wing populists perceive society as in a state of decadence, from which "only the healthy common people can free the nation by forming one national class from the different social classes and casting aside the corrupt elites".
Methodologically, by co-opting concepts from the left – such as multiculturalism
, which is espoused by the left as a means of preserving minority ethnic cultures within a pluralistic society – and then jettisoning their non-hierarchical essence, right-wing populists are able to, in the words of sociologist Jens Rydgren
, "mobilize on xenophobic and racist public opinions without being stigmatized as racists."
European right-wing populism can be traced back to the period 1870–1900 in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War
, with the nascence of two different trends in Germany and France: the ''Völkisch'' movement
''Völkischen'' represented a romantic nationalist
, and from the 1900s antisemitic tendency in German society, as they idealized a bio-mystical "original nation", that still could be found in their views in the rural regions, a form of "primitive democracy freely subjected to their natural elites".
In France, the anti-parliamentarian Ligue des Patriotes
, led by Boulanger
, called for a "plebiscitary republic", with the president elected by universal suffrage
, and the popular will expressed not through elected representatives (the "corrupted elites"), but rather via "legislative plebiscites", another name for referendums.
It also evolved to antisemitism after the Dreyfus affair
Modern national populism—what Pierro Ignazi called "post-industrial parties"—emerged in the 1970s, in a dynamic sustained by voters' rejection of the welfare state
and of the tax system, both deemed "confiscatory"; the rise of xenophobia against the backdrop of immigration which, because originating from outside Europe, was considered to be of a new kind; and finally, the end of the prosperity that had reigned since the post–World War II era, symbolized by the oil crisis of 1973
. Two precursor parties consequently appeared in the early 1970s: the Progress Party
, ancestor of the Danish People's Party
; and the Anders Lange's Party
A new wave of right-wing populism arose in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks
. "Neo-populists" are nationalist and Islamophobic politicians who aspire "to be the champions of freedoms for minorities (gays, Jews, women) against the Arab-Muslim masses"; a trend first embodied by the Dutch Pim Fortuyn List
, and later followed by Geert Wilders
' Party for Freedom
and Marine Le Pen
's National Rally
. According to Jean-Yves Camus
and Nicolas Lebourg
, those parties are however not a real syncretism
of the left and right, as both their ideology and voter base are interclassist. Furthermore, neo-populist parties went from a critique of the welfare state to that of multiculturalism
, and their priority demand remains the reduction of immigration.
Contemporary movements by country
Piero Ignazi divided right-wing populist parties, which he called "extreme right parties", into two categories: he placed traditional right-wing parties that had developed out of the historical right and post-industrial parties that had developed independently. He placed the British National Party
, the National Democratic Party of Germany
, the German People's Union
and the former Dutch Centre Party
in the first category, whose prototype would be the disbanded Italian Social Movement
; whereas he placed the French National Front
, the German Republicans
, the Dutch Centre Democrats
, the former Belgian Vlaams Blok
(which would include certain aspects of traditional extreme right parties), the Danish Progress Party
, the Norwegian Progress Party
and the Freedom Party of Austria
in the second category.
Right-wing populist parties in the English-speaking world include the UK Independence Party
and Australia's One Nation
. The U.S. Republican Party
and Conservative Party of Canada
include right-wing populist factions.
, right-wing populism began to rise roughly around the time Dilma Rousseff
won the 2014 presidential election
. In the Brazilian general election of 2014
, Levy Fidelix, from the Brazilian Labour Renewal Party
presented himself with a conservative speech and, according to him, the only right-wing
candidate. He spoke for traditional family values
and opposed abortion, legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage and proposed homosexual individuals to be treated far away from the good citizens' and workers' families. In the first round of the general election, Fidelix received 446,878 votes, representing 0.43% of the popular vote. Fidelix ranked 7th out of 11 candidates. In the second round, Fidelix supported candidate Aécio Neves
In addition, according to the political analyst of the Inter-Union Department of Parliamentary Advice Antônio Augusto de Queiroz the National Congress elected in 2014
may be considered the most conservative since the "re-democratization" movement, noting an increase in the number of parliamentarians linked to more conservative segments, such as ruralists
, the military
, the police
and the religious right
. The subsequent economic crisis of 2015 and investigations of corruption scandals led to a right-wing movement that sought to rescue fiscally
and socially conservative
ideas from in opposition
to the left-wing policies
of the Workers' Party
. At the same time, young market liberals
such as those that make up the Free Brazil Movement
emerged among many others. For Manheim (1952), within a single real generation there may be several generations which he called "differentiated and antagonistic". For him, it is not the common birth date that marks a generation, though it matters, but rather the historical moment in which they live in common. In the case, the historical moment was the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff
. They can be called the "post-Dilma generation".
Centrist interim President Michel Temer
took office following the impeachment of President Rousseff
. Temer held 3% approval ratings in October 2017,
facing a corruption scandal after accusations for obstructing justice
were placed against him.
He managed to avoid trial thanks to the support of the right-wing parties in the Brazilian Congress
On the other hand, President of the Senate Renan Calheiros
, who was acknowledged as one of the key figures behind Rousseff's destitution and member of the Centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party
, was himself removed from office after facing embezzlement
In March 2016, after entering the Social Christian Party
congressman Jair Bolsonaro
decided to run for President of the Republic. In 2017, he tried to become the presidential nominee of Patriota
, but, eventually, Bolsonaro entered the Social Liberal Party
and, supported by the Brazilian Labour Renewal Party
, he won the 2018 presidential election
followed by left-wing former Mayor of São Paulo Fernando Haddad
of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
's Workers' Party.
Lula was banned to run after being convicted on criminal corruption charges and being imprisoned. Bolsonaro has been accused of racist,
xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic rhetoric. His campaign was centered on opposition to crime, political corruption, LGBT identity and support for tax cuts, militarism
Canada has a history of right-wing populist protest parties and politicians, most notably in Western Canada
partly due to the idea of Western alienation
. The highly successful Social Credit Party of Canada
consistently won seats in British Columbia
, and Saskatchewan
, but fell into obscurity by the 1970s. The Reform Party of Canada
led by Preston Manning
was another right-wing populist party formed as a result of the policies of the centre-right Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
which alienated many Blue Tories
. The two parties ultimately merged into the Conservative Party of Canada
In recent years, right-wing populist elements have existed within the Conservative Party of Canada and mainstream provincial parties, and have most notably been espoused by Ontario MP Kellie Leitch
; businessman Kevin O'Leary
; Quebec Premier François Legault
; the former Mayor of Toronto
, Rob Ford
; and his brother, Ontario Premier Doug Ford
In August 2018, Conservative MP Maxime Bernier
left the party, and the following month he founded the People's Party of Canada
, which has been described as a "right of centre, populist" movement.
In the most recent political campaign
, both Evangelical Christian candidate Fabricio Alvarado
and right-wing anti-establishment candidate Juan Diego Castro
were described as examples of right-wing populists.
Early antecedents of right-wing populism which existed in the USA during the 1800s include the Anti-Masonic
and Know-Nothing Parties
. The Populist Party
(which existed in the 1890s) was a primarily left-wing populist
Moore (1996) argues that "populist opposition to the growing power of political, economic, and cultural elites" helped shape "conservative and right-wing movements" since the 1920s. Historical right-wing populist figures in both major parties in the United States have included Thomas E. Watson
, Strom Thurmond
, Joe McCarthy
, Barry Goldwater
, George Wallace
and Pat Buchanan
The Tea Party movement
has been characterized as "a right-wing anti-systemic populist movement" by Rasmussen and Schoen (2010). They add: "Today our country is in the midst of a...new populist revolt that has emerged overwhelmingly from the right – manifesting itself as the Tea Party movement". In 2010, David Barstow
wrote in ''The New York Times'': "The Tea Party movement has become a platform for conservative populist discontent". Some political figures closely associated with the Tea Party, such as U.S. Senator Ted Cruz
and former U.S. Representative Ron Paul
, have been described as appealing to right-wing populism. In the U.S. House of Representatives
, the Freedom Caucus
, which is associated with the Tea Party movement, has been described as right-wing populist.
's 2016 presidential campaign
, noted for its anti-establishment
, anti-immigration and anti-free trade rhetoric, was characterized as that of a right-wing populist. The ideology of Trump's former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon
, has also been described as such. According to a 2018 study, there is a strong correlation between the ratio of U.S. jobs that were lost to automation
and the states—such as Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and for Trump in 2016.
The main right-wing populist party in Australia is One Nation
, led by Pauline Hanson
. One Nation typically supports the governing Coalition
Other parties formerly represented in the Australian Parliament with right-wing populist elements and rhetoric include the Australian Conservatives
, led by Cory Bernardi
, Senator for South Australia
the libertarian Liberal Democratic Party
, led by David Leyonhjelm
, Senator for New South Wales
, and Katter's Australian Party
, led by Queensland MP Bob Katter
. The Liberal Democratic Party and the Australian Conservatives previously formed a voting bloc in the Australian Senate
Some figures within the Liberal Party of Australia
, which is part of the Coalition, have been described as right-wing populists, including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott
and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton
In India, right-wing populism came into the picture in the late 1980s by current ruling Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), the political party having close relation to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS
). Right-wing populism has been fostered by RSS which stands against persecution of Hindus by various invading forces over the centuries
and have also been attributed to the concept of Hindutva
. It vows to protect the ancient religion and culture of Hinduism
and have strong views against destruction of its ancient heritage, in India.
Former Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe
and Junichiro Koizumi
are both right-wing nationalists and populists.
In a speech to LDP
lawmakers in Tokyo on 8 March 2019, Steve Bannon
said that “Prime Minister Abe is a great hero to the grassroots, the populist, and the nationalist movement throughout the world.”
The recent wave of right-wing populism is in Pakistan in the form of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf
Its leader Imran Khan
has furiously attacked traditional politicians and made people believe that only he has the solutions.
British journalist Ben Judah, in an interview, compared Imran Khan with Donald Trump on his populist rhetoric.
Conservatism in South Korea
has traditionally been more inclined toward elitism
. However, since the 2016 South Korean political scandal
, Korean conservative forces have changed their political lines to populism as the distrust of the elite spread among the Korean public.
and Lee Un-ju
of the United Future Party
are leading right-wing populists advocating anti-homosexuality
and social conservatism
South Korean right-wing populists show a revisionist view of Gwangju Uprising
, and insist that the impeachment
of former President Park Geun-hye
is wrong, stimulating conservative public nostalgia for the Park Chung-hee
administration. It also shows a radical anti-North Korea
Taiwan (Republic of China)
's right-wing populists tend to deny the independent identity of their country's 'Taiwan' and emphasize their identity as a 'Republic of China'. Taiwan's left-wing Taiwanese nationalists
have strong pro-American tendencies, so Taiwan's major and minor conservatives are critical of this. In particular, Taiwan's right-wing populists demand that economic growth
Issues and right-wing Chinese nationalist
issues be more important than liberal democracy
, and that they become closer to the People's Republic of China
. One of Taiwan's leading right-wing populists is Terry Gou
and Han Kuo-yu
Senior European Union diplomats cite growing anxiety in Europe about Russian financial support for far-right
and populist movements and told the ''Financial Times
'' that the intelligence agencies of "several" countries had stepped up scrutiny of possible links with Moscow. In 2016, the Czech Republic
warned that Russia tries to "divide and conquer
" the European Union by supporting right-wing populist politicians across the bloc.
However, as there in the United States of America, there seems to be an underlying problem that isn't massively discussed in the media. That underlying problem is that of housing
. A 2019 study shows an immense correlation between the price of housing and voting for populist parties. In that study, it was revealed that the French citizens that saw the price of their houses stagnate or drop, were much more likely to vote for Marine Le Pen
in the 2017 French presidential election
. Whereas those that the price of their house rise, were much more likely to vote for Emmanuel Macron
. The same pattern emerged in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
, in which those that saw the price of their house rise, voted to Remain. Whereas those that saw it flatline or drop, voted to Leave.
The Austrian Freedom Party
(FPÖ) established in 1955 claims to represent a "Third Camp" (''Drittes Lager''), beside the Socialist Party
and the social Catholic Austrian People's Party
. It succeeded the Federation of Independents
founded after World War II, adopting the pre-war heritage of German nationalism
, although it did not advocate Nazism and placed itself in the political centre. Though it did not gain much popularity for decades, it exercised considerable balance of power
by supporting several federal governments
, be it right-wing or left-wing, e.g. the Socialist Kreisky
cabinet of 1970 (see Kreisky–Peter–Wiesenthal affair
From 1980, the Freedom Party adopted a more liberal
stance. Upon the 1983 federal election
, it entered a coalition government
with the Socialist Party, whereby party chairman Norbert Steger
served as Vice-Chancellor
. The liberal interlude however ended, when Jörg Haider
was elected chairman in 1986. By his down-to-earth manners and patriotic
attitude, Haider re-integrated the party's nationalist base voters. Nevertheless, he was also able to obtain votes from large sections of population disenchanted with politics by publicly denouncing corruption and nepotism
of the Austrian ''Proporz
'' system. The electoral success was boosted by Austria's accession to the European Union
Upon the 1999 federal election
, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) with 26.9% of the votes cast became the second strongest party in the National Council
parliament. Having entered a coalition government with the People's Party, Haider had to face the disability of several FPÖ ministers, but also the impossibility of agitation against members of his own cabinet. In 2005, he finally countered the FPÖ's loss of reputation by the Alliance for the Future of Austria
(BZÖ) relaunch in order to carry on his government. The remaining FPÖ members elected Heinz-Christian Strache
chairman, but since the 2006 federal election
both right-wing parties have run separately. After Haider was killed in a car accident in 2008, the BZÖ has lost a measurable amount of support.
The FPÖ regained much of its support in subsequent elections. Its candidate Norbert Hofer
made it into the runoff in the 2016 presidential election
, though he narrowly lost the election. After the 2017 legislative elections
, the FPÖ formed a government coalition
with the Austrian People's Party
, but lost seats in 2019
, established in 1978, operated on a platform of law and order, anti-immigration (with particular focus on Islamic immigration) and secession of the Flanders
region of the country. The secession was originally planned to end in the annexation of Flanders by the culturally and linguistically similar Netherlands
until the plan was abandoned due to the multiculturalism in that country. In the elections to the Flemish Parliament in June 2004, the party received 24.2% of the vote, within less than 2% of being the largest party.
However, in November of the same year, the party was ruled illegal under the country's anti-racism law
for, among other things, advocating segregated schools for citizens and immigrants.
In less than a week, the party was re-established under the name Vlaams Belang
, with a near-identical ideology. It advocates the adoption of the Flemish culture
by immigrants who wish to stay in the country.
Despite some accusations of antisemitism
from Belgium's Jewish population, the party has demonstrated a staunch pro-Israel stance as part of its opposition to Islam.
With 23 of 124 seats, Vlaams Belang leads the opposition in the Flemish Parliament
and it also holds 11 out of the 150 seats in the Belgian House of Representatives
, an associate of Steve Bannon, was chairman of the Parti Populaire (PP)
, which contested elections in Wallonia.
As of the 2019 federal, regional and European elections Vlaams Belang (VB) has surged from 248,843 votes in 2014 to 783,977 votes on 26 May 2019.
is a right-wing populist political party founded by Bulgarian businessman Veselin Mareshki
on 15 July 2007. Before 2016, it was known variously as Today and Liberal Alliance. The party advocates populist and reform policies, promoting patriotism, strict immigration controls, friendlier relations with Moscow, Bulgarian withdrawal form NATO
, and the need to "sweep away the garbage" of a corrupt political establishment.
(National People's Front) (Εθνικό Λαϊκό Μέτωπο
) was formed in 2008.
Its platform includes maintaining Cypriot identity, opposition to further European integration, immigration and the ''status quo'' that remains due to Turkey's invasion of a third of the island (and the international community's lack of intention to solve the issue).
In the early 1970s, the home of the strongest right-wing-populist party in Europe was in Denmark, the Progress Party
[Jens Rydgren. "Explaining the Emergence of Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties: The Case of Denmark" ''West European Politics'', Vol. 27, No. 3, May 2004, pp. 474–502."]
In the 1973 election
, it received almost 16% of the vote.
In the following years, its support dwindled away, but was replaced by the Danish People's Party
in the 1990s, which has gone on to be an important support party for the governing Liberal-Conservative coalition in the 2000s (decade). The Danish People's Party is the largest and most influential right-wing populist party in Denmark today. It won 37 seats in the 2015 Danish general election
and became the second largest party in Denmark. The Danish People's Party advocates immigration reductions, particularly from non-Western countries, favor cultural assimilation of first generation migrants into Danish society and are opposed to Denmark becoming a multicultural society.
Additionally, the Danish People's Party's stated goals are to enforce a strict rule of law
, to maintain a strong welfare system for those in need, to promote economic growth
by strengthening education and encouraging people to work and in favor of protecting the environment. In 2015, The New Right
was founded, and have 4 seats in the current Folketing.
In Finland the main right-wing party is the Finns Party
. Together with National Coalition
, it formed the government coalition after the 2015 parliamentary election
. In 2017 the governmental branch broke off to form the Blue Reform
, which took the coalition position from the Finns Party
. Blue Reform is currently in government coalition
and the Finns Party
in opposition and are the fastest growing party in Finland. In 2018 a Finnish member of the parliament Paavo Väyrynen
formed the Seven Star Movement
. The party is anti-immigration but is in center in economic politics.
France's National Front
(NF) – renamed in 2018 as the "National Rally" – has been cited the "prototypical populist radical right-wing party".
The party was founded in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen
as the unification of a number of French nationalist movements of the time, it was developed by him into a well-organized party.
After struggline for a decade, the party reached its first peak in 1984. By 2002, Le Pen received more votes than the Socialist candidate in the first round of voting for the French presidency, becoming the first time a NF candidate had qualified for a high-level run-off election.
Since Le Pen's daughter, Marine Le Pen
, took over as the head of the party in 2011, the National Front has established itself as one of the main political parties in France. Marine Le Pen's policy of "de-demonizing", or normalizing the party resulted in her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, being first suspended and then ejected from the party in 2015.
Marine Le Pen finished second in the 2017 election
and lost in the second round of voting versus Emmanuel Macron
which was held on 7 May 2017. However, polls published in 2018 showed that a majority of the French population consider the party to be a threat to democracy.
The 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election
result was a victory for the Fidesz
alliance, preserving its two-thirds majority, with Viktor Orbán
remaining Prime Minister. Orbán and Fidesz campaigned primarily on the issues of immigration and foreign meddling, and the election was seen as a victory for right-wing populism in Europe.
Since 2013, the most popular right-wing populist party in Germany has been Alternative for Germany
which managed to finish third in the 2017 German federal election
, making it the first right-wing populist party to enter the Bundestag
, Germany's national parliament. Before, right-wing populist parties had gained seats in German State Parliaments
only. Left-wing populism
is represented in the Bundestag by The Left
On a regional level, right-wing populist movements like Pro NRW
and Citizens in Rage
(''Bürger in Wut'', BIW) sporadically attract some support. In 1989, The Republicans
(''Die Republikaner'') led by Franz Schönhuber
entered the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin
and achieved more than 7% of the German votes cast in the 1989 European election
, with six seats in the European Parliament. The party also won seats in the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg
twice in 1992 and 1996, but after 2000 the Republicans' support eroded in favour of the far-right German People's Union
and the Neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany
(NPD), which in the 2009 federal election
held 1.5% of the popular vote (winning up to 9% in regional ''Landtag
'' parliamentary elections).
In 2005, a nationwide Pro Germany Citizens' Movement
(''pro Deutschland'') was founded in Cologne
. The Pro Germany movement appears as a conglomerate of numerous small parties, voters' associations and societies, distinguishing themselves by campaigns against extremism
and immigrants. Its representatives claim a zero tolerance
policy and the combat of corruption. With the denial of a multiethnic society
'') and the islamization
, their politics extend to far-right positions. Other minor right-wing populist parties include the German Freedom Party
founded in 2010, the former East German German Social Union
(DSU) and the dissolved Party for a Rule of Law Offensive
The most prominent right-wing populist party in Greece is the Independent Greeks (ANEL)
Despite being smaller than the more extreme Golden Dawn party, after the January 2015 legislative elections
ANEL formed a governing coalition with the left-wing Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)
, thus making the party a governing party and giving it a place in the Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras
The Golden Dawn
has grown significantly in Greece during the country's economic downturn, gaining 7% of the vote and 18 out of 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament
. The party's ideology includes annexation
of territory in Albania and Turkey, including the Turkish cities of Istanbul
Controversial measures by the party included a poor people's kitchen in Athens
which only supplied to Greek citizens and was shut down by the police.
The Popular Orthodox Rally
is not represented in the Greek legislature, but supplied 2 of the country's 22 MEPS until 2014. It supports anti-globalisation
and lower taxes for small businesses as well as opposition to Turkish accession to the European Union
and the Republic of Macedonia
's use of the name Macedonia
as well as immigration only for Europeans. Its participation in government has been one of the reasons why it became unpopular with its voters who turned to Golden Dawn
in Greece's 2012 elections.
, the most prominent right-wing populist party is Lega
, formerly Lega Nord (Northern League),
whose leaders reject the right-wing label,
though not the "populist" one.
The League is a federalist
and sometimes secessionist
party, founded in 1991 as a federation of several regional parties of Northern
and Central Italy
, most of which had arisen and expanded during the 1980s. LN's program advocates the transformation of Italy into a federal state, fiscal federalism and greater regional autonomy, especially for the Northern regions. At times, the party has advocated for the secession of the North, which it calls Padania
. The party generally takes an anti-Southern Italian
stance as members are known for opposing Southern Italian emigration to Northern Italian cities, stereotyping Southern Italians as welfare abusers and detrimental to Italian society and attributing Italy's economic troubles and the disparity of the North-South divide in the Italian economy
to supposed inherent negative characteristics of the Southern Italians, such as laziness, lack of education or criminality.
Certain LN members have been known to publicly deploy the offensive slur "''terrone''", a common pejorative term for Southern Italians that is evocative of negative Southern Italian stereotypes. As a federalist, regionalist, populist party of the North, LN is also highly critical of the centralized power and political importance of Rome, sometimes adopting to a lesser extent an anti-Roman stance in addition to an anti-Southern stance.
With the rise of immigration into Italy since the late 1990s, LN has increasingly turned its attention to criticizing mass immigration to Italy. The LN, which also opposes illegal immigration, is critical of Islam and proposes Italy's exit from the Eurozone, is considered a Eurosceptic movement and as such is apart of the Identity and Democracy(ID) group in the European Parliament. LN was or is part of the national government in 1994, 2001–2006, 2008–2011 and 2018–2019. Most recently, the party, which notably includes among its members the Presidents of Lombardy and Veneto, won 17.4% of the vote in the 2018 general election, becoming the third-largest party in Italy (largest within the centre-right coalition). In the 2014 European election, under the leadership of Matteo Salvini it took 6.2% of votes. Under Salvini, the party has to some extent embraced Italian nationalism and emphasised Euroscepticism, opposition to immigration and other "populist" policies, while forming an alliance with right-wing populist parties in Europe.
Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia and Prime Minister of Italy from 1994–1995, 2001–2006 and 2008–2011, has sometimes been described as a right-wing populist, although his party is not typically described as such.
A number of national conservative, nationalist and arguably right-wing populist parties are strong especially in Lazio, the region around Rome and Southern Italy. Most of them originated as a result of the Italian Social Movement (a national-conservative party, whose best result was 8.7% of the vote in the 1972 general election) and its successor National Alliance (which reached 15.7% of the vote in 1996 general election). They include the Brothers of Italy (4.4% in 2018), New Force (0.3%), ''CasaPound'' (0.1%), Tricolour Flame (0.1%), Social Idea Movement (0.01%) and ''Progetto Nazionale'' (0.01%).
Additionally, in the German-speaking South Tyrol the local second-largest party, ''Die Freiheitlichen'', is often described as a right-wing populist party.
In the Netherlands, right-wing populism was represented in the 150-seat House of Representatives in 1982, when the Centre Party won a single seat. During the 1990s, a splinter party, the Centre Democrats, was slightly more successful, although its significance was still marginal. Not before 2002 did a right-wing populist party break through in the Netherlands, when the Pim Fortuyn List won 26 seats and subsequently formed a coalition with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Fortuyn, who had strong views against immigration, particularly by Muslims, was assassinated in May 2002, two weeks before the election. The coalition had broken up by 2003, and the party went into steep decline until it was dissolved.
Since 2006, the Party for Freedom (PVV) has been represented in the House of Representatives. Following the 2010 general election, it has been in a pact with the right-wing minority government of CDA and VVD after it won 24 seats in the House of Representatives. The party is Eurosceptic and plays a leading role in the changing stance of the Dutch government towards European integration as they came second in the 2009 European Parliament election, winning 4 out of 25 seats. The party's main programme revolves around strong criticism of Islam, restrictions on migration from new European Union countries and Islamic countries, pushing for cultural assimilation of migrants into Dutch society, opposing the accession of Turkey to the European Union, advocating for the Netherlands to withdraw from the European Union and advocating for a return to the guilder through ending Dutch usage of the euro.
The PVV withdrew its support for the First Rutte cabinet in 2012 after refusing to support austerity measures. This triggered the 2012 general election in which the PVV was reduced to 15 seats and excluded from the new government.
In the 2017 Dutch general election, Wilders' PVV gained an extra five seats to become the second largest party in the Dutch House of Representatives, bringing their total to 20 seats.
From 2017 onwards, the Forum for Democracy has emerged as another right-wing populist force in the Netherlands.
The largest right-wing populist party in Poland is Law and Justice, which currently holds both the presidency and a governing majority in the Sejm. It combines social conservatism and criticism of immigration with strong support for NATO and an interventionist economic policy.
Polish Congress of the New Right, headed by Michał Marusik, aggressively promotes fiscally conservative concepts like radical tax reductions preceded by abolishment of social security, universal public healthcare, state-sponsored education and abolishment of Communist Polish 1944 agricultural reform as a way to dynamical economic and welfare growth.
The party is considered populist both by right-wing and left-wing publicists.
The Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), a right-wing populist party,
became the fourth-largest political force in Romania after the 2020 Romanian legislative election.
In Spain, the appearance of right-wing populism began to gain strength after the December 2018 election for the Parliament of Andalusia, in which the right-wing populist party VOX managed to obtain 12 seats, and agreed to support a coalition government of the parties of the right People's Party and Citizens, even though the Socialist Party won the elections. VOX, that has been frequently described as far-right, both by the left parties and by Spanish or international press, promotes characteristic policies of the populist right, such as the expulsion of all illegal immigrants from the country -even of legal immigrants who commit crimes-, a generalized criminal tightening, combined with traditional claims of right-wing conservatives, such as the centralization of the State and the suppression of the Autonomous Communities, and has harshly criticized the laws against gender violence, approved by the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, but later maintained by the PP executive of Mariano Rajoy, accusing the people and institutions that defend them of applying "''gender totalitarianism''".
Party official Javier Ortega Smith is being investigated for alleged hate speech after Spanish prosecutors admitted a complaint by an Islamic association in connection with a rally that talked about “the Islamist invasion”. The party election manifesto that was finally published merged classic far-right-inspired policies with right-wing liberalism in tax and social security matters.
After months of political uncertainty and protests against the party in Andalusia and other regions, in the 2019 Spanish general election VOX managed to obtain 24 deputies in the Congress of Deputies, with 10.26% of the vote, falling short from expectations after an intense electoral campaign in which VOX gathered big crowds of people at their events. Although the People's Party and Citizens leaders, Pablo Casado and Albert Rivera, had admitted repeatedly during the campaign that they would again agree with VOX in order to reach the government, the sum of all their seats finally left them far from any possibility, giving the government to the socialist Pedro Sánchez.
The Sweden Democrats are the third largest party in Sweden with 17.53% of popular votes in the parliamentary election of 2018.
In Switzerland, the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party (SVP) reached an all-time high in the 2015 elections. The party is mainly considered to be national conservative, but it has also variously been identified as "extreme right" and "radical right-wing populist", reflecting a spectrum of ideologies present among its members. In its far-right wing, it includes members such as Ulrich Schlüer, Pascal Junod, who heads a New Right study group and has been linked to Holocaust denial and neo-Nazism.
In Switzerland, radical right populist parties held close to 10% of the popular vote in 1971, were reduced to below 2% by 1979 and again grew to more than 10% in 1991. Since 1991, these parties (the Swiss Democrats and the Swiss Freedom Party) have been absorbed by the SVP. During the 1990s, the SVP grew from being the fourth largest party to being the largest and gained a second seat the Swiss Federal Council in 2003, with prominent politician and businessman Christoph Blocher. In 2015, the SVP received 29.4% of the vote, the highest vote ever recorded for a single party throughout Swiss parliamentary history.
Justice and Development Party (AKP), and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power since 2002.
Media outlets such as ''The New York Times'' have called the UK Independence Party (UKIP), then led by Nigel Farage, the largest right-wing populist party in the United Kingdom. UKIP campaigned for an exit from the European Union prior to the 2016 European membership referendum and a points-based immigration system similar to that used in Australia.
The United Kingdom's governing Conservative Party has seen defections to UKIP over the European Union and immigration debates as well as LGBT rights.
In the Conservative Party, party leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been described as expressing right-wing populist views during the successful Vote Leave campaign. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House of Commons, has also been described as a right-wing populist.
In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the main right-wing populist force.
Right-wing populist political parties
Current right-wing populist parties or parties with right-wing populist factions
Represented in national legislatures
* – Pauline Hanson's One Nation,
Katter's Australian Party
* – Austrian People's Party, Freedom Party of Austria
* – Vlaams Belang
* – Social Liberal Party, Patriota
* – National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement, Attack, Volya
* – Conservative Party (factions), Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (factions), Coalition Avenir Quebec
* – National Restoration Party, New Republic Party, National Integration Party
* – Miroslav Škoro Homeland Movement, Croatian Conservative Party
* – ELAM, Solidarity Movement
* – Freedom and Direct Democracy
* – Danish People's Party, New Right
* – Conservative People's Party of Estonia
* – Identity and Democracy Party, European Conservatives and Reformists Party (factions)
* – Finns Party
* – National Rally, Debout la France,
* – Alternative for Germany
* – Greek Solution, New Democracy (factions)
* – Fidesz, Jobbik, Our Homeland Movement
* – Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena
* – Great Indonesia Movement Party
* – League, Brothers of Italy, Five Star Movement (factions), Forza Italia (factions)
* – Likud (factions), Yamina, Religious Zionist Party, Otzma Yehudit
* – Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai, Kibō no Tō
* – National Alliance, Who owns the state?
* – The Independents
* – Order and Justice
* – Alternative Democratic Reform Party
* – Party for Freedom, Forum for Democracy
* – VMRO-DPMNE
* – Progress Party
* – Popular Force
* – Nacionalista Party
* – United Right (Law and Justice, United Poland), Confederation (KORWiN, National Movement)
* – Chega
* – Alliance for the Union of Romanians
* – United Russia, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Rodina
* – Serbian Progressive Party, Serbian People's Party, Serbian Patriotic Alliance
* – Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia, We Are Family
* – Slovenian Democratic Party, Slovenian National Party
* – Freedom Front Plus
* – People Power Party
* – Vox
* – Sweden Democrats
* – Swiss People's Party, Geneva Citizens' Movement, Ticino League
* - Kuomintang (factions), New party
* – Justice and Development Party, Nationalist Movement Party, Good Party
* – Svoboda
* – Conservative Party (factions), Democratic Unionist Party
* – Republican Party (factions)
* – Open Cabildo
Not represented in national legislatures
* – Red and Black Alliance, Albanian National Front Party
* – Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Australian Protectionist Party, Rise Up Australia, Australian Liberty Alliance
* – Alliance for the Future of Austria,
Free Party Salzburg
* – Libertair, Direct, Democratisch, People's Party VLOTT
* – Alliance for Brazil, Brazilian Labour Renewal Party
* – Bulgaria Without Censorship
* – People's Party of Canada, Alliance of the North, National Advancement Party of Canada
* – Republican Party
* – Croatian Party of Rights, Croatian Party of Rights Dr. Ante Starčević, Independents for Croatia
* – Workers' Party of Social Justice, Coalition for Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia
* – Progress Party, [Paul Hainsworth (2008). ] Hard Line
* – Blue and White Front, Seven Star Movement, Blue Reform
* – Alsace First
* – National Democratic Party of Germany,
The Extreme Right in Western Europe
'. Routledge. p. 49
Citizens' Movement Pro Chemnitz, German Social Union, The Republicans
* – Golden Dawn, [Antonis Galanopoulos: Greek right-wing populist parties and Euroscepticism](_blank) Popular Orthodox Rally,
PDF), p.2 "Golden Dawn is also Eurosceptical and it is opposing Greece's participation in the European Union and the Eurozone"
[Gemenis, Kostas (2008) "The 2007 Parliamentary Election in Greece", ''Mediterranean Politics'' 13: 95–101 and Gemenis, Kostas and Dinas, Elias (2009)]
Confrontation still? Examining parties' policy positions in Greece
, ''Comparative European Politics''.
* – Icelandic National Front
* – Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Hindu Mahasabha
* – National Party, Irish Freedom Party
* – Zehut
* – Tricolour Flame, Die Freiheitlichen, Citizens' Union for South Tyrol, South Tyrolean Freedom
* – Moviment Patrijotti Maltin
* – Party of Serb Radicals, True Montenegro, Serb List
* – Forza! Nederland
* – New Conservative Party, Advance New Zealand, Vision NZ, New Zealand Public Party
* – Kukiz'15, Congress of the New Right, Real Politics Union)
* – National Renovator Party, Portugal Pro-Life
* – National Identity Bloc in Europe (Greater Romania Party, United Romania Party, Noua Dreaptă), New Generation Party, M10
* – Serbian Radical Party, Dveri, Hungarian Hope Movement, People's Peasant Party
* – Slovak National Party
* – New Pro-Park Party, Liberty Republican Party, Dawn of Liberty
* - Alternative for Sweden
* – Federal Democratic Union of Switzerland, Freedom Party of Switzerland, Swiss Democrats
* – Liberal Democratic Party of Pridnestrovie
* – Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists
* – British National Party, For Britain, Brexit Party, Veterans and People's Party, UK Independence Party,
* – Constitution Party
Former or disbanded right-wing populist parties
* – Team Stronach
* – National Front, Vlaams Blok, People's Party
* – Union Nationale (Quebec), Ralliement national, Action démocratique du Québec, Reform Party of Canada, Canadian Alliance, Social Credit Party, Wildrose Party (Alberta)
* – New Horizons
* – Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja, Croatian Democratic Union (factions)
* – Public Affairs, Dawn - National Coalition
* – Progress Party
* – Citizens' Movement Pro Cologne, German Freedom Party, German People's Union, Pro Germany Citizens' Movement, Pro NRW, German National People's Party
* – Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy
* – Citizens' Party
* - Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Succeeded by Bharatiya Janata Party)
* – National Alliance
* – Japan Restoration Party,
* – Centre Democrats, Pim Fortuyn List [Andeweg, R. and G. Irwin ''Politics and Governance in the Netherlands'', Basingstoke (Palgrave) p.49]
* – Democratic Republican Party, Liberty Korea Party, Onward for Future 4.0
* – Independent Liberal Group, Platform for Catalonia [Anglada: "Being populist and identitarian is being honestly democratic"]
* – New Democracy
Minuto Digital (Spanish)
* – Party of Farmers, Traders and Independents, Republican Movement
* – Arab Liberation Movement
* – National Democrats
* Right-wing antiscience
* Christian right
* Dark Enlightenment
* Economic nationalism
* Left-wing populism
* National conservatism
* National liberalism
* Paternalistic conservatism
* Revisionist Zionism
* Right-wing authoritarianism
* Social conservatism
* White backlash
*Berlet, Chip and Matthew N. Lyons. 2000. ''Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort''. New York: Guilford Press. , .
*Betz, Hans-Georg. ''Radical right-wing populism in Western Europe''. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1994 .
*Betz, Hans-Georg and Immerfall, Stefan. ''The New Politics of the Right: Neo-Populist Parties and Movements in Established Democracies''. Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK, Macmillan Press Ltd., 1998 ,
*Fielitz, Maik; Laloire, Laura Lotte (eds.) (2016). ''Trouble on the Far Right. Contemporary Right-Wing Strategies and Practices in Europe''. Bielefeld: transcript. .
*Fritzsche, Peter. 1990. ''Rehearsals for Fascism: Populism and Political Mobilization in Weimar Germany''. New York: Oxford University Press. .
*Goldwag, Arthur. ''The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right''. Pantheon, February 2012, .
*Wodak, Ruth. ''The politics of fear: What right-wing populist discourses mean''. London: Sage, 2015. .
*Wodak, Ruth, Brigitte Mral and Majid Khosravinik, editors. ''Right wing populism in Europe: politics and discourse''. London. Bloomsbury Academic. 2013. .
"Fact check: The rise of right-wing populism in Europe"
Channel 4 News (UK). 28 September 2017.