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Cas Mudde ♠️ @CasMudde
, 14 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
NEW! @pewglobal has just published an interesting and important report on ideology vs populism in Western Europe (full disclosure: I was consulted on it). Here are some of my quick takes. #Thread
You can find the full study here -->…
1. The main takeaway for politicians and pundits should be that populist parties are NOT the voice of the people! In fact, in almost all countries they are BY FAR the least favored party!
2. Favorability gap between populist and traditional parties is massive in North and substantial in much of South! This is even the case with left populist Podemos (less favorable than PP, although poll before govt crisis!) and most normalized populist radical right party, DF!
3. Idiotic frame that AfD is more popular than Merkel should finally stop. Favorability of AfD is just 11%, compared to 55% for CDU! I'm not even talking about favorability polls of Merkel as Chancellor.
4. Not surprisingly, populism plays a key role in perceptions of immigration, the economy, and European integration (on all, populists are more negative than non-populists) --> measurement of "populism" is very light, see appendix.
5. In general, however, left-right (ideology) is more important than populism-traditional. In other words, and let me capitalize this for journalists and pundits: POPULISM IS A SECONDARY ASPECT OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN POLITICS!
6. So, let's talk about the primary issue. NO, not economic anxiety! First, the economy is seen very positive in the North, and only negative in the South.
7. While "populists" overall are more negative about the state of the economy, the differences are not so striking. Moreover, given point 6, it will mainly profit left populist parties like La France Insoumise and Podemos and the non-populist radical right M5S.
8. It's the nativism, stupid! While relatively few see immigration as an economic burden, WE populations are split on its effect on terrorism.
9. While "right populists" clearly see immigration more as an economic burden, even in this group it is only a majority in three countries (and a clear majority in one).
10. In contrast, in ALL countries a majority of "right populists" say immigration increases the risk of terrorism!
11. As is to be expected, "populism" plays the strongest role in terms of trust in political institutions, particularly the national parliament. In fact, much more than ideology. Doubtful this measures what we think it does though.
12. Finally, the so-maligned European Union. Like most traditional politicians, (large) majorities see EU membership as good for the economy (bar Italy) but want "EU powers returned to national governments" (very vague formulation!).
13. In conclusion:

- left-right division trumps populist-traditional division in European politics
- populist parties are much more out of line with majority of West Europeans than traditional parties
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