YouGov survey reinforces what we’ve been seeing in some EU countries: authoritarian populist sentiment

by , under Enrique Tessieri

A recent YouGov survey on authoritarian populist opinions in 12 European countries revealed something that we all knew. Authoritarian populist opinions are defined by the survey as people who have anti-immigration, anti-human rights, anti-EU institutions, and power as well as strong opinions on foreign policy. 

Near 50% of the 12,000 people surveyed held anti-immigration views.

The most authoritarian populist countries in the survey were: Romania (82%), Poland (78%), France (63%), Holland (55%), Finland (50%), Denmark (49%), Britain (48%), Italy (47%), Sweden (35%) and Spain (33%).

The country with the lowest authoritarian populist opinions was Germany at 18%.

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In Finland, we’ve seen the rise of authoritarian populist sentiment through the Perussuomalaiset* party supported by mainstream ones like the National Coalition Party and Center Party.

Political parties in Finland, like the media, are a mirror of our society.

YouGov’s head of political and social research for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, John Twyman, said: “These results show that the old days of left-versus-right have been replaced by a much more complicated, nuanced mix of political groupings, with profound implications for politics across Europe. Any political party or movement that can successfully appeal to those of an authoritarian populist leaning could benefit hugely when it comes to elections.”

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

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