What do Voters expect from Populist Parties?

23.04.2024 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Evelyne Hübscher
Lecturer affiliation: 
Central European University Vienna

Previous research has established that many voters who oppose fiscal austerity turn towards right-wing populist and often radical parties after fiscal adjustment programs. Our project examines the reasoning of these voters by studying the economic policy expectations that these voters put into political parties. The results from original surveys of 4’500 respondents in three key European countries, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, show that respondents fairly accurately judge the overall spending position of parties, including the pledge of right-wing populist parties to decrease rather than increase overall public spending. However, there are massive differences in the expectations of voters to what extent they and their community will benefit from different polit- ical parties, especially those on the radical right. Respondents who fear a decline in their social status expect that they benefit most from right-wing populist parties, while respondents who do well economically expect that they benefit least from them. These results suggest that the turn of anti-austerity voters towards populist parties is motivated by clear economic expectations and the distributional effects of the economic policies that these parties are expected to pursue.