A survey of more than half a million people found that populist parties and politicians around the world lost support during the coronavirus epidemic.
The study, released Tuesday by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at Cambridge University, surveyed more than half a million participants in 109 countries. The research team has been monitoring the political attitudes of participants since 2020.
According to the report, radical and anti-systemic leaders such as former US President Donald Trump are showing signs of a “populist wave” coming to power.
Researchers say populist leaders’ mismanagement of the Kovid-19 crisis and their declining commitment to stability and polarization are diverting public opinion from populist views. According to the poll, populist leaders are less credible as sources of information about Kovid than centralists.
According to the newspaper, the plague led to the transition to technocratic politics, which boosted confidence in experts such as the government and scientists.
“The political history of recent years is that politicians have emerged against a growing system of mistrust of experts,” the report’s senior author, Roberto Foa, said in a press release on Tuesday. “From [Turkey’s] Erdogan and [Brazil’s] Bolsonaro to the ‘strong men’ of Eastern Europe, our planet has experienced a wave of political populism. Covid-19 may have created this wave. “
Foa added that in a way that is not visible to “core” politicians, support for anti-system parties has fallen around the world.
Co-author Xavier Romero-Vidal added that the plague “created a sense of shared purpose, which may have reduced the political extremes we have seen in the last decade.”
“It will help explain why populist leaders are fighting for support,” he said.
According to the study, the ratings of populist leaders fell by an average of 10 percent between spring 2020 and the last quarter of 2021. In Europe, the turnout for the populist party fell by an average of 11 percent to 27 percent over the same period.
Support for the ruling European populist parties, such as the Italian Five Star Movement and the Hungarian Fidesz, has declined the most during the early stagnation.
Opposition populist parties lost support during the epidemic, while “mainstream” opposition parties gained support.
The fact that governments have approved ways to deal with the Covedi crisis shows that confidence in the skills of populist leaders is growing. In June 2020, public acceptance of how populist leaders overcame the plague was on average 11 percent lower than that of central governments. By the end of 2020, the gap will have widened to 16 points.
Statements related to populism, such as resentment of “corrupt elites” and a desire to obey the “will of the people,” also declined, the report said. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of people agreeing with a similar statement in Italy, the United Kingdom and France fell by about 10 percent.
At the same time, researchers found that in most countries, the number of political “tribes” expressed by party supporters, who expressed strong dissatisfaction with those who voted for opposition politicians, has decreased. However, the so-called tribalism in the United States has not abated.
Lack of confidence in democracy
Despite the findings, the decline in populist support has not boosted confidence in liberal democracy, analysts say.
Confidence in government has risen steadily during the pandemic, rising by an average of 3.4 percent in democracies around the world, but confidence in democracy in the political system has declined.
“Democracy satisfaction has recovered slightly from the post-war 2019 low and remains well below the long-term average,” Foa said. “Some of the biggest declines in democratic support during the pandemic have been observed in Germany, Spain, and Japan, or in countries with large populations that are vulnerable to the virus.”
In the United States, the number of participants who saw democracy as a bad way to run the country doubled from 10.5% in 2019 to 25.8% in 2021.
The research team found that many people around the world prefer technocratic sources of power, such as allowing professionals to make policy decisions.
By the summer of 2020, analysts’ confidence that they should be able to make decisions “according to what they think is best for their country” increased by 14 points in Europe to 62% and in the United States by 8 points to 57%.