Bulgaria's Political Landscape in 2023: Populist Parties Below 20% Support

World » EU | Author: Diana Kavardzhikova |April 18, 2024, Thursday // 09:13
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Political Landscape in 2023: Populist Parties Below 20% Support Timbro

In a recent release of the Authoritarian Populism Index 2024, Bulgaria emerges as a focal point for understanding the intricate interplay of political ideologies shaping Europe's landscape. Published by Timbro and EPICENTER, the index, presented in Bulgarian by the Institute for Market Economics, offers a comprehensive analysis spanning decades of electoral dynamics.

Highlighting the trends across 31 countries from 1945 to 2023, the index reveals a nuanced narrative of political support. While support for authoritarian parties in Europe hit a historic high of 26.9% in the previous year, Bulgaria's landscape portrays a distinct pattern. In 2023, support for populist parties in the country fell below 20%, underscoring a divergence from the continental trend.

Examining the broader European context, Hungary, Italy, and France emerge as hotspots with significant backing for populist and/or authoritarian factions. Conversely, countries like Croatia and Luxembourg exhibit lower levels of support for such ideologies.

However, within Bulgaria, the rise of the Revival party (Vazrazhdane) signals a shift in the political tide. Despite ranking ninth among EU countries with relatively low support for populist parties, the total share of votes for authoritarian and populist parties has seen a significant surge over the past decade. Revival's ascent, with its share of populism reaching 17% in 2023, underscores the evolving dynamics within the nation's political sphere.

Moreover, electoral support for national conservative parties remains robust, reflecting a trend of steady growth since 1990. Conversely, there has been a decline in support for the radical left in recent years, potentially indicating a shift in ideological preferences among Bulgarian voters.

As of March 2024, populist and/or authoritarian parties hold sway in eight European governments, marking the lowest level of participation since 2014. This trend underscores a broader reconfiguration of political alliances and power dynamics across the continent.

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Tags: Bulgaria, populism, Revival, countries

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