Modern populism in its many forms....

Building on The New Face of Digital Populism, Demos is publishing a series of country-specific reports on the growth of populism in Europe.

Nationalist populist parties and movements are now a force to be reckoned with in many Western European countries.  These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their ‘anti-establishment’ views and their concern for protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit and organise. This mélange of virtual and real political activity is the way millions of people — especially young people — relate to politics in the 21st century. 

In November 2011, Demos released The New Face of Digital Populism, the first ever survey of online fans of these parties and groups, based on over 10,000 survey responses from 12 countries. It included data on who they are, what they think and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism. It also provided new insight into how populism — and politics and political engagement more generally — is changing as a result of social media.

Demos will release a series of briefing papers on each country surveyed for this research, setting out results for each group and examining the prospects of growth for these parties. Jamie Bartlett and Jonathan Birdwell will be releasing each paper both in the UK and the relevant country in a series of public events.


As part of Demos' series of reports on the way new political movements are using social media, the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media will shortly be releasing a new report on the supporters of Beppe Grillo's Movimento 5 Stelle.
Running on an aggressively anti-establishment, anti-austerity platform and making use of social media to connect with the public, Grillo has gone from comedic blogger to major political force in Italy: the party now polls between 10 – 20 per cent of the national vote and holds a number of mayoral offices. The Movimento signals a new type of dynamic, agile, networked political movement which disrupts traditional forms of political partoes and engagement.
The work is based on a survey of 2,000 Facebook supporters of Beppe Grillo, and sets out who they are, what their social and political concerns are, and what they think about democracy in Italy and Europe.


For more details contact Jamie Bartlett and Jonathan Birdwell.

For media requests get in touch with Ralph Scott.


The New Face of Digital Populism
Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell, Mark Littler
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This report analyses the responses of 10,000 online supporters of European populist political parties and movements, looking at the reasons why people are motivated to join.

Populism in Europe: Hungary
Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell, Jack Benfield
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The first in a series of reports looking at populist movements in Europe, this study examines the views and motivations of online supporters of the Jobbik movement.

Populism in Europe: Sweden
Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell, Jack Benfield
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The second in our series looking at populist movements in Europe, this report investigates the Sweden Democrats party and their supporters.

Populism in Europe: Denmark
Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell, Mona Bani, Jack Benfield
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This report is the third in our series of reports into the rise of populist parties and movements in Western Europe, this time looking at the Danish People's Party.

Populism in Europe: Netherlands
Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell, Sarah de Lange
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This report is the fourth in the Populism in Europe series, this time looking at the Netherlands, Geert Wilders and the Partij voor de Vrijheid.

Populism in Europe: Lega Nord
Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell
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This pamphlet is the fifth in our series of reports on European populism, this time looking at Italy's Lega Nord.

New political actors in Europe: Beppe Grillo and the M5S
Jamie Bartlett, Mark Littler, Duncan McDonnell, Caterina Froio
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This report presents the results of a survey of 1,865 Facebook fans of Beppe Grillo and the Movimento 5 Stelle, including data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift from virtual to real-world activism.

Nov 13

The growth of the anti-establishment

Jamie Bartlett reports on the burgeoning broadly left-wing oppositional movements in Hungary.

Oct 8

Where next for the EDL?

Jamie Bartlett on the news that Tommy Robinson is leaving the EDL.

Feb 27

Waiting for Grillo - or Waldo?

Chris Tryhorn asks how close would a British Grillo be to Charlie Brooker's dark fantasy.

Feb 26

Why did the pollsters miss Beppe Grillo?

Jamie Bartlett explains the importance of social media in the Italian comedian's electoral success.

Oct 12

Why do people support the Front National?

Jamie Bartlett explores the reasons why people support the French populists.

Aug 9

The right-wing 'lone wolf' fallacy

Sebastien Feve on the ideological and operational networks behind ‘lone-wolf’ acts of terrorism.

Jun 15

Greeks on the defence in (yet) another Euro battle

Kyriakos Klosidis says the upcoming Greek election is more than likely to result in fragile marriages of convenience, despite predictions for the contrary.

May 30

The sun is setting on Golden Dawn

Kyriakos Klosidis says support for the Greek neo-Nazi party will soon dwindle.

May 9

In defence of ‘snooping’

Sebastien Feve teases out the complexities involved in the security services' use of social media intelligence.

Mar 20

The re-emergence of anti-Semitic conspiracies

Jamie Bartlett on what conspiracy theories can tell us about the Toulouse killer.

Feb 26

How Beppe Grillo's social media politics took Italy by storm

On Comment is Free, Jamie Bartlett argues that Beppe Grillo won 25 per cent of the vote in Italy by combining new technology with old-style activism.

Feb 26

Italy faces political gridlock after crucial election

Jamie Barlett discusses Beppe Grillo's electoral success on BBC's Newshour.

Feb 26

Comedian Beppe Grillo turns blog into Italy's third-largest political movement

Wired magazine describes our research into Beppe Grillo's followers as 'perhaps the best illustration of the growing disruption the web is bringing to electoral politics'.

Feb 26

Beppe Grillo, winner of the Italian Elections

French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur quotesDemos research that found Beppe Grillo's followers 'united by a mistrust of government'. 

Feb 26

Demos research into Beppe Grillo highlights 'the importance of social media'

The findings of our Populism in Europe report appear on the Telegraph's Italian Election Liveblog.

Feb 26

Beppe Grillo's formula for success could be repeated across Europe

Recent Demos research into the motivations of Beppe Grillo's followers is reported in the Italian daily La Stampa.

Feb 26

Italian Election Liveblog

The Guardian summarises the findings of Demos' research into Beppe Grillo's followers.

Feb 26

Grillo's novices set to take centre stage

Following Beppe Grillo's success in the Italian elections, the Financial Times draws on Demos research into his pioneering social media politics.

Feb 7

A Revised Portrait of Hungary's Right-Wing Extremists

Der Spiegel presents Demos's latest report on Hungarian populist movement Jobbik.