Radical-Left Populism during the Great Recession: Podemos and Its Competition with the Established Radical Left
journal contributionposted on 24.10.2016, 14:36 by Luis J. Ramiro Fernandez, Raul Gomez
The 2008 Great Recession has altered party allegiances in many countries. This has been very visible in some of the countries hardest hit by the crisis, such as Spain. The Spanish case stands out as the only one in which a fully newly created radical-left populist party, Podemos, has attracted sizeable support. Its success is more intriguing given its capacity to attract many former supporters of the established radical left, Izquierda Unida. This article analyses what factors explain the support for the new radical-left populist party Podemos, identifying the individual-level features that lead voters to support it rather than an already established anti-austerity radical-left party. As the results show, Podemos supporters do not correspond to the conventional descriptions of populist voters, the losers of ‘globalisation’ and the economic crisis. Instead, a combination of elements – protest, anti-mainstream sentiment and unfulfilled expectations – distinguishes Podemos supporters from the established radical-left electorate.