Authoritarian Populism Index.

The Authoritarian Populism Index is developed by Timbro.

Timbro is the leading free market think tank in the Nordic countries. Our mission is to promote and disseminate ideas supporting the principles of free markets, free enterprise, individual liberty and a free society. Timbro was founded in 1978 by Sture Eskilsson and the Swedish Employers’ Association, a precursor to the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.  Since 2003, Timbro is financed by the Swedish Free Enterprise Foundation.


International outreach and translation supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation and Atlas Network.

Authoritarian populism index

about the index

The Authoritarian Populism Index offers a comprehensive overview of the major ideological trends in European politics, focusing on parties advocating illiberal and authoritarian ideologies. It provides a thorough European and historical context for both national and contemporary events and elections, allowing for a deeper understanding of political developments. Additionally, it highlights the primary electoral challenges faced by proponents of liberal democracy, liberalism, and market economy principles. 


The index was first published in 2016, and its subsequent editions were released in 2017 and 2019. The previous editions garnered extensive media coverage throughout Europe, and the index is widely used by academic researchers. 


This fourth edition has been updated, revised, and expanded to include 31 countries and covers every election from 1945 to 2023.

key findings

The average combined support for left and rightwing parties in Europe advocating populist and/or authoritarian ideologies currently stands at 26.9 per cent. While this figure represents a historically high level of support, 2023 signifies the fifth consecutive year without any additional growth. At present, there is evidence suggesting a consolidation of support for populist parties, but no indication of further expansion. 

The electoral support for national conservative parties remains very high, having increased steadily since 1990. The average support is currently at 13.9 per cent, slightly down from 14.1 per cent in 2022. While support for right-wing authoritarianism/populism continues to rise, there has been a steady decline in support for the radical left in recent years. 

In 2023, the electoral support for liberal parties reached an all-time high, peaking at 12.3 per cent. This growth has followed a consistent pattern since 2010. 

As of March 2024, populist and/or authoritarian parties are participating in eight governments across Europe: Hungary, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland and Romania. This marks the lowest level of government participation since 2014, down from 15 countries in 2019.


The report highlights the 60 most relevant authoritarian and/or populist parties in Europe. 25 of these parties are classified as left-wing on economic issues, while 18 are classified as right wing. On cultural issues, 32 parties are classified as conservative while 11 are classified as progressive. On European issues, 22 parties are classified as hard eurosceptics, 19 as soft eurosceptics and 9 parties as pro-European.


The merits of populist parties in government vary significantly. While some, such as Fidesz and Law and Justice (PiS), have demonstrated themselves to be unreliable defenders or even opponents of liberal democracy, others such as The Finns Party (PS) and Brothers of Italy (FdI) have thus far operated within the formal and informal structures of the current order. Out of the 60 most relevant parties, 18 are considered to have a high democratic credibility while 22 are considered to have a low democratic credibility