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.


Populism Rank: 12


Voter support for radical left in last election (2022): -2.3 %.
Voter support for radical right in last election: +0 %.
Populist or radical parties in government (March 2024): none
Number of radical or populist MEP:s (2019): 2/8

01 Speakers

The Latvian party system had a very turbulent start after independence in 1991, with significant upheavals during the 1990s, including many short-lived parties, numerous divisions and mergers, and many parties with unclear ideological positions.

Early on, there were national conservative parties stemming from the more radical nationalist factions of the Latvian independence movement. For Fatherland And Freedom (TB/LNNK) was a nationalist party that viewed independent Latvia as a continuation of the pre-1940 era and considered all actions during the Soviet occupation illegal, thus nullifying the citizenship of Soviet citizens. TB/LNNK was successful in the 1990s and early 2000s with election results over 10 percent, and participated as a minor coalition partner in most Latvian governments until 2010. In 2010, TB/LNNK merged with All For Latvia to form the National Alliance (NA), which has been in government since 2008 until 2023. 

Being part of the government for such a long time has resulted in NA becoming more mainstream and consequently losing some of its populist characteristics. The once strong anti-elite and anti-corruption rhetoric seems to have diminished in influence now that the party is integrated into the established governing elite. The National Alliance and its predecessors have always been the most anti-Russian party in parliament. Several of its policy proposals have become mainstream, such as discontinuing Russian-language education, reducing the presence of Russian in public and private domains, and dismantling Soviet-era monuments. As a reaction to this, the NA grew even more radical, entertaining discussions about the compulsory relocation of pro-Kremlin Russian-speaking individuals from Latvia.


The NA are also anti-immigration, socially conservative, but market-friendly. They are softly eurosceptic, supporting Latvia’s continued membership in the EU but critical of further power transfer to Brussels.

Raivis Dzintars, åarty leader of NA.

Who Owns The State (KPV) is a populist anti-establishment party that was successful in the 2018 election and subsequently entered the government but quickly collapsed due to internal disputes. Under the name “For a Humane Latvia,” they were ousted from parliament in 2022. They started out with an anti-corruption agenda, but soon assumed a familiar, general, populist stance, “[…] portraying the existing political elite as venal, elitist and interested only in staying in power while keeping the vast majority of the population in poverty and desperation.”Its PM candidate Gobzems emanated “[…] the rhetorics employed by Donald Trump in his election campaign,” and publicly threatened to “personally fire” journalists from public service. 


Latvia First (LPV) was formed in 2021 by one of Latvia’s oligarchs, Ainars Sleser, and quickly benefited from resistance to Covid restrictions. It is a populist, protectionist, and conservative party that entered parliament in 2022 with 6 percent of the vote.


For Stability! (S!) was founded in 2021 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, using anti-vaccination tropes, primarily targeting the Russian-speaking part of the electorate. It also took a pro-Russian stance after the invasion of Ukraine. It won 6.9  percent in the 2022 elections.

EP elections

Number of authoritarian or populist MEP:s (2019): 2/8


TB/LNNK was originally a member of the Union for Europe of the Nations (UEN) group but joined the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in 2009. NA has been part of the ECR since entering the parliament in 2014 and currently holds one seat. In the 2019 election they formed a coalition with All for Latvia, which also won one seat.

NA summary

Economics: LEFT
Social issues: CONSERVATIVE
Democratic credibility: MEDIUM