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: 31


Voter support for radical left in last elections (2022): 0%.
Voter support for radical right in last elections: +1%.
Populist or radical parties in government (March 2024): none
Number of MEP:s from authoritarian or populist parties: (2019): 0/6.

01 Speakers

Malta has had Europe’s most cemented two-party system for more than half a century. From independence in 1964 until the last parliamentary election in 2022, no parties other than the Labour Party (PL) and the conservative Nationalist Party (PN) have won seats in the national parliament.


Party politics was for a long time highly polarised, with fierce opposition between PL and PN. Both parties have also accommodated a wide range of opinions, including some that in other countries often are defended by the far left or far right. PL, for example, drifted quite far to the left in the 1970s and 1980s, when during their time in government they turned the country away from the West and instead improved relations with, for example, the dictatorship in Libya.

PN on the other hand has been a strongly nationalist party, while also from the 1990s driving for integration in the West and membership in the EU. PN is also still very conservative on social issues, in many cases taking positions that are closer to national conservative parties than to those of other member parties in the EPP group 


A handful of parties have tried but failed to challenge the big two. A partial explanation for the failures of the small parties is that the electoral system strongly favours the two large parties.


Some of these challenger parties have been far out on the fringes, but none have gathered much support. The single biggest success for a radical right-wing party was when Imperium Europa won 3.2 percent in the European Parliament elections in 2019. However, it was not enough for a mandate. Imperium Europe is a fascist and openly racist party led by Norman Lowell, who, among other things, denies the Holocaust and has called Auschwitz the “Disneyland of Poland”. The party did not run in the last parliamentary elections.

The most recent parliamentary elections were held in March 2022. The PL had been in power since 2013, and the last term was marked by a political crisis, with widespread corruption revelations and the murder of a political journalist forcing the resignation of the prime minister. Despite that, the election campaign became undramatic, partly because of the war in Ukraine, partly because the opinion polls showed too big a distance between the parties. The election resulted in PL being re-elected with somewhat stronger support, while PN lost two seats. Once again, no new party managed to challenge the two big ones. Two radical right parties each won half a percent.

EP elections

Number of authoritarian or populist MEP:s (2019): 0/6


PN and PL are the only two parties that have won seats in the previous EP elections in Malta.