Lead data journalist

UK comes low down on league table of populism, with just 14% of population holding such views

New data from the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project reveals where around the world people are most likely to hold populist views.

Brazil tops the list of the 19 countries analysed, with 42% of the population. The nation elected Jair Bolsonaro – considered by many to be a populist politician – as president in a vote late last year.

Close behind is South Africa, where 39% of citizens hold populist views. Thailand and Mexico tied for third place, at 30% each.

The study defined someone as a populist if they said they “strongly agree” with both of the following statements:

  • “My country is divided between ordinary people and the corrupt elites who exploit them.”
  • “The will of the people should be the highest principle in this country’s politics.”

Overall some 22% of people across the 19 countries analysed hold populist views.

A quarter of people in France (25%), the US (24%) and Spain (24%) likewise hold populist views. By contrast, only 14% of people in the UK do, and just 7% do in Denmark, which comes bottom of the populism table.

Photo: Getty

YouGov-Cambridge Centre

The YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research is a joint research centre run by YouGov and the Cambridge University POLIS Department, which promotes in-depth collaboration between pollsters and academic experts. Alongside research and events, the Centre contributes to teaching at the University and provides several postgraduate scholarships each year.
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