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European Populist Parties in Government: How Well are Voters Represented? Evidence from Greece

Ioannis Andreadis's picture

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Swiss Political Science Review, Volume 23, Issue 4, p.485 - 508 (2017)



Congruence, Greece, populism, Representation, Voting behavior


In this paper we focus on the two populist parties, one radical left and one radical right, that have formed a coalition government after the January 2015 elections in Greece: SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL). Using data from the Greek Candidate Study 2015 and the Greek Voter Study 2015 we study the congruence between party voters and party elites for these two parties, also comparing them with mainstream, non-populist parties. Employing a slightly modified ?many to many’ approach, we measure congruence on a variety of issues (economic policy, austerity, Euroscepticism, immigration, law and order) and ideological divides (left/right, populism/anti-populism) in order to assess the factors explaining the paradoxical resilience of Greek populism in power. The evidence generated can help us account for the trajectory of political antagonism in the Greek context throughout 2015 and in drawing some broader conclusions and challenges for future populism research.