Most populist parties start out as radicals, and once they have managed to build up a solid base they will gradually shift to somewhat more moderate positions. Hungary’s populist governing party goes the other way: Fidesz, the Alliance of Young Democrats ran as a liberal party on the first free Hungarian elections. At the time their main target audience was educated young people who were looking for a democratic alternative to state socialism. Today they promote “illiberalism,” and their popularity is based on fearmongering.
Unlike the rest of Europe, with the exception of Portugal, Spain remains immune to the rise of populist radical right parties. But since the 2014 European election Spain is experiencing its own populist phenomenon – one that has emerged from the left side of the political spectrum. The birth and consolidation of Podemos in less than 2 years is one of the most remarkable political achievements in recent European politics, and it has shaken the whole Spanish political system.