in: West European Politics, online first.
Beginning with the economic crisis in 2008, a number of European societies witnessed the emergence of ‘new parties’. Most authors explain their electoral appeal by focusing on how the perceived state of the economy influences individuals’ voting decisions. This article determines the extent to which political attitudes can also explain voting for new political parties born in the heat of the economic crisis. Specifically, it explores the link between populist attitudes, in contrast to pluralist and elitist attitudes, and voting for two new political parties in Spain (Ciudadanos; Podemos), which are noticeably different in their ideological positions, programmatic proposals and populist discourses. The results show that stronger populist attitudes increase the likelihood of voting for new parties as dissimilar as Podemos and Ciudadanos. Overall, the findings suggest that voting for new parties cannot be understood as a mere economic response. Rather, political factors, and especially populist attitudes, matter too.
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