Populism in Europe: Hungary

Nationalist populist parties and movements are growing in support throughout Europe. These groups are known for their opposition to immigration, their ‘anti-establishment’ views and their concern for protecting national culture. Their rise in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the advent of social media, and they are adept at using new technology to amplify their message, recruit and organise.

One such party is the Jobbik party in Hungary — the most successful far-right party to emerge in two decades. Founded in 2003, it is now the third largest political party in Hungary. Its ideology is strongly nationalistic, combining opposition to capitalism and liberalism with anti-Semitic and anti-Roma rhetoric. The Jobbik party has been particularly effective at mobilising young Hungarians, using online communication.

This report presents the results of a survey of over 2,000 Facebook fans of Jobbik and includes data on who they are, what they think, and what motivates them to shift  from virtual to real-world activism. It also compares the Jobbik party with other similar parties in Western Europe, shedding light on the growing online support of Jobbik, and the relationship between their online and offline activities. This report is the first in a series of country specific briefings about the online support of populist parties in 13 European countries, based on our survey of 13,000 Facebook fans of these groups.