Silvia Russo Pasquale Colloca Nicoletta Cavazza Michele Roccato

Moving away from Populist Votes. The Role of Anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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We analysed the relations between anxiety and populist votes, using information from a quota panel of the Italian adult population (N = 628), surveyed twice, in May-June 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic) and in April 2020 (at the peak of the pandemic). We found that vote instability rose between 2019 and 2020. The number of participants who moved away from populist parties was greater than that of participants who moved towards them. Moreover, the relation between anxiety and moving away from a populist vote was positive and significant, while that between anxiety and moving towards a populist vote did not reach statistical significance. Strengths, limitations and possible developments are discussed.


  • Populism
  • Vote
  • Anxiety
  • Affective Intelligence


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