Populism in the 2019 General Elections. Analysis of the speeches by the three right-wing candidates on Twitter
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Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Vázquez-Barrio, T. (Tamara). "Populism in the 2019 General Elections. Analysis of the speeches by the three right-wing candidates on Twitter". Communication & Society. 34 (1), 2021, 123 - 141
The scientific debate regarding populism has been renewed by the rise of extreme right-wing parties in Western Europe. Spain was an exception to the European situation until Vox stormed onto the scene in the Andalusian regional elections in December 2018. By taking into account the definition of populism from Jaager & Walgrave (2007), Mudde (2007), Hawkins (2010), Charaudeau’s populist discourse analysis (2009), and the idea of “contamination” by Hernández Carr, 2011 and Van Spanje, 2010, this article presents the results of an analysis regarding the discourse of the tweets published by the candidates of the three right-wing national parties during the electoral campaign in Spain prior to the day of the elections on 28 April 2019. The aim of the study is to reveal whether Abascal’s discourse conforms to the parameters of the populist style, and whether there was contamination by Abascal (Vox) of the issues and rhetoric of Pablo Casado (Partido Popular-PP) and Albert Rivera (Ciudadanos-Cs). Firstly, the quantitative analysis shows that Abascal’s political discourse on this social network is in line with the discursive strategies of populism; Secondly, the Vox leader behaves differently from the candidates of the PP and Cs. Finally, the influence of Vox’s discourse on the other two parties with which he competes on the right-wing ideological spectrum is lower than expected.

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