Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s Lega Party, outside the Chamber of Deputies, Rome, Italy (EPA)

Spain’s El Confidencial speaks with the Populism in Action Project’s Daniele Albertazzi as part of a lengthy examination of the populist radical right today.

Albertazzi explains that, amid Coronavirus:

Cultural and identity issues, which are the ones on which populist radical right parties focus, inevitably become far less relevant to voters when they are fearing for their own lives. Then issues of competence and credibility take center stage instead.

Refugees, ships crossing the Mediterranean and the threat allegedly posed by Catalan separatists to Spanish national identity do not seem that urgent if you cannot even get out of your apartment or are scared that a trip to the supermarket will kill you.

And populist radical right parties are not generally seen as particularly competent in handling existential crises.

See also “Right-Wing Populist Parties Are Here to Stay”

Other specialists quoted in the article include Nonna Mayer, Cas Mudde, Pippa Norris, Guillermo Fernández-Vázquez, and Giovanni Orsina.