An analysis by the Guardian newspaper of voting results in 31 European countries has concluded that populists have increased their share from 7 percent in 1998 to a fourth of ballots cast this year.
The research, aided by over 30 political scientists, identifies populism as a political strategy that opposes masses to an often corrupt elite and wants the general will of the people to triumph.
The trend became apparent in Eastern Europe and gradually spread westward in the past three years, putting populist leaders at the helm of governments in 11 countries.
The study comes months before the next elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. The previous vote in 2014 saw nationalist and Eurosceptic parties gain ground in the 751-seat legislature.