Localism, diversity and volatility: the 2016 Australian federal election and the 'rise' of populism

Nick Economou, Zareh Ghazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The outcome of a series of recent international electoral events has revised interest
in the impact of populism on the politics of liberal-democratic states. Australia is just
such an example of this given the return of candidates from the One Nation Party at
the 2016 general election. This paper analyses the result of this election in order to
dispute claims that the One Nation performance is part of this international trend.
Rather, the paper argues that the electoral performance of populist parties of all
types in Australia was actually quite weak and confined to specific geographic regions
within the national electorate. It also finds that populist representational success
owed more to the vagaries of Australia’s electoral system than to amassing any
particularly significant support within the national electorate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-155
Number of pages22
JournalAustralasian Parliamentary Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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