Natalia Abuín-Vences e-mail(Login required) , Daniel-Francisco García-Rosales e-mail(Login required)

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Natalia Abuín-Vences e-mail(Login required)
Daniel-Francisco García-Rosales e-mail(Login required)



In recent years we have witnessed a resurgence of populism, which has relied on the virality of social networks to deepen its roots in society and spread its ideas. This paper analyses the populist strategies used by all parties to viralise their messages in the online environment, regardless of ideology. The present research has also examined the possible existence of complementary strategies used by the parties’ organisational profiles and those of their leaders. To this end, a content analysis has been carried out regarding the publications made on Twitter during the 2019 election campaign. The posts have been delimited to those made by the parties and candidates that attained the highest percentage of representation in the Congress of Deputies, which include the PSOE, PP, Vox, and Unidas Podemos. The findings show that all the parties under study resorted to this type of strategy. The parties closest to centre of the political spectrum, both right and left, used mostly a populist strategy aimed predominantly at attacking their adversaries, while Vox and Unidas Podemos articulated their discourse beyond this argument, with Vox appealing to the emotions of the nation and Podemos positioning itself as the peoples’ advocate. Furthermore, a complementary strategy used by both the parties and their leaders has been identified, which fosters the expansion of these kinds of populist ideas.


Populism, social networks, Twitter, political communication, viral content


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Article Details

Author Biographies

Natalia Abuín-Vences, Univ. Complutense de Madrid

Profesora Titular en el Departamento de Ciencias de la Comunicación Aplicada de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Información.

Daniel-Francisco García-Rosales, Universidad Camilo José Cela

Profesor Ayudante Doctor en IUNIT Centro de Educación Superior de Negocios, Innovación y Tecnología