Subjective Well-Being and Populist Voting in the Netherlands

Martijn J. Burger*, Susanna Eiselt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study analyzes whether subjective well-being can explain the populist vote in the Netherlands. Using data on voting intention and subjective well-being for over 7700 individuals from 2008 to 2019—a period during which populist parties became well-established in the Netherlands—we estimate logit and multinomial logit random effects regressions. We find evidence of an association between decreased subjective well-being and the probability to vote for a populist party that goes beyond changes in dissatisfaction with society—lack of confidence in parliament, democracy and the economy—and ideological orientation. At the same time, we find no evidence for a relationship between subjective well-being and voting for other non-incumbent parties other than populist parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2331–2352
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Populism
  • Subjective well-being
  • The Netherlands
  • Voting


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