The article explores the applicability of the main academic characteristics of
populism (not following the left / right dichotomy) to the description of old (Freedom Party
of Austria) and new (Alternative for Germany) populist parties. It was established that the
above-mentioned parties still belong to the right side of the political spectrum, in spite of
their references to the left agenda. When populist parties join the ruling groups, the
anti-elitist component of their programs gets eroded. The crisis around the centrist parties
makes populist forces stop being marginal – the latter tend to embrace «average» voters.
populism; right parties; Germany; Austria; «Alternative for Germany»; «Freedom Party of Austria».