Monday, June 8, 2009

Socialists Lose Elections in Europe; Greens, Racists, Pirates Triumphant

Europe had some elections, and the left-of-center parties didn't do so hot. Here's a map from Financial Times:



Click on the map and scroll over countries for details. Losses were mostly absorbed by the center-left, but gains were made not just by the center-right but by parties of the far right and left. Turnout was low, about 43%; it's fallen in every Euro-election since 1979. Says the BBC:
Several governments battling the economic downturn are facing a heavy defeat, says the BBC's Oana Lungescu in Brussels.

However, governing parties in France and Germany appear to have done relatively well despite the crisis.

Angela Merkel described the increase in the vote of her Christian Democrats over the Social Democrats as "sensational" and said it boded well for her chances in the nation's general election in September.

In results so far:

* French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP trounced socialist opponents, while greens from the Europe-Ecologie party also made gains
* In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom party won most votes - 35% - although that was well below his prediction. The anti-immigrant Northern League made strong gains
* In the UK, the governing Labour Party suffered a serious defeat, gaining its lowest share of the vote for a century
* Spain's conservative Popular Party beat the ruling Socialists, but the four percentage point margin was lower than they had expected
* Poland's governing centre-right Civic Platform gained ground at the expense of the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party
* Portugal's conservative Social Democrats secured about 31% of the vote. The ruling Socialists fell a massive 18 percentage points from the last European election, to about 26%
* Austria's far right increased its vote on the last European election but was well down on its percentage in last year's national polls
* Greece's Socialist party, PASOK, bucked the European trend by securing the largest vote percentage, ahead of the ruling conservatives

Voters have been choosing representatives mainly from their own national parties, many of which then join EU-wide groupings with similarly-minded parties from other countries.
Also:
Sweden's Pirate Party, which wants to legalise internet file sharing, won 7% of the national vote and one of the country's 18 seats in the European Parliament.
The composition of the new parliament will be like yea:



And for those who need a primer on what these party labels mean (and bear in mind that these groups are represented at the European parliament level, and generally correspond to other parties with similar ideologies at the national level):

European People's Party (EPP)
: Major center-right party of Europe
Socialists: Major center-left party of Europe; aligned with the Parti Socialiste in France and the Social Democrats in Germany
Liberals (ALDE): Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe; centrists
Green Party: left-wing party oriented around environmental and social justice issues, among others
Left (EUL-NGL): European United Left-Nordic Green Left; represents far-left and Communist national parties
UEN: Union for Europe of the Nations, a group of far-right nationalists (presumably working together at the Euro-level in a spirit of distrustful self-interest)
Ind/Dem: The Independence/Democracy Group, generally right-wing Euroskeptics, mostly from Northern Europe

UPDATE: And the Netherlands is now orange on the ft.com map, as ALDE takes the lead there. Seems appropriate.

19 comments:

Walter Sobchak said...

"Sweden's Pirate Party, which wants to legalise internet file sharing, won 7% of the national vote and one of the country's 18 seats in the European Parliament."

If the Pirate Party did so well, then the real question is how did the Donald Duck Party do in Finland?

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