EU Elections Bring Right-Wing Surge and ‘Political Earthquake’ to France, Bringing Down Gov’t

It was not as good a showing as some on the right had hoped for, but good enough to bring down the French government and push the European Union farther right. 
Conservative parties saw major gains in Europe’s parliamentary seats this weekend, handing French President Emmanuel Macron a humiliation, prompting him to call snap legislative elections in a gamble to save his government.
In Italy, Premier Giorgia Meloni more than doubled her party’s seats in the assembly. 

And in Germany, despite being hounded by a scandal involving candidates, the conservative Alternative for Germany (AfD) party still rallied enough seats to outgain Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s left-wing Social Democrats.

One jubilant AfD supporter said, “The future belongs to us.”

In France, the president of the National Rally party Jordan Bardella told supporters, “A wind of hope has risen in France, and it’s only just begun.”

Frank Furedi, the executive director of the think tank MCC Brussels and one of the intellectual leaders of the European right, said the election result was predictable because Europeans have been so unhappy with their governments. 

“They basically feel that the conventional parties have let them down. They want to have their voices heard. They want to be part of the conversation. And they basically want to have parties that speak like they do, rather than the way that the cultural elites speak. And it’s as simple as that,” Furedi said. 

Furedi called the conservative victory in France a “political earthquake.” 

“The second largest country in Europe, in economic and political terms (France), has moved to the right, and that will have a very important impact.”
And he said the shift in France, along with the Netherlands under Geert Wilders, will be a force to move the continent of Europe further right. “Those two nations (France and Netherlands), which are quite substantial, can make a huge difference in the dynamic, the political dynamics within Europe.”

The Christian Democrats of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen remained by far the biggest group in Parliament, but the surge by the right will make it much harder for the assembly to keep pushing unpopular climate and open borders policies. 

Previous ArticleNext Article