5 key takeaways after far right surges in European Parliament elections


The results in France mirrored a broader theme playing out in several European countries: far-right parties notching up wins as centrists suffered.

Two groups with far-right parties in the European Parliament, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID), are projected to win 13 more seats between them, bringing their total to over 130 seats.

Among the ECR’s winners was its president, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni — whose far-right Brothers of Italy party surged to first place in the country, solidifying Meloni as a rising conservative star on the world stage. In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party was also forecast to finish first. (This momentum wasn’t shared across Europe, however: In Poland and Hungary, nationalist parties ranked first but lost seats compared with the 2019 vote.)

Meanwhile, in Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling center-left Social Democrats party was slated to finish third, behind the far-right Alternative for Germany, which was expected to come in second place to win a record 15 seats. Renew Europe — one of the three largest European parliamentary groupings and composed of pro-E.U. centrists including Macron’s Renaissance party — was projected to lose 23 seats.

“The far right has siphoned off voters, certainly in France, Germany and Italy, and some Scandinavian countries, who would have historically voted for left parties,” Catherine Fieschi, a political analyst and fellow at the Robert Schuman Center of the European University Institute in Florence, told The Washington Post, noting that it wasn’t just centrist parties that were suffering. “Part of the story of the right is the failure of the left in some of these countries.”

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