Europe Is Not Veering Right .... or Left. Volatility is the New Normal ....

owedtojoy

Moderator
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
53,541
There has been a narrative of irresistible populism in Europe, with an advantage for the right. This has been powered by a fear of immigrants and ethic insecurity, with a dash of economic disillusion after the Great Recession. France's gilets jaunes have come to symbolise this in many ways, along with advances for authoritarian parties in Poland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and many states in Eastern Europe.

However, there are indications that a shift to the right is overstated ....
  • Brexit was taken as a signal that the European ground was shifting in a distinctly nationalist direction. Yet, the EU has rallied and presented a united front. If anything, it is the nationalist Brexiteers who look marooned and impotent. The issue that has brought part of London to a standstill at the moment is climate change, an issue despised and derided by the right.
  • Trump's election was taken as another worldwide (not just European) signal of a nationalist shift. Yet, Trump is distinctly unpopular in his own country, and can only regain office in 2020 (if he does) by a slim majority, going by today's lay of the electoral land.
  • In Slovakia, which has a right wing Government accused of connections to organised crime, a liberal environmental and anti-corruption activist, who was once 5th in electoral polls, has been elected President with 58% of the vote. Anti-graft activist Caputova elected Slovakia's first female president
  • Rise in support for right-wing parties has been paralleled by a significant (but admittedly smaller) rise in support for small left-wing parties, especially the Greens.
  • In Poland, the Law and Justice Party of Government, is on the defensive in this year's elections.
  • In Hungary, emigration and labour shortages leading to laws forcing overtime, have led to dissatisfaction and a swing against Orban's Fidesz party.
There have been shifts in electoral dynamics, but that the picture is far more confused and volatile than the standard media presentation. A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations, finds some salient facts that run counter to that conventional narrative:
  1. 97 million voters are up for grabs, instead of becoming increasing tribal. 75% of the electorate have not decided how they will vote.
  2. What matters is for parties to become agents of change - the perceived need is for real, sustainable change
  3. Voters have a wider mix of issues on their minds than just migration - nationalism (as a destructive force), Islamic radicalism, the economy, Russia, climate.
  4. Eastern and Western Europe are not homogeneous, and there are important differences between, and within, North and South
  5. This could be the first truly transnational European Parliament election
Key Takeaways
  1. New ECFR/YouGov research reveals huge fluidity in current voting intentions: 70 percent of Europeans certain to vote are yet to make their choice. Nearly 100m swing voters are up for grabs.
  2. The big divide is not ‘open Europe’ versus ‘closed nation states’ but between status quo and change. Record numbers of people now support the EU – and even Eurosceptic parties have repositioned themselves.
The stakes are high, the outcomes could be momentous.

What Europeans really want: Five myths debunked

There is an interesting presentation of the 4 major European groupings, presented in Game of Thrones terms (you can read for yourself)
  1. "Gilets Jaunes" Desperate revolutionaries who have lost faith in both the European and national political systems, they constitute 38 percent of the EU electorate.
  2. System Believers Believing that both the European and national systems basically work, they constitute 24 percent of the EU electorate.
  3. Pro-European Left Behind Convinced Europeans who feel that their national system is broken, constituting 24 percent of the EU electorate.
  4. Nationalist Eurosceptics Feel that their country’s political system works but Europe’s does not, constituting 14 percent of the EU electorate
 
Last edited:


owedtojoy

Moderator
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
53,541
Take the 38 bus...................................:)
Just when we thought we could welcome our new right-wing & nationalist elite masters, that whole applecart is upset, and suddenly (as the ECFA say) it is all "up for grabs".

No group is strong enough to win a European majority on its own, so compromises will have to be made. Who, and with whom?
 
Last edited:

Volatire

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
14,592
At the beginning of a stock market collapse, brokers always dismiss it as “volatility”.

And leftie stocks are crashing, that I can tell you.
 

owedtojoy

Moderator
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
53,541
0single%20biggest%20threat%20for%20Europe%20today_.png

Some odd regional variations ... Romania sees the Economy and Russia as the two biggest problems, Poland sees Islamic Radicalism and Russia, Netherlands see Islamic Radicalism the biggest by far, Hungary see Islamic Radicalism and Migration (but emigration more than immigration), Germans and Greeks worry about Nationalism too, the Scandinavians about Climate Change ...... and so on ....

(Note: Only 14 of the 27 EU countries included).
 

owedtojoy

Moderator
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
53,541
View attachment 17677
Some odd regional variations ... Romania sees the Economy and Russia as the two biggest problems, Poland sees Islamic Radicalism and Russia, Netherlands see Islamic Radicalism the biggest by far, Hungary see Islamic Radicalism and Migration (but emigration more than immigration), Germans and Greeks worry about Nationalism too, the Scandinavians about Climate Change ...... and so on ....

(Note: Only 14 of the 27 EU countries included).
The Spanish Election bears out this poll .... the top perceived problems in Spain were Islamic radicals, the Economy and Nationalism.

While a right-wing party like Vox might have gained from the first one, it probably lost from the others. In fact, "nationalism" may mean that many voters see Vox as a threat, and swelled the votes for the Socialists, who came away with the highest number of votes.
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top Bottom