The Author

Carey Bennington

Carey Bennington is an editing associate at Vocal Europe. Originally from Oxfordshire, Carey studies at the University of Exeter and she is interested in European history, and literature.


The recent European elections have shed an informative light on the state of politics both within individual member states and in the wider European sphere. There has been a rise in voter turnout[1] in most EU countries, some by quite significant amounts. Spain, for example saw an increase from 43.8% in the 2014 elections, to 64.3% this time around.[2] Although this may appear to indicate a positive interest in the European project, it is more likely a symptom of increased dissatisfaction or internal unease within member states.

In fact, in many larger EU countries a right-wing party obtained the majority of votes, such as the Brexit Party in the UK, Lega Nord (Lega) in Italy, and the Rassemblement National (RN) (formally Front National (FN)) in France. More precisely, Lega in Italy saw a huge increase in votes, of 28%.[3] However, rather than a huge rise in populist sentiment, voters have more likely shifted from one right-wing party to another, with the primary example being UKIP in the UK, whose support seems to have moved almost entirely to the Brexit Party.[4] In the absence of a more suitable right-wing party in France, the RN/FN retained almost exactly the same number of votes as in 2014.[5] Although the increase in popularity for right-wing parties undeniably exists, it is not as big as it appears.

 

 

 

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[1] http://www.ukpolitical.info/european-parliament-election-turnout.htm

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/elections2014-results/en/turnout.html

https://www.politico.eu/interactive/voters-turnout-in-the-european-elections/

[2] As above

[3] https://election-results.eu/national-results/italy/2019-2024/

[4] https://election-results.eu/national-results/united-kingdom/2019-2024/

[5] https://election-results.eu/national-results/france/2019-2024/

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