The European Centre Right Hardest Hit in EU Elections

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Source: European Parliament

A number of commentators on the European elections have pointed out a number of outcomes from the recent EU elections. On a country by country basis, significant blows have been dealt to various social democratic parties – France in particular, but also Spain (Greece’s PASOK doesn’t even factor into the election results as an independent party). On the other hand, the unpredicted success of Italy’s PD has also been noted. On the fringes of the political spectrum, numerous commentators have noted the increase in support for the anti-EU far-left and far-right. Indeed, the data demonstrates that political support increased only on the fringes. But fewer commentators have noted that the biggest drop in support has been experienced by the parties of the Centre-Right (the EPP), whereas the support for the parties of the Centre-Left have remained static over the past five years. The big question then, is where the growth is coming from. Turnout in both the 2009 and 2014 elections averaged at 43%. It seems unlikely, however, that the growth on the fringes is the result of voter movement; after all, the data does not seem to indicate that the growth of support for the GUE-NGL is the result of voters migrating from the Centre-Left, and it seems doubtful that they would be coming from the decline in Green and/or Liberal support. This would suggest that new voters supportive of the anti-EU parties turned out in 2014 while disillusioned supporters of the centrist parties abstained. 

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