Jonathan Guyer in American Prospect:
Across the continent, many had anticipated further gains for far-right parties that masquerade in populism but spit raw racism. Thankfully, the so-called populist surge has been halted for the moment.
The elections offer a tale of two markedly different social democratic results: good in Spain and Portugal, and three of the Nordic countries now have left-led governments. The left recovered in the Netherlands, where the Dutch Labor Party had been comatose, and in national elections the Danish Social Democrats wrested control from the ruling liberal party and served a decisive defeat to the xenophobic Danish People’s Party.
But for socialist or social democratic parties in the largest member nations—Germany, France, and the U.K.—it was a wipeout. In the German EU elections, the Social Democrats came in third with 16 seats, running behind the conservative European People’s Party (29) and the Greens (24 seats). Nahles, the party chair, resigned. In France, the Socialists barely fielded a candidate list. And in Britain, Labour placed third.
Much of the continent-wide debate focused on the global climate emergency, which spelled success for greens. Left-green alliances are possible in several countries. So has the left recuperated across Europe—or simply bottomed out?