‘Anti-European’ populists on track for big gains in EU elections, says report

by Jon Henley at theguardian.com

Populist “anti-European” parties are heading for big gains in June’s European elections that could shift the parliament’s balance sharply to the right and jeopardise key pillars of the EU’s agenda including climate action, polling suggests.

Polling in all 27 EU member states, combined with modelling of how national parties performed in past European parliament elections, shows radical right parties are on course to finish first in nine countries including Austria, France and Poland.

Projected second- or third-place finishes in another nine countries, including Germany, Spain, Portugal and Sweden, could for the first time produce a majority rightwing coalition in the parliament of Christian Democrats, conservatives and radical right MEPs.

The analysis should “serve as a wake-up call for European policymakers about what is at stake” in the election, said the political scientists Simon Hix and Kevin Cunningham, who co-authored the report for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).