Supporters of Greece’s opposition Syriza party, overall winner in the Euro elections. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP
The headline gains were for nationalist and Eurosceptic parties – witness all those pictures of « evil » Nigel Farage smiling into his pint glass, or of Marine Le Pen, whose Front National party triumphed in France, throwing back her head and cackling. But some member nations bucked the trend in the Euro elections and registered a surge towards leftwing candidates. Here’s who:
First, the bad news. The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party claimed three seats, its first MEPs, with around 9.37% of the vote – a huge improvement on its 2009 performance, in which it polled less than 0.5%. But the overall winner in Greece was the leftwing opposition party Syriza, which campaigned against the government’s austerity policies. Partial results indicate it won the vote by three or four points from the governing New Democracy party.
You would be hard pushed to call it a surge. Only around 13% of the Slovakian electorate voted – and they voted in support of the ruling Smersocialist party. Eurosceptic liberals SaS got one seat. But the dominant mode of Euroscepticism here is Euroabstention.
Farage put Romania firmly on the British political agenda. But there has been no Eurosceptic backlash in Romania, where preliminary data indicates that the governing alliance of the Romanian Social Democratic party prime minister Victor Ponta is on course to win 37.3% of votes. Let’s hope that Farage gets to sit next to some nice Romanian MEPs.
Note: This article was amended on May 27, 2014. The original stated that United Left had gained around 12 seats. This figure referred to the total gains of the anti-bailout hard-left group in the European Parliament. United Left gained four seats.