Populist political parties made huge gains during this week’s European Parliamentary elections, which decide from which party each country send delegates to represent them, reports Jason Horowitz of The New York Times. Such Eurosceptic parties that seek more national independence gained much ground. They oppose immigration, promote nationalism and dislike the globalization that Europe has long stood for. In Italy, the populists got 34% of the vote, a major increase. The Brexit party won 32% of the vote in Britain. In Hungary, Victor Orban's Eurosceptic party gained more than half. This has created a political battlefield in over the future of the EU.
While populist parties gained many votes in the European Parliamentary elections, they didn’t do as well as they had hoped, asserts Leonid Bershidsky of Bloomberg. The elections for European countries’ representatives at the EU saw a much higher turnout than usual, signaling that many voters still trust in the EU’s project. Far-right parties actually lost sway in Germany and other countries while green parties all over the continent grew in power. Crucial is the lack of unity among Europe’s populists. Without it, they aren’t numerous enough to seriously affect policy. Outside of Italy, right wing populists aren’t growing as fast as they’d like.