“For the first time now in 40 years, the big centrist parties no longer commanding a majority in the Parliament.”
From France to Italy and the U.K., populist, Euroskeptic parties won the majority of seats. In some cases, (Italy and the U.K.) they won in a landslide. Despite the dramatic loss of support among the two key centrist parties, the S&D or Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and the EPP or European People’s Party, the Euroskeptics won’t be calling the shots anytime soon.
CNN’s European Parliament Projection for 2019-2024
The larger centrist groups will now have to partner with the Greens and the Liberals to get things done.
However, the right-wing, populist, euroskeptic parties are clearly on the rise; and, if this trend continues in five years at the next election, a coalition could be formed.
European Alliance of Peoples and Nations, or EAPN
Founded by Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Italy’s ruling League the EAPN is a new coalition within the European Parliament. It is largely made up of European eurosceptic, far-right parties. Looking quickly at the numbers, they still don’t appear to have enough.
Combined the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists Group), EFDD (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy) and ENF (Europe of Nations and Freedom) will have 171 seats. Not even as much as the European People’s Party and its 180 seats. The pro-EU “families” consist of the centre-right European People’s Party, the centre-left Socialists and Democrats group and the liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats. These three parties combine for 435 seats, easily a majority of the 751 seats available. Here is another breakdown of the eroding centre, provided by BBC:
So, for the time being, it is business as usual in the EU. Steve Bannon’s attempt to overthrow the pro-EU “families” as they like to be called has failed. At least this time around. Major elections are coming in various countries in Europe, but the EU parliament remains very much intact. Still, right-wing parties thought to be ‘extreme’ or ‘fringe players’ at best have a real seat at the table. They are forcing the centre-right to work with the Liberal party (ALDE) which will only alienate many of its members further.
While the centre is shrinking, it has a long way to shrink before the nationalists, or the populists, take over.