Europe Voted: Anti-EU And Protest Parties Take Nearly A Third Of All Europarliament Seats

Tyler Durden's picture

For those pressed for time, here is the one-chart post-mortem of what happened in yesterday's elections for European Parliament: the malcontents block, or the anti-EU and protest parties, soar and now control nearly a third of all seats, up nearly by 33% from a fifth currently, in the parliament they all predominantly loathe.

And for everyone else, here is the full analysis of the results courtesy of Open Europe.

Open Europe Flash Analysis

Anti-EU and protest parties across Europe on course to win almost a third of all seats in new European Parliament

Open Europe has today responded to the preliminary 2014 European Parliament elections results. Please note that these figures are based on a combination of final results and some projections so could still be subject to change. However, we do not consider any substantial swings likely. 

Open Europe Director Mats Persson said:

“The rise of anti-EU and protest parties on the left and right will make European politics more unpredictable but, paradoxically, it could also strengthen the resolve of the three mainstream groups to continue to vote for more Europe in the European Parliament, in order to freeze out the anti-EU contingent.”  

“The temptation in Brussels and national capitals will be to view this as the peak of anti-EU sentiment as the eurozone crisis calms down and the economy improves. This would be a huge gamble. The make-up and reasons for the rise of these parties are complex, but it’s clear that the best way to cut off their oxygen is to show that the EU can reform itself and respond to voters. These elections are a clear warning: offer voters a polarised choice between more Europe and no Europe and sooner or later they will choose the latter.”

“David Cameron now faces a seriously tricky week. He has two main challenges. First, he will try to muster enough allies to block Jean-Claude Juncker, the front-runner for European Commission President, although it’s not looking overly promising. Second, he faces the dilemma of aligning himself with more nationalist parties to secure his party’s standing in the EP, which comes with the risk of alienating his natural allies on the centre-right who will be crucial in his bid to achieve EU reform.”

“Domestically, the strong anti-incumbency showing could strengthen the legitimacy of many of these parties. In many countries, voting for an anti-establishment party in the European elections serves as a gateway drug – it crosses a border that allows you to vote for them in a national election as well.”

Key points:

  • Share of anti-EU and anti-establishment vote is slightly higher than expected with such parties collectively on course to win 229 out of 751 seats in the new European Parliament (30.5%), up from 164 out of 766 seats in the current parliament (21.4%).
  • European Parliament politics are set to become more unpredictable though the anti-EU and anti-establishment block remains incoherent and the two main groups will continue to dominate.
  • The share of MEPs dedicated to free market policies drops, from 32% to 28.1%.
  • Compared to 2009, overall turnout stayed flat despite more powers for MEPs in the Lisbon Treaty and the EU becoming a high-profile issue in the wake of the Eurozone crisis.
  • Several anti-incumbent parties in the EP for the first time, ranging from Feminist Initiative in Sweden to Spain’s new leftist movement Podemos, founded as late as March 2014.

Below is the European Parliament’s own projected make-up of the political groups - we expect no major changes.

1. Turnout remains low

Across the EU, average turnout is projected at 43.09% – up from 43% in 2009. Turnout was highest in Luxembourg and Belgium at 90% (where voting is compulsory) and lowest in Slovakia at 13%. These were the first European elections since the Lisbon Treaty, which gave MEPs another batch of new powers. In addition to the Eurozone crisis making the EU a front page issue, we should have expected an increase in voters’ interest. Though technically reversing the trend of declining turnout, this still doesn’t inspire confidence in pan-European democracy. 

2. Surge in anti-EU vote in several countries

The table outlines how well the various parties that occupy the populist, anti-establishment, anti-EU and/or anti-immigration vote in several countries did. Note that we do not claim that these parties can be lumped together – in many cases they are very different. However, it’s still a barometer of dissatisfaction in these countries and across Europe.

Below is a table showing the performance of a number of left-wing, anti-austerity and alternative parties:

In terms of the most notable results, Marine Le Pen's Front National achieved a clear victory with around 25%, exceeding most expectations. In Denmark, the strongly EU-critical Danish People's Party won the elections with about 26.7% of the vote.  In Greece, the anti-austerity SYRIZA – that, it should be noted, does not advocate withdrawal from the EU or euro, came top with 26.5% of the vote, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn came third with 9.4% of votes.

However, in some countries insurgent parties did less well than expected; in Finland, the (True) Finns only scored 12.9% compared to the over 20% they were polling in the run-up, while in Italy, Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement also underperformed as the governing centre-left PD party unexpectedly surged to around 40% (although Grillo still came second on 21.2%). Some of these parties even lost support such as Belgium’s Vlaams Balang – down from 9.85% in 2009 to around 4.31%.

In Germany, despite easily coming top overall, the CDU and CSU performed relatively poorly by its recent standards, while the SPD enjoyed its best result for a long time. However, the anti-euro AfD looks set to win 7 MEPs and, due to the Constitutional Court ruling to drop the 3% threshold in Germany, a number of smaller parties have won seats including the neo-Nazi NPD.

In Spain, the result has dealt a blow to the country’s traditional two-party system. Together, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular (PP) and the opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) won 80.9% in 2009. Yesterday, their combined score was 49.06%. Interestingly, a new leftist movement called Podemos (We Can) – officially established only two months ago – came from nowhere to win almost 8% of the vote and secure five seats in the next European Parliament.

3. Reformers risk getting crowded out  

Using the same criteria employed in our pre-election briefing[1], we have divided these parties into several different groups consisting of a ‘Malcontents block’, ‘Critical Reformers’, and parties that overwhelmingly back the status quo or further integration.

While this looks like an impressive amount, these parties are not a coherent group, ranging from parties with experience of government through to fringe protest parties to outright neo-fascists. They also have widely differing views on a range of issues such as the eurozone, immigration and economic issues. As such, these parties will struggle to work together to put forward an alternative agenda for the European parliament, although they could well club together on certain issues such seeking to block the EU-US free trade agreement.

In order to distinguish between the ‘Malcontents Block’ and parties that reject the status quo but have a constructive reform agenda, Open Europe also included a distinct ‘critical reformers’ category which contains the bulk of the Conservative MEPs, alongside parties like the Dutch VVD and the German CSU. This block has been squeezed by the Malcontents’ block on one side and the status quo/more integrationist parties on the other.

We also estimate that the share of MEPs explicitly committed to free trade in the next parliament will fall to 28.1% compared with 32% in the current parliament while the share of MEPs hostile to free trade will increase to 23.8% compared with 23% at present. This means that the success or otherwise of free trade agreements will depend on the key block of ‘swing voters’ which will go up to 47.9% compared to 46% at present.

Despite the substantial increase in support for the parties making up the ‘Malcontents’ Block’, this needs to be kept in the context of the low turnout. When looking at their vote share among the whole eligible electorate, this looks less impressive. However, the low turnout also underlines that the European Parliament has failed to capture the public’s imagination.

4. Expect a major scramble to extend and secure political groups

To maintain or create a political group in the European Parliament – which gives individual parties access to important positions and more money – requires 25 MEPs from at least 7 countries.

All eyes will be on whether Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders will be successful in establishing a new far-right group. A set-back for this potential group was the very poor showing by Vlaams Belang and the failure of the Slovak National Party to win any seats. This leaves the new ‘Alliance for Freedom’ group one member state short for the time being.

David Cameron’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) will survive but looks set to lose MEPs. To extend the group, the big question is whether Cameron will reach out to more nationalist parties, including the Danish People’s Party that could offer 4 new MEPs, AfD that could potentially offer 7 MEPs, and the Finns Party which could offer 2. The trade-off is that this could potentially alienate possible reform allies on the liberal centre-right.

5. Race for Commission President: Juncker the front runner

The proposed Spitzenkandidaten or European Parliamentary families’ candidates for European Commission President – the centre-right EPP’s Jean-Claude Juncker and the centre-left Socialists’ Martin Schulz – are set to make the post-election horse-trading and politicking more fraught than usual. EU leaders retain the power to propose an alternative candidate, but the European Parliament’s veto over the appointment could lead to a stand-off and protracted negotiations.

The centre-right EPP’s victory in the elections means that the next Commission President will have to come from this side of the political spectrum. The European Parliament will demand that the EPP’s lead candidate, former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker, is selected. EU leaders, with the strong support of the UK, are likely to try to pick their own alternative candidate.

Senior German politicians including the CDU’s David McAllister, a close Merkel ally, another senior figure in the CDU Volker Kauder and the SPD Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel have all said that the most popular candidate in the European Parliament should become Commission President. This will put Merkel under pressure to go for Juncker, with Germany likely to be crucial in determining the outcome.

Next steps:

Tuesday 27 May: The spitzenkandidaten will meet and put pressure on EU leaders to pick Juncker, although Martin Schulz could yet try to cobble together an alternative majority within the parliament.

EU leaders meet for dinner – leaders will try to avoid discussing individual candidates but could agree amongst themselves on the process for selecting the Commission President. They may argue they cannot negotiate with MEPs until the exact make-up of the new parliament is known (probably by mid-June).

Mid-June: Exact make-up of party groups in the new European Parliament will be clearer.

26-27 June – summit of EU leaders who are likely to propose their candidate. Centre-right alternatives to Juncker could include Finnish PM Jyrki Katainen, Polish PM Donald Tusk, or Irish PM Enda Kenny.

14-17 July: Parliament decides whether to elect or reject EU leaders’ proposed candidate for Commission President by a majority vote of MEPs. Should EU leaders’ candidate be rejected, EU leaders have one month to propose a new candidate.

Mid-July: potentially another summit of EU leaders in attempt to reach compromise with European Parliament.

6. What does it mean for Cameron?

The new European Parliament will be crucial in determining whether David Cameron can achieve many of the key planks of his renegotiation strategy. The new parliament has the potential to block reforms to EU migrants’ access to welfare benefits, an ambitious free trade agreement with the US, and efforts to reduce EU red tape for businesses.

The results are a double-edged sword for Cameron. On the one hand, the result itself may, paradoxically, make the EP more integrationist by crowding out the reformers in the middle. At the same time, the surge in the anti-EU vote in some countries may serve as a wake-up call for EU leaders: if not reform, voters may soon vote out the baby with the bathwater.

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SafelyGraze's picture

this is great.

now that they have their seats at the table and can feel like they are part of the process, maybe they will finally come over to our way of thinking

the unelected presidencia of the unelected counsilia  

NoDebt's picture

Should be interesting to see how TPTB marginalize these groups.  Tactics used, speed at which they are implemented.

Remember, we all greatly understimate the political capital invested in the EU blah blah blah.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Voting against the European Union is wildly misguided when we desperately need more integration and unification in global politics, not less. The European Union has seen an end to centuries of war within Europe and has seen some of the greatest political scholars unite to work on some of the world's toughest problems: climate change, poverty and world peace. An end to the European Union would be absolutely disastrous, undoing one of the greatest experiments in all of political history. In order to successfully challenge today's inherently global issues, we are going to need to pool together our nations' resources and unite behind a common purpose. I understand this is a difficult step for many nationalists and free marketers, but it's a necessary step in our progression towards a modern liberal democracy.

Bollixed's picture

You have an "OBAMA 2016" bumper sticker on your Yugo, don't you...

Four chan's picture

so this is what voting looks like if the election isn't rigged by one or two parties, force feeding you manchurian candidates or retarded relatives of past rulers.

free_lunch's picture

MDB, I liked you better when you were selling your springwater, at least that was funny!

shovelhead's picture

Worked for me, praise the Lord.

Not only am I debt free but my bleeding piles are cured too.

intric8's picture

You are one LOST mother fucker, spewing that tripe around here

Your views will be warmly welcomed at BIzinsider. They are very bozo friendly there. Try reddit too, now jew owned, moderating comments with pro russian points of view so they never see the light of day

TeamDepends's picture

We used to write rebuttals similar to this until one day we took the plunge and visited his site.  He is pulling your chain.  Read it again, hilarious!

intric8's picture

If he's attempting to employ subtle satire, i dont have the patience nor interest to follow it through. Sifting through western propaganda just poops me out

NotApplicable's picture


Reductio Absurdum, I'd say.


hot sauce technician's picture

Took the words right out of my mouth. MDB is a Hall of Fame troller.

shovelhead's picture

Try the holy water and you'll poop just fine

zippy_uk's picture

Thats the 1984 version, as in:

* Having a dynamic Euro for the most competative economy in the noughties = Abject economic stagnation in the teenies

* Pooling and sharing resources for optimal effective use = most corrupt and inefficient use of reources

* Uniting Europeans under one supreme democracy = convescating all democracy in Europe and uniting everyone under one unelected supreme court dictatorship

* Promoting European values = promoting ones self interested if an Eurocrat at the expense of everyone else

* Free trade area = corrupt, protectionist environment for big politics and big business at the expense of everyone else

* Promoting advanced justice and human rights = kangeroo court and massive expenses for the tax payer due to waccy judgments

* socialised solidarity = crap severices and high taxes

You may be right in the analysis but the reality on the ground says something else entirely.

Where I come from we have had the Magna Carter for over 900 years and the mother of all Parliaments to go with it - so we know better (highest any EU vote share = UKIP).

hot sauce technician's picture

Spoken like a true libertarian.

F0ster's picture

I remember Europe before these unelected communists took power. It was a much more prosperous place for the average person. These EU criminals are trying to consolidate Europe under one power structure, Hitler's vision.

Ghordius's picture

lovely. a very well researched and balanced ZH article about the just recently elected EU parliament, it's composition among conservatives, liberals, socialists and various EU skeptical, a thoughtful analysis about how the EP interacts in co-decision with the EU Council, particularly in regard to the next commission and...

the first comment sports an "unelected" and yours "unelected communists", together with an "Hitler's vision"

the only thing I'm missing is that US NeoCon refrain from the 90's about Europe going down in nationalist & fascist flames, though I'm quite sure I'll find it further down

@Safely Graze: the EU Council is: PM Cameron, Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, etc. etc. the EU governments, in our parlance

do you even know which one of them is elected, not elected, appointed, not appointed, confirmed or not confirmed by parliament, etc. etc. ?

TBT or not TBT's picture

A lot of different political brand names for more central planning.

shovelhead's picture

Who cares as long as you can buy straight cucumbers.

BeetleBailey's picture

MDB: I thought I told you to scrub toilets in the biker bathroom until you die....


BrigstockBoy's picture

"...greatest political scholars..." Haha, pure gold MDB. Funniest man on ZH.

Mute Button's picture

In terms of war, in place of France vs. Germany, now we have the EU vs. Russia. Looks like a failure when you compare the scale.

TBT or not TBT's picture

The real war is horrible demographics vs both.

doctor10's picture

Seriously? You left off the /s switch on that post!!

"modern liberal democracies" are simply a 20th century relic. The only issue at hand is whether their death will be traumatic or from natural causes -as it should be.

If nothing else their very indebtedness defines their lack of structural utility to their citizens.

Simply making a bigger mess isn't a solution. When you're in a hole stop digging. The same minds that created the problem are not capable of visualizing or implementing a solution. 

To any rational, sentient being "modern liberal democracies" have had their day.

Archduke's picture

absolutely. I like your courage.

we need a full euro federation.

it's the only sane option.

RumCurrency's picture

Little history lesson for you:

The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic authored more than 200 years ago said it best.  “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

Europeans never learn from history.  Enjoy your next crop of Hitlers and Mussolini's in the coming decades.  The US might be able to smarten up before it gets to that point, but there is no hope for Europe, again.

Ghostdog's picture

Climate change, poverty and war are more prevelent than ever.. so much for unification of the "greatest poltiical scholars"....

eXMachina's picture

I think you got lost somewhere between here and1984 comrade.

ForWhomTheTollBuilds's picture

I have already started noticing it.  The Globe And Mail site has the headline "How much damage have euroskeptics done?" this morning and I'm certain this is the second such headline I've seen (the other showed a pic of Farage getting blasted in a pub with a headline about troublemakers running wild in Europe).


Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I've noticed a "crusade against doubt" being run by the mainstream press lately.  The purpose is obviously to stifle any independant thought by announcing that various devilishly complex matters have been sorted out by the experts and its time now for action, not the endless debate insisted on by knuckle dragging ignorami.


I have no dog in the Eurozone fight so I like to think I am a bit more objective.  And so I see those who question anything done in Brussels as "Skeptics" and obvious racists.  I also see anyone who has any questions about any aspect of "Climate Change" or of what we must do to fight it being labeled a "denier".  


DENIERS and SKEPTICS all of you!!!

hot sauce technician's picture

MSM = dictionary definition of "obfuscate".

The sociopaths create distractions e.g. mild chaos, to subdue public opinion. I think the Romans called it "divide and conquer". Ensure a certain amount of uncertainty always exists about fundamental issues. Exploit uncertainty to introduce so called (very self serving) panacea. Use public opinion to then legislate. Rinse repeat.

shovelhead's picture

My favorite was "they got the message".

OK, now we're more dithering. We have to move to decisive vacillation.

disabledvet's picture

My favorite was "neo fascists" actually.

Ummm, well..."no, actually those are real fascists." And yes, those are real Nazi's too.

Shall we have another election so we can remove any doubt?

UKIP winning huge is an absolutely stunning blow...and obviously the end of "Europe."

Nigel Farage now is in charge of Great Britain...and he has a "voice that carries" as they say.

Good luck comparing him to Hitler.

"The Little Corporal." Only in America is that an insult.

To my knowledge Napoleon was never anything other than officer...and it was his soldiers who gave him that moniker.

Needless to say US Grant never was much for the fancy swords and epulets either. Homeless and broke before the Civil War broke out.

He asked Robert E Lee if he remembered him but he never had those "social graces" so Lee just couldn't figure.

Still there was never any doubt as to who was surrendering to who. "Generous in peace too"...and boy did Grant love those horses.

Loved math and knew how to write an Operation Order probably better than any Commander in History.

General Sherman never had a problem following Grant's orders. Ever.

ugmug's picture

The Liberal Three S's


It is a well know fact that liberals want society to be based on the three S's and not the three R's. The three S's are homeless shelters, workless shelters, and brainless shelters. This dangerous shelter mentality has given rise to numerous repressive governments over the centuries like, communism, socialism, fascism, marxism, etc.


Liberals will greedily use government power to transform society into a homeless shelter where everyone will be fed, and will be given a bed, and receive little else. Liberals will also use government power to transform businesses into a workless shelter where everyone will be given a paycheck and benefits and do little else. And finally liberals will use government power to transform schools into brainless shelters where everyone will be given a diploma and straight A's for just feeling smart.


The three S's will guarantee the liberals a permanent voting majority until society ceases to be a human endeavor and reverts to an animalistic, cannibalistic, Detroit, Chicago, and many other liberal cities around the globe.


_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

The anti vote by country is outdated. Belgium is now at the top.

XXL66's picture

n-va is (unfortunally) not anti EU.

free_lunch's picture

I bet you bought some magical springwater too?


NVa pleading for more EU integration and less national sovereignty:


Or just check the NVa Q&A on their website..


Azannoth's picture

When you put it like this(in a chart) ... it seems NOTHING HAS FUKCING CHANGED! 20% to 30% rly are people this stupid ... yes they are.

Anasteus's picture

Not really. Similarly as in physics, the point is a critical mass that launches nuclear reaction.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Statism is the common thread between all of these European parties. This sucker is goin down.

falak pema's picture

The demise of French main parties on EZ scene as of the same in UK for EU; as represented in the new EU parliament; makes Mutti all the more powerful in EU council; and her man will run the EU Commission. 

So get ready for German hegemony now controlling even more EU governance.

Unless... The French political scene becomes ungovernable and leads to national elections. As for UK the next test is Scottish devolution. 

Renzi's win makes Italy solid behind Draghi and support to Club Med sovereigns Austerity but in a context which pleads for Euro weakening relative to $. What real margin of maneuver does Draghi have to go to negative rates?

Currency wars will hotten up and make the global ship more fragile.

No bridge over troubled waters in 2014 ! 

Ghordius's picture

I could make the same case of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and a couple of others all getting behind France. soonish

nevertheless, the German OrdoLiberal system has been acknowledged by all of them as the superior governance system... even by Hollande, lately

and, as for the BuBa governance system, it's too German in it's conception, and European by adoption. Like the Germanic Tribal Warlord of the Francs called... Carolus Magnus (Charlemain, Charlemagne)

hegemony by system is not the same as hegemony by national interest

TBT or not TBT's picture

France already has a big horny brute bothering it's backside. The ubiquitous government of France and its electoral cartel of direct employees and dependents.

falak pema's picture

Ghordius, your avatar has an appointment with destiny : Is the Euro a tool for Oligarchy control of first world or is it a tool for unity of European people? Let's keep it simple. The aim at inception was to serve the second hypothesis not the first.

That in essence is why the Euro was created as a political compromise between France and Germany reunited post Berlin wall fall.

As France is NOT capable of keeping up to Germany's effort of modernisation we have a new equilibrium emerging,  as France is both a nation born from Charles Magnus but also from the Revolution; aka a social agenda which makes "productivity" gains all the more necessary to pay for the social legacy of the Revolution and solidarity; especially as we have a common money.

But as we all know Reaganomic's Pax Americana and Outsourcing have changed the capitalistic colour and social texture of First World beyond recognition. Globalisation is something imposed by Pax Americana on Europe; which was not prepared for it socially (although the Euro banks thought they were; and now we are their hostages totally).

So the divide we see today is a sum of two linked conundrums facing the European zone: the World moves to Oligarchy rule  and this entails Regional fracture as a result between North and South Europe models.

It makes a heady mixture and we are now in a situation where an aging Europe is in the cross fire of history--like a richer but  structurally indebted USA; whence the resurgence of neo-fascist knee jerks and rejection of "the other".

So tipping times. Your subtlety about hegemony seems secondary as the gulf of CIVILIZAtION divide now opens up under the very feet of the citizens of European nations. 

This crisis will either lead to the fall of democracy in First world or to the fall of Oligarchy and THAT CONFLICt, alas inevitable, given the European legacy of social conflicts, will shake first world to it roots.

That is my own personal take and I think that this shift in French Political structure will not spell well for the STRUCTURALLY spawned social divides that are appearing like demons from Pandora's box.

Unfortunately neither the Eurozone nor the Euro Nations are capable of solving this complex challenge  in their current evolution and its descent into Convolution. 

Not saying this crisis is unsolvable; but the price the next generations will pay will be very heavy.