The day is here! After five years, a new European Parliament has been elected! What is the European Parliament? That doesn’t matter too much. On the human level, it is a retirement home for has-been politicians and a trial area for the new generation of (increasingly rootless frequent-flyer) whippersnappers. In terms of policy, it influences the regulation of the European Union’s substantial common market, one of the three largest economies in the world. However, these elections are of interest to us primarily as a snapshot of Europeans’ minds and an indication of future political prospects.
In 2014, I wrote about the breakthrough of about 200 nationalist or soft-euroskeptic MEPs (that’s ‘Members of the European Parliament’) and the consequences over the last five years have been basically zilch. Other than giving said nationalists and soft-euroskeptics are more secure financial and political base.
Anyway, what happened this time? Turnout around was 50.9%, bucking the secular trend of ever-declining amounts of voters. This is the highest proportion of voters in EU elections since 1994 (56.7%). It seems – in the age of Trump, Macron, and Salvini – people are more convinced of the urgency of voting.
For the big picture results, I may as well quote Wikipedia:
The traditionally-dominant center-right conservatives (“European People’s Party,” sounds decidedly virile in the original German: Europäische Volkspartei) and the center-left Social-Democrats have suffered significant setbacks, losing about 40 seats each. Neither has any kind of narrative or distinguishable set of values, but have got along by inertia. Manfred Weber is a colorless party figure hailing from Bavaria (his election slogan in that region: “A Bavarian in Europe!” . . . this ‘good European’ did not use that slogan elsewhere). Nationalist parties in Italy and France have fully replaced the conservatives as the dominant force on the Right. Put simply, there’s nothing “Christian” about these Christian Democrats (and most Europeans are not meaningfully Christian anymore anyway) and represent nothing more than stability and big business, which are not very compelling.
Personally, I was again disappointed to see how badly the French conservatives did (unperforming the polls) despite their new EU election spokesman, François-Xavier Bellamy. “FX,” a 33-year-old philosophy teacher, is high-brow conservative highly critical of immigration. Evidently his brand of conservatism did not resonate with voters however, preferred to go for either Macron or Le Pen.
Frans Timmermans, who is also the current vice-president of the EU Commission, is a fanatical multiculturalist who has issued dark threats against all those who wish to have a homeland of their own: “Diversity is humanity’s destiny, there is not going to be, even in the remotest places of this planet, a nation that will not see diversity in its futures.” Well, everyone except the Jews, Timmermans as Dutch foreign minister took a leading role in opposing non-violent economic measure against the Jewish ethnostate of Israel.
The Social-Democrats are crumpling just about everywhere, having been virtually annihilated by the kiss-of-death of François Hollande’s term as président fainéant, and hitting unimpressive double-digit lower-bounds in the major Western-European countries. Even the relatively-ideological, but unclear on Brexit, Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn did rather badly with 14.1%. The Social-Democrats represent nothing if not moderate “gibs” for the people. But a redistributive program is not very compelling when just about everyone’s basic needs are actually met (housing, fridge, smartphone…) and, anyway, you’re committed to open borders and, therefore, submission to rootless international capital (outsourcing and unskilled immigration undercutting wages, facilitation of tax evasion via “the free movement of capital,” economic submission to bureaucrats in Frankfurt and Brussels, as well as international high finance, in the context of the Eurozone…)
Incidentally, the arch-Zionist Socialist former prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, tried to switch to Catalan politics (his nation of birth…) by running as mayor of Barcelona in a simultaneous election. He finished… fourth.
There was a breakthrough however in the actually more globalist Liberals led by the arch-globalist Guy Verhofstadt, who claims to dream of a “federal” Europe, but certainly a Europe in which all the indigenous ethnies have been blended into one big, brown, insipid global soup. Anything else would be Nazism, you see. The biggest gains were made in France through Emmanuel Macron’s “Renaissance Coalition” of liberals, EU federalists, and globalists, winning 22.4%, far ahead of the conservatives and socialists, consolidating the presidential party’s status as the default party of government. Macron’s European optics – with a voluntarist rhetoric demanding an Europe puissance, for a “sovereign, united, and democratic Europe, able to go toe-to-toe with the United States or China – often have downright Spencerian undertones even as it is highly unlikely he will ever deliver.
The Greens, who if anything are even more diversitarian than the Liberals (they even have two group leaders, IIRC for gender equality reasons), also made significant gains, whether in Germany, France, or Britain, doing better than the Social-Democrats and/or the conservatives. The Greens in both France and Germany did best among the youth, highlighting their idealist streak.
Salvini celebrates, as one commenter notes, in front of Christian, Trumpian, and Putinist iconography.
Of greatest interest to us, the Nationalists (“Europe of Nations and Freedom”) made significant gains with 22 extra seats, essentially reflecting Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s massive breakthrough in Italy with 34.3% of the vote, far and away the biggest party, achieving double that of his vague-populist coalition partners, the Five-Star Movement. I invite people to browse Salvini’s Twitter feed to see why he is so appealing to normies despite the widespread leftist rage against him.
In Belgium – where there were simultaneous elections to the national and EU parliaments – there were big gains in the region of Flanders, with Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) winning some 18% of the vote, sextupling their presence in parliament and becoming the second-biggest party in the country. Much of the credit for this must go Dries Van Langenhove, the 26-year-old activist whom I had the pleasure of interviewing for Unz, who has does so much for Flanders’ identitarian awakening among Flemish youth and on social media. VB’s performance if anything exceeded his expectations and Van Langenhove has been securely elected to the Belgian parliament. The new nationalist party Vox in Spain has entered the EU Parliament with 6.2% of the vote.
There have also been disappointments for Nationalists however. Geert Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) received very few votes, their support apparently be capitalized by the more high-brow patriots of Thierry Baudet’s Forum for Democracy (FvD). In Austria, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) has seen a small decline in votes to 17.2%, mild punishment for a ineffectual stint in government as a junior coalition partner and a well-timed corruption scandal involving party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.
Some have touted the fact that Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) is the single most popular party in France, beating Macron’s Renaissance 23.3% to 22.4%. In fact, this is decidedly unimpressive: the Front National (FN, before Marine renamed the party) was already the leading party in 2014, when it achieved 24.7%. Thus, despite five years of more globalism and despite (or because of) ditching the brand her father Jean-Marie Le Pen had built up over decades of struggle, Marine’s party has made no gains, but if anything is falling behind. She has been wholly unable to capitalize on the mass discontent of the gilets-jaunes. The French results show a pathetic fragmentation of the political landscape: the conservatives, Leftists, and Socialists all are stuck in the single-digits. The ‘patriotic’ vote was split between among a few minor formations, namely Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s Debout la France (3.51%) and the RN civic-nationalist renegade Florian Philippot’s The Patriots (0.65%), winning no seats.
The moderate euroskeptic conservatives (ECR), dominated by Britain’s Tories and Poland’s Law and Justice party (PiS), did poorly, essentially because of the collapse of the Tories. This was despite the governing PiS party doing very well, winning a whopping 45.4% of the vote, despite intense liberal and globalist opposition movements. There was also progress to the right of PiS, with the breakthrough of Confederation under glorious moustache man with 4.5% of the vote.
The Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) – a potpourri of anti-establishment parties, most notably UKIP / the Brexit Party and the Five-Star Movement – made gains, essentially through the stunning first-place finish of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party with 31.7% of the vote. This is all the more remarkable in that Farage did this after leaving UKIP and founding BP a mere six months ago. This reflects frustration among the good English folk with the pathetically divided and useless Conservative Party and its failure to withdraw Britain from the EU, as decided by the sovereign British people in referendum.
Finally, the Far-Left did badly, I don’t know why, I assume because money does not grow on trees. (Ruling Syriza declined somewhat in Greece.)
Congratulations! You are now fully-equipped to understand the following graph:
Far-Left (GUE/NGL), Social-Democrats (S&D), Greens/EFA, Liberals (ALDE), conservatives (EPP), euro-skeptic conservatives (ECR), populists (EFDD), Nationalists (ENF)
European identitarians like Jean-Yves Le Gallou have expressed the hope that the rise of nationalist and populist parties will lead to gridlock in the EU Parliament, limiting the further damage to Europe that the globalists might be tempted to do. Certainly, the contingents of far-left, populist, and nationalist MEPs will make their work more difficult. However, as can be seen above, the EPP/S&D/ALDE/Green mainstream still enjoy a majority of some 67%, so a continued globalist “grand coalition” appears quite viable. This however represents progress insofar as it eliminates the fake opposition between actually interchangeable and globalist “center-left” and “center-right” which has dominated Western politics at least since the 1970s.
This high-level overview obviously does not do justice to the very diverse and complex situations in the various nations. We can however draw some conclusions.
Voters are becoming more ideological. The conservatives and Social-Democrats, while still the largest groups, have lost their status as the default ruling parties in Europe. In several countries, notably France, Italy, and Greece, they have been overtaken by newcomers. European citizens want principles, they want a project – be it globalist, environmentalist, populist, or nationalist – rather than the insipid social-democratic or ‘Christian’-democratic gruel which has been served up to them for decades.
Patriotic government is popular. Who knew, right? It turns ought that most voters, who are basically apolitical and are just trying to get on with their families and lives, are attached to certain symbols of their people and homeland, and like the idea that the government is on their side. Apparently this insight is beyond the grasp of the geniuses who run the Republican and Democratic parties, hence why Donald J. Trump is president of the United States, a far more perceptive man on that mark. This inishgt is also well beyond the capacities of the leaders of the EU. Besides Timmermans ethnocidal statements, EU Commission President Jean-Claude infamously declared that “borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians,” marking the head of Europe has a historical illiterate. The border, indeed the city wall as established in the ancient Greek polis and at Rome, represents in fact the foundation of civilization. Juncker also could not prevent himself from making other provocations in the final days of the EU electoral campaign. We should not too surprised if Juncker hates borders however: as prime minister of Luxembourg he has spent most of his career as effectively the head of a tax haven.
Ruling patriotic parties did outstandingly well not only, as we have seen, in Italy and Poland, but also in Hungary, where Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz amazingly managed to secure an absolute majority of 52.3% in what was a proportional, multi-party election! Contrast all this with the mediocre performance of the Trump Administration and the pathetic failure of the Tories. The beauty of patriotic promises is that, most often, they can actually be fulfilled. The Left cannot deliver infinite money, the EU-federalists cannot deliver a coherent EU, but the patriots certainly can drastically reduce the influx of immigrants and defend their people’s culture and existence, if only there is the will. If a European country “flips” to nationalism, this may be quite durable, as the silent majority supports a stable, patriotic government ostensibly defending their interests, not to mention if the government takes measure to restore ideological pluralism in the media (rather than the 85% left-globalist media diet we are used to).
In fact, I dare say that symbolically patriotic, “sovereignist” leadership is no doubt default form of human government: witness Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, Modhi’s India, or Abe’s Japan. Indeed, the optimal politician in a democratic capitalist system will be verbally patriotic and in bed with big business. Like it or not, that is who this system rewards.
These elections mark the increasing entropy of Western politics as the politico-media sphere has become more democratic, through increased ideological pluralism, notably through social media and the declining power of television and the papers. This will make the EU more ungovernable and politically amorphous than it already is. Perhaps this will eventually lead, like in the 1920s, to an honest critique of democracy and then a correction, rather than the dishonest postwar system which extolled ‘democracy’ as the only acceptable form of government, all the while corporate and media elites substantially dominated politics.
A powerful, sovereign Europe would require a reconciliation between the head (liberal/Green-voting elites) and the heart (nationalist-voting masses). I dream of a virile Europe, creative again, proud and life-loving again, embracing human biological and spiritual realities, again at the forefront of human discovery and enterprise, rather than stuck in the vain quest for comfort and equality. Well, if this ever exists, it won’t be anytime soon. Western Europe, sleepwalking in a comfortable haze since 1945, has some ways left to go before there will be anything we can call an awakening.