European elections 2014

Ireland: a huge step forward

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The recent Euro and local elections showed the left making major advances and gave proof of a substantial process of radicalisation in the Irish working class.

For more than 80 years politics in the Republic of Ireland was dominated by two Tory parties, Fianna Fail (FF) and Fine Gael (FG). The lead was played by FF which was the governing party for 61 out of 79 years between 1932 and 2011.

Greece moves to the left

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The Euro and local elections have confirmed that the surge in support of the left wing Syriza was not a flash in the pan. But the party is now shifting to the right.

The election results in Greece confirmed that there is a swing to the left. Many commentators were saying that the election results in 2012 were an "accident" - the fact that the left wing party

Syriza came very close to winning in 2012 was dismissed as a "moment of anger" from Greek voters. These results now show that this was not true. Syriza led in the European elections by four points ahead of the conservatives in New Democracy.

Indignados surge in Spanish polls

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The election of five MPs from the anti-capitalist Podemos ("We Can") in Spain has rocked the political establishment.

Formed only four months ago, Podemos won a staggering 1.2 million votes - mostly from young people who do not usually vote, but also from many working class voters disillusioned with the social democratic PSOE. With the Communist Party led United Left (IU) tripling its vote since the last EU elections, the left took over 20 percent of the vote.

Denmark: crisis for the right despite strong Euro vote

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The big winner of the EU elections in Denmark was the right populist Danish People's Party. With 26.6 percent of the votes it became the biggest party and doubled its MEPs from two to four.

Surprisingly, the two centre-left government parties lost only a few votes and won 25.6 percent. Even more surprisingly, the left social democratic Socialist People's Party (SF) received 10.9 percent, down 5 percent. Until recently it had been part of the centre-left government for well over two years.

France: a warning from Europe

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The European elections saw a huge victory for the fascist Front National (FN) in France. The FN came out on top with 25 percent of the votes. This is the first time in its history it has secured first place in a nationwide poll. This is a terrible setback and an urgent call to action.

The reasons for the FN's victory have much to do with the actions of the Parti Socialiste (PS) which has been in office since 2012. Those who voted for President Francois Hollande had hoped for a different course to that steered by his hard Tory predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.

UK: a dangerous shift to the right

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The shock results for Ukip are dragging mainstream politics further to the right, including the Labour Party. Mark L Thomas argues that this can only give a further boost to the racists.

Ukip's victory in the European elections last month marks a dramatic and dangerous development in British politics. Not since Herbert Asquith led the old Liberal Party to its final victory in 1910 has any party other than Labour or the Tories won a national election.

After the elections...Europe between hope and despair

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"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

So wrote the Irish poet W B Yeats as he surveyed the turmoil across Europe in 1919.

It would be an exaggeration to say that Yeats words fit Europe's political situation in the wake of the European elections.

The centre is holding but the fraying at numerous edges is obvious.

In Greece, the radical left Syriza won more votes than the Tories of New Democracy, raising questions about how long the current government can survive.

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