The Euroelection results coming in during the last hour (8 pm BST) suggest that, unlike in the British local elections, this time there really has been an earthquake. But beware: the turnouts are, on the whole, risibly low.
Five days ago, I posted as follows:
‘ My suspicion is that a lot of Americans will be shocked at just what a caning the euro-Establishment is going to get, but the ramifications go much wider than that. Last time out (2009) Britain’s anti-EU Party UKip got 16.6% of the British vote. This year they’ll get at least 28%, and be the largest UK Party in the European Assembly. In France, the same goes for the Far Right FN of Marine Le Pen. In Holland, Geert Wilder’s anti-EU PVV will be joint winner on around 17% of the vote. 22% will vote for Jobbik in Hungary, 24% for 5-Star in Italy, and around 1 in 5 Greeks will vote for Parties with one level or another of anti-Brussels sentiment.’
With the exception of Holland – where Wilders did badly – the rest of the polls seem to have been borne out. As I predicted, although in Greece the neo-fascist Party Golden Dawn had been polling at around 6-7%, in the privacy of the ballot box it actually got 9.3%. Syriza was the big winner – whacking the Government majority Party New Democracy in second place with with 26.7% over ND’s 22.8%.
UKip seems, predictably, to be the clear winner in Britain, but reports are confused at the minute as to whether Nigel Farage’s Party did better or worse than expected. He is seen above yesterday, about to be assualted by a left-wing hairy Alien.
First returns in France show spectacular gains for Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationale – in some north western constituencies she got twice the votes cast for the UMP, and for France, overall the projections are that FN will get almost double that of the Socialists. And as expected, 5Star is the big winner in Italy.
There are two irrefutable conclusions to draw from all this:
1. Apart from Germany – surprise surprise – the general tenor of opinion as reflected in the voting behaviour can be summed up as “the EU is a crock”.
2. Just as important, apart from Germany – surprise surprise – the overall emotion expressed by abstainers is one of loveless indifference.
This second point really is a pivotal one going into the future. In France – one of the original founders of the EEC – estimates suggest that just 15.7% of citizens voted. Turnout in Italy fell by 10%, and in the Czech Republic it was under 20%. Despite a stream of televised debates between leaders of rival blocs in the Assembly, ratings were poor and the public indifference was described by one journal as “international scorn for a remote and overly costly Tower of Babel”.