Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Toth

European Parliament Elections 2019

Recommended Posts

The EU has weathered its biggest challenges over the course of the last decade. We had have the debt crisis within the Eurozone that brought about doubts towards our common currency, we had the refugee crisis putting a strain on internal relations and internal stability and we had the Brexit vote highlighting how it might be (im)possible to turn our union down entirely. We had the copyright reform being forced through the institution against a large portion of the voters' will, bringing about doubt about the democracy within the institutions, as well with millions of youths joining the Fridays for Future strikes in order to bring about a change that national as well as international politicians seemed too wary to bring about.

In the midst of all this the EU strives towards change. Where this change leads to is still up in the air: Will Macron's push for reform and integration be heard? Or will the euro-skeptics ride on a wave of dissatisfaction to bring about destruction to this common project that lasted for 61 years? Only one thing is clear: All across Europe the voter turnout has been boosted. There is discontent in the air, but the direction it will be channeled into will make history.

So... I would like to hear your thoughts about the election and what the projections are saying in your respective countries.

Here in Germany we have an interesting push. Massive losses for the conservatives and social democrats (though more for the social democrats), with the Greens being set-up as the winner of the evening, apparently scoring points by the young electorate that wants to see political action against climate change (at least that's how it's interpreted here by the TV broadcasts). The far-right AfD has some gains, but it's by far not as grim as many of the projections I have seen over the years. One thing is clear: Even though the European Parliament doesn't really work with coalitions, politics will be spiced up either way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Voted green, had a hard time deciding because i wanted to vote further to the left. But the climate is our biggest challange so even though im very disappointed in them here in Sweden and dont support the "green tax reform" which basically means lowering taxes for the rich and spreading the cost on everyone, im hoping they will do better in the EU.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Toth said:

Here in Germany we have an interesting push. Massive losses for the conservatives and social democrats (though more for the social democrats), with the Greens being set-up as the winner of the evening, apparently scoring points by the young electorate that wants to see political action against climate change (at least that's how it's interpreted here by the TV broadcasts). The far-right AfD has some gains, but it's by far not as grim as many of the projections I have seen over the years. One thing is clear: Even though the European Parliament doesn't really work with coalitions, politics will be spiced up either way.

Small additions.

The interesting bit being the participation in this EU election cycle being up. That makes the Green more or less double their last result all the more impressive.

Traditionally the thing is low turnout = good for the Greens (and not so good for the big parties). The Greens will get their votes out regardless, but 200.000 votes out of 1.000.000 is better than 200.000 votes out of 4.000.000. Now this time we see a higher turnout and a higher vote share of the Greens at the same time.

At the same time this is absolutely worrying for the the traditional big two. The CDU/CSU and the SPD. That the SPD has now shrunk below the Greens on a national level (at least in this election) is an absolute horror show for them. And yes, the strong base for the Greens was the younger voters that showed up at the polls. Last week there was also a youtuber that posted a video that more or less wrecked the CDU and SPD and their policies on the enviroment. No, idea how much that added further tilted the result in the Greens favour. There are other national implications from the losses for the conservatives and social democrats, but that's an issue for another thread, and another day. And It remaisn to be seen if the Greens can solidify their position as the nations second biggest party (and main center-leftish party).

Yes, the AfD vote was not as horrible as predicted, but then again, the higher turnout presumably helped with that. Although I still far from happy that they scored double digits.

But as for the EU parliament itself. It looks like for the first time in its history the conservative (European Peoples Parties) and the Party of European Socialists (Social Democrats) will drop to a point, that they combined make up for less than 50% of the seats.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm extremely nervous about the results in the UK. We only got these elections by the skin of our teeth (if Brexit negotiations had been successful, we would have left the EU), and nobody really knows whether the MEPs elected now will take their seats or be members of the European Parliament for more than a few months.  So I get the impression that most people have used the MEP elections as a proxy referendum to show their preference for Leave or Remain, rather than looking carefully at whether the candidates selected would attend and contribute well or would represent their views on other issues in the EU. 

Turnout is slightly up on last time, and some people have presented statistics suggesting that this is mainly in constituencies which voted Remain.  If it turns out as a result that more people have voted for parties explicitly supporting Remain than parties explicitly supporting Leave, many people will take this as confirming the speculative polls which suggest that the population as a whole has on average shifted towards a Remain stance.  However I think this would be a bit unfair, as I can imagine many Leave supporters may not have voted for MEPS at all, either in protest at the concept, or because they optimistically expect that the UK will leave the EU so the MEPs will be redundant.  It's also muddied by Labour's ambiguous messages**.  I voted Labour because in my area of the UK, our MEPs have worked really hard, are Remainers as individuals, and belong to the EU's Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance which I believe has the strongest chance of countering the more right-wing elements and the greatest chance of overtaking the European People's party faction.  My second choice would have been Green, but they would be a bit more of an unknown, and I didn't want to treat this as a referendum or British general election.  I have expressed my objections to Labour's Brexit position in a different way, by resigning my Labour party membership.  I would be disappointed if my area loses one or both our Labour MEPs (we have two currently), though if a projected Lib Dem/Green surge does force Labour to reconsider its Brexit policy I'll take that as pretty good compensation.  In my area we have three MEPS - the third one was a useless UKIP one.  I assume he'll be replaced by a Brexit party MEP, just hoping not two of those - I wish none but that would be over-optimistic by all the projections I have seen.

Overall I'm just really anxious about the number of Brexit Party* MEPs the UK might send to the European Parliament.  My area will declare first, so I am bracing myself.

*From what I gather unaligned in the EU, but if they turn up at all, likely to be rather uncooperative and Far Right.

**And some EU UK residents being denied their right to a vote owing to various errors and delays.:(

Edited by Sophelia
Postscripts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Yes, the AfD vote was not as horrible as predicted, but then again, the higher turnout presumably helped with that. Although I still far from happy that they scored double digits.

Agreed. That's probably on the turnout. When I myself went to the booth today, they were actually overwhelmed. I had to stand in line for an hour and the people coming out from the booth told us that they waited even longer. When I cast my vote, I had trouble getting it in the box because it was already full (though that might also be because of the large paper monsters they gave us. XD)

Just now I saw the projections for Brandenburg and Saxonia and was horrified. 20% for the AfD... damn, so much ignorance and fear... I suppose that means Brandenburg soon receives the petition to be redubbed Western Prussia, huh?

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading that turnout for the European Elections has generally increased (more people voting in more countries), for example definitely up in Spain.  It's good that more people are getting engaged, but I wonder if the vote will be polarised more between pro-EU and eurosceptic parties or whether that'll just be the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Small additions.

The interesting bit being the participation in this EU election cycle being up. That makes the Green more or less double their last result all the more impressive.

[...]

But as for the EU parliament itself. It looks like for the first time in its history the conservative (European Peoples Parties) and the Party of European Socialists (Social Democrats) will drop to a point, that they combined make up for less than 50% of the seats.

 

Thanks for the commentary on what's happening in Germany.  I didn't realise some actual results were out yet.  It's good that climate change might be going up the agenda across many nations simultaneously...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Sophelia said:

Thanks for the commentary on what's happening in Germany.  I didn't realise some actual results were out yet.  It's good that climate change might be going up the agenda across many nations simultaneously...

It's not official results.

It'S the forecasts. Polls close at 18:00 local time. Then the tv stations all present their first forecasts (which tend to be quite accurate). Official results will be around midnight, I think. So in about two hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be interesting to see who is going to be president of the commission. The EPP has been pushing Weber but there needs to be a three party alliance now and the liberals (ALDE) won't support him. Macron wants a president appointed by the council. Parliament will have to come up with its own candidate if it wants to prevail.

As for the German result, no big surprises there. The SPD definitely is in trouble. They are on track to become a one digit party. Not a particularly great result for the Christian Democrats either. Looks like the Greens benefit big time from the Grand Coalition (which isn't grand anymore). AfD is strongest party in Brandenburg and Saxony. Both states have elections in September. SPD has been in power in Brandenburg since the state was created but they are only the third-strongest party right now. Greens got twice as many votes as the SPD in Berlin. Doesn't bode well for the coalition there either, which is SPD-led.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The German SPD has been in trouble since 10-15 years but they apparently didn't realize it or didn't care as long as there were enough posts and sinecures for them and their buddies. (The stupidity is unfathomable and they should also have had the dire fate of some other European social democratic parties as an example, but it seems that enough of their politicians were still doing well enough for themselves not to care.) Sometimes, they also seemed to love themselves in the position of the one who sacrifices themselves "for the greater good" (like saving corrupt banks in 2008/09 or ending months of "no goverment" after the last federal election). Overall, it will not change all that much. Instead of Groko we will get Black-Green or even three-party coalitions in Germany which will mostly mean business as usual because all possibilities of real change in either "extreme" direction will be neutralized in the coalition agreements. (FfF kids can demonstrate until they're sore, they will get lots of lip service agreements as is already the case, but of course nothing substantial will change.)

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article194198299/Europawahl-2019-Ergebnisse-aller-EU-Laender-die-Sieger-im-Ueberblick.html

If the first map there is correct, only Spain is still "social democrat" and conservatives, populist and anti-EU are dominating Europe. So we are between the frying pan of keeping the status quo of the so-called conservatives, i.e. the current neo-liberal lobby-bureaucracy and the fire of the populists and skeptics who are fed up with that and want to break up/leave the EU. Because the former are still more powerful, I expect very little to change and therefore the situation will probably get worse with ever deeper gaps between the factions. Until the consequences of Brexit play out it is hard to make any predictions. Possibly Italexit in a few years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article194198299/Europawahl-2019-Ergebnisse-aller-EU-Laender-die-Sieger-im-Ueberblick.html

If the first map there is correct, only Spain is still "social democrat" and conservatives, populist and anti-EU are dominating Europe. So we are between the frying pan of keeping the status quo of the so-called conservatives, i.e. the current neo-liberal lobby-bureaucracy and the fire of the populists and skeptics who are fed up with that and want to break up/leave the EU. Because the former are still more powerful, I expect very little to change and therefore the situation will probably get worse with ever deeper gaps between the factions. Until the consequences of Brexit play out it is hard to make any predictions. Possibly Italexit in a few years?

I think that map is misleading, as it only indicates the biggest party. But that's often just a quarter of the votes in the respective country. The social democrats are still the second largest group in the European parliament. But if you want the EU to turn away from neoliberalism, the social democrats aren't the right party anyway. I think you'd actually have to change the Lisbon treaty, which blurs the line between wanting a different direction and being anti-EU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right. It is misleading although I do think that it is significant that instead of the earlier situation with conservatives and social democrats being very close in power and usually alternating as leaders every few years, the social democrats are clearly behind now.

I also agree that the current crop of Social democrats (or Greens who are actually in many respects economically more liberal than trad. social democrats) wouldn't change much either. It is precisely that being against the obvious problems of the current EU can always be painted as being against Europe/peace/prosperity, i.e. being a right/left wing populist danger, is to some extent true that the problematic features are in these treaties (and of course also in current practice). But if this will not change, the anti-EU forces can only get stronger because there simply are too many people fed up with corrupt eurocrats and neoliberal redistribution to the top 20% (or less).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Belgium we had three elections at the same time: Chamber of Representatives (federal level), the regional parliaments and the European. 

This had as result that people mostly voted in the same way for all three levels. For Flanders, on European level, we have:

22%/3 seats N-VA (Conservatives/Right/Flemish Nationalists),
19%/3 seats Vlaams Belang - who gained 12,3% (Extreme/Radical Right/Eurosceptic/sister party of Le Pen's FN, Salvini's Lega),
16%/2 seats Open VLD (Liberals; party of Guy Verhofstadt; ALDE),
14,5%/2 seats CD&V (Christendemocrats);  
12,4%/1 seats Groen (Green party)
10,2%/1 seats SPA (Socialists)

And 5% with no seats to PVDA/the Communists

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my German-speaking fellows: I'm speechless: https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Wahlschlappe-nach-Rezo-Clip-CDU-Chefin-erwaegt-Regeln-fuer-Meinungsaeusserungen-4433521.html

In the days of online hate-speech, organized fake news and election meddling of foreign powers, it is Youtubers advising against voting conservative parties that causes AKK to go on an incoherent tangent about how to "regulate" that form of discussion.

Up until now I wasn't aware how toxic that woman wanted to go, but I am now glancing towards other ill-conceived comments of her and kinda wish Merkel back...

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Asymmetric (De-)Mobilization" has been the Conservatives' electoral Modus Operandi (and quite successfully at that) for all of Merkel's time in office. I don't shed a single tear for them finding themselves on the receiving end of that strategy for once.

But yes, in retrospect Spahn suddenly looks like the sane one in last year's leadership contest; a statement I would not have thought possible at the time.

Edited by The guy from the Vale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had already posted this in the music thread, but given that now we have this thread, this might be a nice little breath of optimism after so much gloom:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if it has been mentioned: In every age group of German EU voters up to age 60, the Greens are the strongest party,i.e.more of them voted forthe green party than for the conservatives, the social democrats etc.That is quite a paradigm change.

However, it remains to be seen what they do once they have real power. Their ruling of Badem-Wuerttemberg should serve as an indication. Spoiler: Cars are more important than the environment.

Edited by Mindwalker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×