When the recession struck many expected the Left to gain in global politics but in yesterday’s European Parliamentary elections, it was centre right parties that advanced.
France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, claimed triumph with 28% for his UMP party to the Socialists 17%, the first time a sitting French president has won a European election since the vote began 30 years ago.
In Italy, the centre-right government of Silvio Berlusconi also did well, despite his marital breakdown and scandals over parties at his Sardinian villa, while in Spain the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero also lost the election to conservatives….
The main opposition for Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, is further to the right, while the leaders in France and Italy appeared to benefit from tough anti-immigration and law-and-order stances, despite the soap opera nature of both leaders’ private lives.
With the jobless numbers soaring amid the worst economic crisis in the lifetimes of European voters, the centre left is clearly failing to benefit politically in circumstances that might be expected to boost its support.”