Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK elections of 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019 (and THAT referendum)

Fearing the worst

Today, we are a week away from EU elections in the UK (most Europeans vote on the following Sunday – when all the counts are done).

In the UK this election seems to be a proxy for either:

  • a General Election (that is certainly how the leaflet from Labour read)
  • a second EU referendum on various scenarios (Deal /No Deal, and Leave / Remain being the main almost unspoken options).

There seems little discussion of the future shape or policies positions of the EU Parliament. And yet this election could be pivotal and effect the shape and future of the EU.

Traditionally the EU Parliament has tended to be dominated by either the European Peoples Party (Conservatives – except Cameron’s Conservatives who for internal nationalistic party reasons chose to weaken the group – and his position in Europe – by leaving it) or the Socialists and Democrats (Centre Left – including Labour). Traditionally neither group has a majority and either they have to reach a concordant with each other or some form of understanding with other parties.

European Parliament composition (Left to Right) before 2019 Elections
European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL)
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D)
The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA)
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE)
European People’s Party Group (EPP)
European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD)
Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF)
licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

But this is the first EU Election since the “populist insurgency”, and it is quite possible that following the election there may be the equivalent of the UK’s Conservative-DUP coalition, as the European Conservatives hold their noses and come to some form of arrangement with right wing-populists and nationalists. Alternatively the populists may refuse to do deals preferring to see a degree of chaos ensue which they can then blame on the old blocs.

And yet the UK electorate (the anarchist right excepted) is unlikely to be voting about the shape of the EU Parliament.

This raises the interesting question: “If the EU Parliament is either taken over by or “controlled” by a right wing possibly nationalist bloc, does that make the EU as a whole more or less attractive to the UK electorate”?

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