Europe has voted
May 26, 2019 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Tonight (European Time), the votes from the European Parliament elections will be counted, and regardless of what happens, it will be a historic election. Voting began in some countries Thursday, but votes are being counted now all over Europe. Turnout is unusually high, and Eurobarometer survey shows highest support for the EU in 35 years. What to Watch For in the European Parliament Election Results from the NYTimes is an OK overview. The Guardian has great graphics.

There has been a lot of speculation, mainly about the far right parties, led by Italian Salvini. But in some parts of Europe, the sentiment has moved away from fear and immigration towards climate change - led by a Swedish teenager. The big losers are the old groups, EPP and S&D (Conservative and Social Democrats) who have dominated the EU since the beginning. Now, the MEPs have to create new alliances.
But what are the groups? They are not actually parties, but groups of national parties who work together across national alignments. It's complicated. The European Union's political order is many-layered. The basic idea of the Union is to force cooperation across borders at every level, and when it comes to the parliament this means that national parties that have very different views group together.
posted by mumimor (108 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Argh, can't hack the career ukip talking head on the BBC smugly declaring that "remainers will be very pleased with the result because they can see democracy being enacted". Have had to turn it off.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:39 PM on May 26


Turn over to BBC Scotland, an altogether more civilised discussion.
posted by adrianhon at 2:40 PM on May 26


I’m only really watching the Irish elections For Reasons but so far the main narrative is that exit polling and pre polls were way way off
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


I just want you all to know, good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by delfin at 2:54 PM on May 26 [23 favorites]


I have some "anti-sjw" socialist-y type people on my page. I wouldn't call them "brocialists" per se, but they take a certain glee in seeing liberals suffer.

I saw some posts by a couple of them all going 'hardy har har' with schadenfreude because "oh all you doomsayers, chillax, see fascism isn't winning".

These are the same people who complain about "virtue signalling". So I passive aggressively griped about people with such attitudes and the ironic "virtue signaling" of their schadenfreudery as if it matters any more than those who "virtsig" on the issues they think are dumb.

The point I was going to make as I started to reply to one, but just get annoyed and stop replying because they're not interested in actual dialog, but rather have a "i'm more wiser than you sjws" bullshit...

My point was "I'm sure this really makes those people suffering under Law and Justice or Fidesz (or the other parties in eastern european countries that are pulling awful anti-immigrant bullshit)". As if your little dance of joy at making sure the libs get pwned alleviates the suffering of actual concrete people in the countries where this emergent creeping fascism runs.

As if we should be relieved that it just hasn't metastasized.

"Relax, sure it's cancer, but it just hasn't gotten as big as you thought, stop freaking out, you ninnies!"
posted by symbioid at 2:55 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


Listening on the radio, it seems that the net result is a red-green majority for the first time in 20 years (red is for socialism in Europe). It's been my instinct all along, but all the talk has been about the ethno-nationalists. Also, more conservative types seem to have voted for the liberals.
Pundits are talking about how Macron "lost" to le Pen, but it seems there is a BIG red-green-liberal majority in France.
posted by mumimor at 3:03 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


that exit polling and pre polls were way way off

Part of the issue may have been a high amount of spoiled votes apparently - 4% in Dublin. There were multiple ballots (European Parliament, local elections and a referendum, as well as plebiscites in some cities) and Ireland uses the PR-STV system, meaning you rank candidates (and makes the counting - done by hand - fascinating) . It seems a number of people didn’t understand that they were separate ballots, and made one ranking across the two lists.
posted by scorbet at 3:10 PM on May 26


Great fun to be had as a Brexit voter tonight - it’s the only show in town.
posted by Middlemarch at 3:11 PM on May 26


Here in Portugal indifference was the clear winner: around 70% abstention, a record high for any election of the post revolutionary era (revolution was in 1974).
posted by chavenet at 3:13 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Islington, London (Jeremy Corbyn's constituency)
LDem: 27.5% (+18.6)
Lab: 26.3% (-21.2)
Grn: 18.1% (+2.4)
Brex: 9.0% (+9.0)
ChUK: 5.2% (+5.2)
Con: 2.3% (-9.2)

posted by PenDevil at 3:16 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


If the filthy “far-right” Farage can still get 10% in Islington, it’s saying something!
posted by Middlemarch at 3:20 PM on May 26


There was a very long article in N+1 THE ORGINS OF EUROPEAN NEOLIBERALISM I thought about posting but decided to wait until the election dust had settled about why the EU has been traditionally dominated by neoliberal politics (vl;dr some of it is baked into the system, but a lot of it is having to govern a parliament of governments and a caucus of small states that disproportionately benefits from neoliberal policies and lax attitudes toward white collar crime, Luxembourg the joke goes, has more corporations than people.)

It ends wondering why there’s a curious vacuum in the confidential politic: Leftist pro-EU reformists since it could be possible to break up the small state caucus , esp by appealing to green/climate change needs (after all its only a body as large as the EU that could put into practice the kinds of sweeping changes we need) , and reform the project away from austerity .....so I hope we end up seeing that in red/green alliances , at least outside the U.K, which is just unpredictable.
posted by The Whelk at 3:21 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


Bolsover (East Midlands) result:

Brex: 41.2% (+41.2)
LDem: 16.8% (+14.5)
Con: 12.1% (-1.2)
Grn: 10.5% (+6.6)
Lab: 10.4% (-26.9)
UKIP: 4.9% (-31.4)
posted by Middlemarch at 3:25 PM on May 26


If the filthy “far-right” Farage can still get 10% in Islington, it’s saying something!

I live here and I'm not surprised at all, given the actual demographics of the area. Crowing aside, by what sane standard are you hoping to justify the scare quotes around "far right"?
posted by ominous_paws at 3:27 PM on May 26 [13 favorites]


For all the big talk of the Brexit party isn’t it pretty much a straight transfer of seats from UKIP with a few bonus seats? But a single unified Remain party facing them down would have been better, and not given the BBC a chance to spin their seats as some kind of mandate.

Labour remains a joke of course, Change party less than a joke.

Good on the Greens across the board.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


Change getting the equivalent of a sad, broken party whistle honk is one positive from the night, admittedly.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:32 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


‪So, let me know if I have this wrong, the fear of a bunch of UK Brexit EU parliamentarians isn’t that they can effect the Brexit negotiation but that they’re all swivel-eyed far right loons who’ll try to take the whole thing down from within? ‬
posted by The Whelk at 3:37 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


Good on the Greens across the board.

Labour Party member here, voting Green for the first time ever. Hope the dire results tonight finally gets the message through to The Labour leadership.
posted by brilliantmistake at 3:39 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


If the filthy “far-right” Farage can still get 10% in Islington, it’s saying something!
Are you going to sit here all night gloating? If so, please stop. That's never really been what MeFi comment threads are for.
posted by winterhill at 3:41 PM on May 26 [9 favorites]


On a positive note, it's nice to see that Magid Magid gained a seat for the Greens here in Yorkshire.

I voted for a thing and that thing happened, which is a pleasant change in this age of politics.
posted by winterhill at 3:45 PM on May 26 [23 favorites]


Was passed this today and frankly the timing now feels way too on the nose.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:48 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


This BBC page is summing the national voting stats declared so far. Comes to just over 40% LD + GR + CH +SNP + PC.
posted by biffa at 3:58 PM on May 26


30.4% (LD + GR +CH) and its pretty clear that Labour are still carrying a lot of loyalist remainders

West Mids (my region too) was 60/40 Leave/Remain in the referendum, there really has been very little change since 2016.
posted by brilliantmistake at 3:59 PM on May 26


[A few comments removed; I have no patience for needless dickery, cut it out.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:59 PM on May 26 [22 favorites]


And yet we’re told it’s too close to call, when it patently isn’t.
posted by Middlemarch at 4:00 PM on May 26


The Brexit Party is currently projected to take 24 seats, which would be the same UKIP had - no change. (UKIP currently on zero seats-- so long & thanks for all the milkshakes "Tommy", "Sargon", "Count Dankula", Gerard Batten et alia)

Meanwhile, Greens, Lib Dems and SNP are absolutely crushing it. I'm ecstatic about Magid Magid. Labour is still seeing some good Remain MEPs elected; Seb Dance is back for London, which I think is good news.

Mefi's own Tom Watson has a survey over at his website asking Labour members how the party should decide a new Brexit policy.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:01 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


Define “crushing it” not round my way they’re not.

Meanwhile Labour are still looking for a Brexit policy....
posted by Middlemarch at 4:04 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


swivel-eyed far right loons

One of whom I had no idea about until tonight - former failed Tory MP and now current Brexit Party MEP Annunziata Rees-Mogg, truly a salt of the earth representative of the people your average economically anxious brexit voter can sit down for a beer with.

To your point - prior to the referendum Farage was notorious for cheerfully drawing his MEP's salary whilst more or less never showing up to work at all, but recently they've been more involved and yes, I think the worry is they'll be doing their best to bring the whole thing down.
posted by ominous_paws at 4:05 PM on May 26


My region (SW UK) has returned 3 Brexit, 2 LDs and the sitting Green. This is quite at odds with the forecasting a week ago which was saying if you want remain take your pick between gambling on a LD or firming up the GR.
posted by biffa at 4:10 PM on May 26


It’s going to be a bit embarrassing for Nigel (or would be if he had the necessary self-awareness) if he can’t get more seats than UKIP did, despite the increased turnout and collapse of the Tory vote.
posted by inire at 4:14 PM on May 26


SW - I'm glad Green MEP Molly Scott Cato is staying. And roll on Lib Dems!
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:18 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


The establishment started to get scared of Europe, and scared of the potential of it, it’s why they offered us a referendum in the first place.

You can bet they’re really scared now...
posted by Middlemarch at 4:22 PM on May 26


Brexit has now won:
A straight referendum.
A FPTP election.
An election under the de hont system.

Pretty conclusive I’d say.
posted by Middlemarch at 4:28 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


A gem from The Guardian (in live update thread which is hard to link, but screenshotted here):
[an election official] also found one ballot which had 'wank' written in every single box apart from that of the Green Party. The voter left a note saying 'not wank' for the environmentalist party which was deemed acceptable as a vote.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:31 PM on May 26 [44 favorites]


Major constitutional change requires a 2/3rds majority in the vast bulk of sensible institutions, from governments to Rotary Clubs. It's obvious common sense. Without a genuine whacking majority, major constitutional change should not happen. A slight majority doesn't cut it. That only leads to trouble. In a Rotary Club, fine. In a country? Not so much.

Brexit has never been that nearly so popular as to attract a 2/3rds majority of anyone anywhere. Because it isn't, and it never will be.

The glee of some at the idiocy of how Cameron's government wildly mismanaged a referendum on major constitutional change has already led to all manner of terrible life consequences for many people in the UK, and it's ongoing, as we all know. No end is in sight, at least, no good end. For anyone.

When Brexiters attempt to legitimately claim that their oh-so-precious slightly more than 50% vote in a one-off referendum was in any way meaningful, as compared to the vast bulk of organisations of any sort that manage constitutional change sensibly, is beyond dishonest, beyond stupid, and beyond reprehensible.

We have read our history. We know who you are. We know what you want. We will defeat you again.

You will lose. Again.

So sorry.
posted by motty at 5:00 PM on May 26 [33 favorites]


Brexit has now won:
A straight referendum.
A FPTP election.
An election under the de hont system.

Pretty conclusive I’d say.


And yet Brexiteers are still terrified of a second referendum (rightly so, given the polls show them losing one). Will be interesting to see whether those polls shift after these elections.
posted by inire at 5:05 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


The lack of a Leave surge is more apparent when looking at seat and vote % totals - looks as if Leave (Brexit Party + Tories + UKIP) is on 31 seats and 45.6% of the vote with 10 of 12 regions in, down from 38 seats and 53.7% of the vote last time round.
posted by inire at 5:21 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


[Y'know, nah. Middlemarch, I'm sure there's place on the internet where a majority of your participation can be gleeful needling about Brexit but this isn't gonna be one of 'em. We've given you a few chances to do better and it keeps not happening.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:24 PM on May 26 [44 favorites]


Brexit has never been that nearly so popular as to attract a 2/3rds majority of anyone anywhere. Because it isn't, and it never will be.

How many nations joined the EU with a 2/3 majority? (I'm asking, for all I know it was all of them).
posted by 445supermag at 5:26 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


It looks like there was no referendum about whether the UK should join the (then) European Community, but two years later there was a non-biding referendum about whether to stay in it, and just over 2/3rds of voters voted yes.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:50 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


Corbyn:
With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:37 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


How many nations joined the EU with a 2/3 majority? (I'm asking, for all I know it was all of them).
I'm just regurgitating Wikipedia, but 11 did (12 counting North Macedonia (94.2%), but it has yet to join).

Ireland (83.1%)
Austria (66.6%)
Czech Republic (77.3%)
Estonia (66.8%)
Hungary (83.8%)
Latvia (67.5%)
Lithuania (91.1%)
Poland (77.6%)
Slovakia (93.7%)
Slovenia (89.6%)
Croatia (66.7%)
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 6:46 PM on May 26 [11 favorites]


Thanks for the excellent post. In Sweden the greens over-performed the national election last autumn, while the far-right lost momentum. The bourgeois parties seem to be the clear winners though.
posted by St. Oops at 9:48 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


Seems to me that the Brexit party sucked the brexit vote from Lab/Con (and Ukip) .... and have still only got 31% of the vote, less that LibDem+Green, and far less than everyone else ... looks like, after a couple of years of chaos, that the country is no longer slightly pro-brexit - all in all a pretty good argument for a 2nd brexit vote
posted by mbo at 9:50 PM on May 26 [11 favorites]


A couple of non-UK impressions:
- the idea that a more fractured parliament could contribute to its becoming more of an actually political institution is heartening
- the effect that one year of youth-led climate protests have had on the vote across the board is remarkable (especially when compared to the opposite happening in the recent Australian election)
- the rise in participation in all but two countries, newly doubling in some, is also heartening, despite this meaning an ominously reinforced Orbán.

Sadly, I write this from one of the countries that saw none of these three effects: Italy’s Greens’ irrelevance has been confirmed (they’re looking at about 2%, though they’ll surely say they’ve doubled their base like in all the other countries...) and participation’s stagnant here (only Malta’s was worse). The consecration of Salvini will be a dire shunt to il bel paese...
posted by progosk at 10:08 PM on May 26 [5 favorites]


Poland, PiS bloody won again, but only after an absolutely blatant show of handouts and vote buying (they literally gave an extra pension payment to all pensioners, among other things) and they're only 3% ahead of Koalicja (centrists) and Wiosna (progressives) put together, so I'm really hoping they'll run out of steam before parliamentary elections this autumn. Or in winter when all bills come due because wow their fiscal policy makes no sense. Except the young people need to freaking budge because only 30% of them voted.

Upsides: record turnout for European elections, nearly double of last time, and anti-Semitic idiots getting less than last time despite wow really ramping up the anti-Semitism. There have been some horrible incidents and language, but it seems the appeal is limited.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:09 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


Good Henry Farrell analytical Twitter thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:19 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


So I just calculated the numbers on my handy D'Hondt spreadsheet (pre Scotland returns) and if Change UK support had gone to the Lib Dems, they would have gained three seats; a Brexit in NE, and Labour seats in the SE and Wales. If Change UK support had gone to the Greens, they would have gained two seats; a Brexit seat in the E Midlands and the Labour seat in the SE. (That last SE seat, which Labour won, was a really close one -- in fact Brexit was actually closer to it than either the Greens or Lib Dems.)

So Change UK, in the most cynical possible reading, could have taken two Green seats and two Lib Dem seats and given them to Labour and Brexit. In the least cynical possible reading, they accomplished nothing at all electorally.

And of course this was obvious from the start, but a hypothetical united Remain party (Green/Lib Dem/Change/Plaid) would have been the night's big winner, with 29 seats total; they would have taken seats from Brexit in the NE, E Midlands and London; from Labour in SE and Wales; and even one from the already depleted Conservatives in W Midlands.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:21 PM on May 26 [7 favorites]


Brexit has now won:
A straight referendum.
A FPTP election.
An election under the de hont system.


Which Brexit though? Because before the elections it was all "No one wants to leave the Single Market!" or "We'll be the new Switzerland or Norway!" and now the mantra is "It'll be 30 years before we recover economically and that not so bad innit".
posted by PenDevil at 11:23 PM on May 26 [13 favorites]


The big story, of course, being the demise of Lord Buckethead
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:00 AM on May 27


Reporting from the Netherlands:

- Turnout was slightly higher than the previous time: from 37,3 % in 2014 to 41,8 % this time.
- The Netherlands get 26 seats in the European Parliament, same as before.
- PvdA (the Labour party) are the largest with 6 seats, up from the previous 3.
- CDA (conservative Christian party) get 4, down from 5.
- VVD (conservative liberals) get 4, up from 3.
- GroenLinks (Green Left) get 3, up from 2.
- FvD ('Forum for Democracy', newcomer right wing party, anti-EU) get 3.
- D66 (moderate left-ish pragmatists) get 2, down from 4.
- ChristenUnie/SGP (a coalition of two rather conservative Christian parties) get 2, no change.
- PvdD (Party for the Animals, an animal rights and environmental party) get 1, no change.
- 50PLUS (party for senior citizens) gain 1, had 0 before.
- SP (Socialist Party) lose their 2 seats.
- PVV (Geert Wilders' right wing party) lose all of their 4 seats.

All in all, to me this seems... pretty good. Something you'd celebrate with a salty herring and a beer.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:11 AM on May 27 [17 favorites]


Oh and if the UK leaves the EU, three more seats will become available to the Netherlands, which will be divided as follows:
- 1 to PVV
- 1 to VVD
- 1 to GroenLinks.

So we'd rather you didn't, thank you.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:19 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


PVV (Geert Wilders' right wing party) lose all of their 4 seats.

So much media attention given to these idiots, but they don't represent anybody.
posted by vacapinta at 1:20 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


I assume most of their voters have moved on to FvD.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:23 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


From Denmark, the news are good: We have a majority on the left side (while the slightly left, but mainly centrist Radikale Venstre (literally ‘radical left’, but they are not) sits in the Liberal coalition in the EU parliament, they have in past few decades belonged to the left side of the Danish parliament); a decisive super majority of pro-EU parties; and last, but not least, the mainly populist, but also right wing (and certainly both immigrant and EU sceptic) Dansk Folkeparti got absolutely crushed (4→1 mandates) , leaving the party’s founder Pia Kjærsgaard blaming #klimatosser (“climate fools”) (video).

The participation went from 56% to 66%.
posted by bouvin at 1:27 AM on May 27 [10 favorites]


The thing with the UK is, now they almost align with Hungary, Poland and Italy as a nationalist ultra-right country. All other countries have either moved towards Green(-Red) or towards a more classical Christian Democrat position (probably helped by the Ibiza Scandal in Austria ). In Europe, the Christian Democrats support the welfare state and are very moderately Christian compared to the US.
I'd say it must be weird for Brittania to wake up this morning and see who her new bedfellows are. But that's just me.
posted by mumimor at 1:44 AM on May 27 [14 favorites]


You're not at all wrong, mumimor, but to be honest things have felt plenty weird for a long enough time already.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:58 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]


Weird used in its alternate meaning of 'depressingly shit', there.

But still, lovely to think of Tommy/Stephen/Oswald's sad little face when he lost his deposit.
posted by reynir at 2:31 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


He reportedly sloped out of the back door of the Manchester count when it became clear that he was on track for 2%.
posted by winterhill at 2:39 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


I think they've been our bedfellows for a long time, haven't they? The Conservatives moved from the centre right to the right-wing coalition in about 2010. List of groupings in the EU parliament here (though not, as of now, updated to reflect last night's results).
posted by Grangousier at 3:39 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Austria, where we're currently in our biggest political scandal in ages, had pretty disappointing results:

ÖVP (Austrian Peoples' Party, who are facing a vote of no confidence and sanctions as I type this): 7 (+2)
SPÖ (Social Democrats, have historically done well in EU elections): 5 (+0)
FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party, successor to the Nazi Party, filmed in Ibiza trying to literally sell the country): 3 (-1)
Greens (if the German Greens kicked their left wing out, you'd have the Austrian greens): 2 (-1)
NEOS (liberals, sole survivors of the mid-2010s liberal knife fight): 1 (+0)
posted by frimble at 4:37 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


I actually found the UK results somewhat heartening. Only 37% (Brexit+UKIP) voted for no-deal brexit parties. There's no way you can spin that as a majority in favour of us crashing out in October. The collapse in the tory and labour votes will put the wind up both of them, certainly.

So for the tories, they'll swing to the hard right and go for a no-deal PM to try and get their base back, splintering their voters between the tories and brexit party.

Labour lost far more voters to clear Remain parties rather than to NuKIP, and were routed by the SNP and libdems. The pressure is going to be immense to have a members vote or special conference before September, and I don't think the MPs or membership will allow the fudging to continue, because....

The tories have a 4 seat majority, which means it only takes 2 Tory MPs to change side to bring down the government in a no-confidence vote. Should the Tory party swing to no-deal with a hardline PM (as seems almost certain) then the rump 'one-nation' tories are already talking about voting down the Government to prevent a catastrophic no-deal exit and it only takes 2 more.

So in a GE before October, you have Labour under intense pressure to unconditionally back a 2nd referendum - and quite possibly forced to, by the membership - while the tories and brexit party are fighting over the aging (and diminishing in number) no-deal voters, and losing soft tory voters (probably to the lib-dems) to boot.

I think the next Parliament before October is going to look very different in make up, and much more anti-brexit than currently - which then opens up the distinct possibility of cancelling Article 50 outright if the EU won't grant enough time for a 2nd ref. Still not over by a very long shot, but I think the Brexiteers have had their best shot of actually getting out (with May's deal) and the ultra-brexiteers tory right killed it because it wasn't pure enough.

TL;DR - no-dealers are not even close to a majority in the public, or parliament, and now we've been forced to a choice between no-deal and remain, I think remain is the most likely outcome.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 4:44 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Germany the Green Party got a huge boost a few days before the election when a group of over
90 YouTuber personalitie [SLYT, german]
urged their viewers not to vote for either conservative (CDU/CSU) or socialist (SPD) party - and especially not for the nationalist AFD.

Shortly before that their leader, one Rezo, posted a Destruction of the CDU [SLYT, german] with over 50 minutes of well-referenced material about these parties. It has received over 12 million views by now.

All of this happened more or less in direct reaction to CDU Member of European Parliament, Axel Voss, pushing for EU legislation for upload filters against the direct protests of literally thousands [heise.de, sorry, still german] (also in other european countries). Leading politicians tried to denounce these protests as sock puppetry by Google.
posted by flamewise at 6:40 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]


Absolutely No You-Know-What, you're still making the mistake of applying logic and enlightened self-interest to the situation. Labour has configured itself precisely to resist being 'forced to' do anything by the memberhip. The reaction of the Corbynistas to last night has been to double up on the flannel and accusatory insults, with Corbyn seemingly keen to 'listen to the membership' in a way that leaves no time to actually do anything before Halloween. He wants his Brexit, and there are no mechanisms in the party to make him do anything else. The shattering electoral defeat is a great moral victory.

Likewise, the concept of a general election when the government and opposition are both looking at actual electoral meltdown is... interesting. The algebra for getting there - if Boris got selected as PM and announced an alliance with Farage (they're both big pals with Bannon et al, and could easily get on board the 'reshaping British politics' wingnut express), and then what? Election? It's unlikely the non-ERG Tories would want to go down that path, and if - big if - Labour have gone pro-second referendum, could they get THAT through in the face of pitched opposition from the right?

Nobody doubts that a second referendum would most likely end up Remain, which is why it's so feared. And nobody doubted that the European elections would be a massive fart in the face of the mainstream Westminster parties, which is why they were spun as elections that nobody wanted and would damage democracy - exactly as they spin the second referendum. As we have just seen, the EU elections were both popular and are being used post-facto as democratic milestones. Odd, that.
posted by Devonian at 6:56 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


In terms of post-vote-exegeses... there's an interesting article by the infamous Wu Ming Foundation out this morning (in Italian) on the significance of non voters - in Italy, this time around: 43% of the eligible electorate.

They focus on the fact that the figure we are wont to quote - so in the case of Italy, Lega's 34% share of the vote - in real terms is actually 34% of 57% of the electorate's votes, so really only votes cast by 19.4% of voting citizens.

Specifically, as a tool to see beyond these percentage of a percentage results that we are used to focussing on, reprising their past success in predicting Renzi's surprise demise (at the 2016 constitutional referendum, which he lost resoundingly despite holding claim to 40% of the country's votes, as based on his share of the previous election), they've developed the candidate-flight-map, where flight means a candidate fleeing from public events in order to avoid hostile crowds. Here's Renzi's from just before his referendum loss; and here's Salvini's, currently still in beta.

It's an interesting thought-experiment for better election-media literacy, and for staying grounded in the face of what feels like a slow slide back into old-trope authoritarianism...

posted by progosk at 7:13 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


From my casual perusal of headlines, it would seem you can basically make any claim about the results you want and be able to find some supporting evidence. So my conclusion is there has been some additional chaos introduced, which may be a positive sign; definitely a sign to the establishment that their votes are not a gimme.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:16 AM on May 27


It's an interesting thought-experiment for better election-media literacy, and for staying grounded in the face of what feels like a slow slide back into old-trope authoritarianism...

Okay, but by the same token, you're saying that 43% of the electorate doesn't give a shit about going fascist or not. That doesn't strike me as being a particularly positive sign.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:25 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


If anything, it seems low.
posted by delfin at 7:36 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


The reaction of the Corbynistas to last night has been to double up on the flannel and accusatory insults

Yep. The line being taken is that Farage’s success vindicates Corbyn’s pro-Brexit position. The idea that he’s about to change tack in any meaningful way after this election seems like total wishful thinking.
posted by grahamparks at 7:55 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


but by the same token, you're saying that 43% of the electorate doesn't give a shit about going fascist or not. That doesn't strike me as being a particularly positive sign.

Or, quite possibly, kidding themselves that since it's only an EU vote, it doesn't really count...

The authors' point is actually more that there are political reserve-energies and potentialities that can and do get activated in certain electoral cicumstances and not others, and also that there is a plethora of political activity that is not directly measured by share of vote alone.

But, yeah: there's certainly some silent majority at work in that 43%, too...
posted by progosk at 8:20 AM on May 27


Okay, but by the same token, you're saying that 43% of the electorate doesn't give a shit about going fascist or not. That doesn't strike me as being a particularly positive sign.

In addition to the always on-point progosk, there is no provision for absentee voting (link in italian). So if Pinko Palino keeps his legal residence in Naples, but is legally domiciled in Milan, he has to travel back down to Naples on his own dime, assuming that he doesn't work on Sunday.
posted by romakimmy at 8:31 AM on May 27


Shortly before that their leader, one Rezo, posted a Destruction of the CDU yt with over 50 minutes of well-referenced material about these parties. It has received over 12 million views by now.

Annegrit Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU leader) tossed around the idea (haz, German) today that maybe expressing your political opinion on the internet should be better-regulated. She then walked it back to, "I only mean opinions like destroying democratic parties" (@akk on Twitter, also German)
posted by frimble at 11:17 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


I find the Polish results disappointing, but at least the actual fascist wingnut coalition didn't get any seats despite initial projections, so that's something. I'm worried about our parliamentary elections later this year, and trying to remain optimistic. I'm an expat, so I don't have a good feel for the odds.

I find myself in the bizarre position of being a lot more knowledgeable about and invested in British politics right now, even though I don't even live there -- Brexit became an irresistible train wreck around mid-February, and it's been easy to get drawn into the coverage because I'm a lot more fluent in English than in Polish.
posted by confluency at 11:38 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Different votes measure different things. More people signed the Repeal Article 50 petition than voted for the Brexit party.
posted by Devonian at 11:47 AM on May 27 [6 favorites]


Corbyn backs referendum on Brexit deal after voter exodus

He later wrote to MPs: “It is clear that the deadlock in parliament can now only be broken by the issue going back to the people through a general election or a public vote. We are ready to support a public vote on any deal.”
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:05 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Isn't that only meaningful if the vote is between "the final deal" and "remain"? A referendum on "this deal y/n?" isn't particularly moving the ball since a no vote just means the dead-enders will go back to the drawing board on deal v4.0?
posted by Justinian at 2:36 PM on May 27


TL;DR - no-dealers are not even close to a majority in the public, or parliament, and now we've been forced to a choice between no-deal and remain, I think remain is the most likely outcome.

I don't want the UK to leave, but I don't look at the results and see remain as the more likely option. Farage, for all that he's a total idiot and has help from dodgy places, still managed to whip together a party that did quite well. And that's after the news that the EU isn't going to back down and the UK isn't going to party like it's the empire again while the Irish sit quietly has been all over the place for years. I can see the argument that people the first time voted based on lies, but the truth is now rather visible and they're still voting roughly the same way. (There is no way to know if those who stayed with Labour and the Conservatives are remainers or leaders - or is there? I guess someone keeps figures about these things, but I haven't seen anything yet.)

In Ireland Peter Casey at least didn't get elected and Aontu seems to have scored less than 1% in the vote. And god knows what Renua is doing now, but it's not getting seats at the local, national or EU level. So that's nice.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:12 PM on May 27


Robert Preston.
...Did the UK just vote Leave or Remain?...
which, and in the unlikely event you hadn't already noticed, renders both main parties seemingly irrelevant in the debate of our age, and means that a century of government passing seamlessly from Tory to Labour and back again could well be drawing to a close.
posted by adamvasco at 3:48 PM on May 27


Visionary Jezza bravely closes stable door: Corbyn backs referendum on Brexit deal after voter exodus
posted by tractorfeed at 8:46 PM on May 27


There was an interesting article on politics.co.uk about how different polling systems give very different referendum results if you have more than two options.

With One on One contests, Soft Brexit comes first with Remain close behind.
With Alternative Vote, Remain comes first with No Deal close behind, because this eliminates the fewest-first-preference compromise options.
With Coombs Method, Soft Brexit wins easily, because this eliminates the most-bottom-preference extreme options.

It seems to me that in the case of a second referendum, whoever controls the referendum process has a lot of power to influence the outcome. If it's two options they get to pick them (No Deal or negotiated deal?). If it's three or more, they get to choose the polling system.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:23 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Soft Brexit (staying in the single market and customs union) hasn't been on the table for 3 years from either main party. May's deal is as hard brexit as possible while keeping the Irish border open, and no-deal was only mentioned during the 2016 ref for brexiteers to deny we'd be leaving without a deal. With the tories being dragged to the hard right by the Brexit party and their own members, crash out Brexit is the only acceptable 'real' brexit now, so we can immediately move away from the EU towards the US, flog off the NHS etc, with the loss of NI and Gibraltar (and probably Scotland too) - a price worth paying in their eyes. May's deal is a hard as it gets, there's no getting rid of the backstop, and I very much doubt the EU will even consider re-opening discussion at this point bar twiddling with the 'future aspirations' political declaration.

Any referendum in the near future that might break the deadlock in parliament thus would be between crash-out and remain. If Labour does somehow seize control in a GE, almost certainly they're going to need a deal with the SNP and quite possibly the libdems to get a majority. And neither will allow no-deal to be an option, so it'd be May's deal plus some waffle in the political declaration vs remain.

I can't see a 3-way referendum happening, because the parties involved all object entirely to one of the options and we've never done a 3-way one; it's going to take a shake-up in the House to achieve one anyway, but step 1 is for Labour to endorse one under any circumstances with remain as an option, which they've just more-or-less arrived at. I don't personally trust Corbyn and Milne to stick to it, but it's a start.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 12:51 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I wonder about perhaps keeping the Brexit and domestic UK politics discussion on the Brexit thread, to avoid this thread being derailed into a Brexit discussion thread by proxy. 27 other countries voted!
posted by winterhill at 1:26 AM on May 28 [15 favorites]


The Northern Ireland results are interesting - they voted in their first MEP who is neither a Nationalist or Unionist. Naomi Long is the leader of the Alliance Party, which remains neutral with respect to Irish Unity / remaining part of the UK. (However, the Alliance Party is also pro-Remain, so it may be at least partially Brexit related rather than solely an indication of more support for the middle ground.)

All 3 NI MEPs are women, with Diane Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Martina Anderson of Sinn Féin both retaining their seats, which is also a first for NI.
posted by scorbet at 3:26 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


(There is no way to know if those who stayed with Labour and the Conservatives are remainers or leaders - or is there? I guess someone keeps figures about these things, but I haven't seen anything yet.)

Lord Ashcroft's been polling EU election voters and asking them how they voted in the 2016 ref, and reckons that of the voters, Conservatives were 51:45 Remain:Leave and Labour were 66:24. Which, if you do all the sums, is a definite signal towards Remain.

The question of what the second referendum should ask and how it should ask it is unanswerable at the moment, simply because of the delusional thinking among politicians. Every Tory leadership contender is saying "We can negotiate a better deal with the EU, and if we can't then it's hard Brexit" - but those negotiations have concluded. What every Tory contender should be saying is "There is no parliamentary majority for the deal that's on offer. We will go for no deal."

As for Labour, I have no words. Delusion doesn't enter into it. As a Labour ex-MEP said - if the party had set out to deliberately lose, it couldn't have done a better job.

It will end up, as I believe I have been saying for a very long time, a decision between Remain and No Deal Brexit. That is what the referendum will have to ask, and it will have to ask it in a simple majority vote. And that will go Remain. The only way to avoid that is if the new PM pulls a rapid hard Brexit before anyone can do anything -- which I think would be astonishingly bad - or if the clock is run out through bluster and deception.
posted by Devonian at 5:48 AM on May 28 [6 favorites]


Corbyn's statement was:
It is clear that the deadlock in parliament can now only be broken by the issue going back to the people through a general election or a public vote. We are ready to support a public vote on any deal.
Boris Johnson has apparently:
"war-gamed" the prospect of holding a second referendum which gives voters the choice between remain, a form of "managed" no deal, and possibly a third option of a negotiated exit, either based on the so-called 'Malthouse Compromise' or resembling Theresa May's existing deal.
So, if there is to be a second referendum, both the people most likely to be calling it seem to be considering a version which includes voting on a deal.

From the Lord Ashcroft poll of 10,000 Euro-election voters:
...now, 50 per cent said they wanted to leave, 46 per cent said they wanted to remain, and 4 per cent didn’t know.
That doesn't necessarily mean much as Euro-election voters may not be a representative sample of those who who would vote in a second referendum. But if you do want to make the assumptions that there will be a two-option referendum and that the Euro-election voters are a representative sample of referendum voters, then on this poll Leave would win again.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:36 AM on May 28


Hello there. Here it is a very preliminary comparison between the performance of right-wing populist parties (of different sub-types, populist radical right, neo-liberal populists and else) in 2019 and 2014, by yours truly.

TL;DR The real populist surge was 2014. Good news is they are not growing. Bad news is they won't go away. Also, WTF Italy?
posted by vacapinta at 6:40 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


[Quick general note: to avoid this becoming a de facto brexit thread, let's stick with the existing thread for UK-only/brexit stuff, or feel free to make a new, updated brexit / UK politics thread. Thanks! ]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:47 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


The bookies' (Ladbrokes, in this case) odds on who will be the next EU Commission president (replacing Juncker) gives Michel Barnier pretty good odds to get the job at 2:1, just below Manfred Weber at 7:4.
posted by scorbet at 7:48 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Manfred Weber won't be it. I'm at work, but I'll post about what happens today later.
posted by mumimor at 8:34 AM on May 28


[I have cobbled together a new Brexit/UK Politics continuation thread for the suppression of vice and the preservation of virtue.]
posted by Devonian at 8:38 AM on May 28 [9 favorites]


I listened to RTÉ Radio for a change while driving home from work. Two things I hadn't realised:

The count seems to still be going on in Ireland. While the popular vote figures came out the other day along with everyone else's results, they were still going around the counts and revealing elected MEPs for different regions. Some regions were apparently on their seventh count, which seems to be a property of the proportional voting system used there.

MEPs have been elected in Ireland (and elsewhere?) to fill UK seats after Brexit. For Dublin, they named three MEPs who will take up their seats when the new Parliamentary session begins and a fourth who will only take up his seat "if Brexit happens". I had wondered how they were going to get around the possibility of UK MEPs leaving empty seats early in the Parliament, and it seems they've got "reserves" who will step in and form the new, smaller EP!
posted by winterhill at 12:58 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


MEPs have been elected in Ireland (and elsewhere?)
27 MEP seats were reallocated to countries that were underrepresented. Ireland's two "zombie" MEP seats, at least, did cause a couple of challenges - 3 seats versus 4 seats makes a difference for the counting process as it changes the quota needed to be deemed elected. There was also a bit of a kerfuffle at the end (count 14) in Dublin as to whether to redistribute some votes or not, which ended up determining the order of MEP 3 & 4. It's possible that the results would be different again if it was treated completely like a 3-seat constituency with an extra MEP, rather than a 4-seater with the last MEP being in limbo.

Only 6 of totally 13 MEPs are officially elected in Ireland so far, so there will be at least another day of counting to finish it off. (Maybe more, if someone insists on a full recount in a constituency.) Most of the remaining MEPs are fairly clear, but there can be surprises sometimes. A lot depends on a candidate's support outside their core supporters - how likely they are are to get second preferences and so on that push them over the line in the end.
posted by scorbet at 3:14 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Just a heads up. At work, i managed to lock myself out of my laptop, so I can’t Update Like i planned.
Will return tomorrow
posted by mumimor at 4:35 PM on May 28


OK it's a bit difficult to find good links for this, so here is the EU parliament's Key Dates Ahead page.
Basically, both the parliamentary groups and the European Council met yesterday to begin the proces of consolidation of the new parliament and leadership in the EU. There are three different political bodies: the European Council is the representation of the nation states in EU, and led by Donald Tusk. They appoint the European Commission, but with regard to the result of the European Parliament elections. In a way, the Commission is the equivalent of a government, except that they share power with the Council. All laws have to be decided on by a majority in the EUP, and also to be ratified by the national parliaments. This complicated structure means that the whole system is very consensus driven.

The EU Parliament has been trying this time and last to influence the decision about who gets to be head of the Commission by introducing a "Spitzenkandidat" - proces, where each parliamentary group points at one or several preferred candidates for the position. But the Council doesn't want that at all, and the above mentioned Manfred Weber is a good example of why they don't like it. He is chosen as candidate for the conservative parliamentary group among themselves, and is a man with no governmental experience, thus not a good match for heads of state around the world that the EU wants to negotiate with. Also, there is a big elefant in the room of the group, which is Victor Orban's far right Fidesz party. So even as Merkel formally endorses Weber, rumor has it that she doesn't really want him to win the nomination.
There are many other candidates on the Spitzenkandidat list, and the Council can choose to ignore them all. There are talks about Michel Barnier as a candidate as well as other European leaders.

The whole thing will take a while, but they are hoping to do it faster this time than before, not least because of Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile, the EU elections have impacted national politics, for example in Italy. The collapse of the Austrian government isn't a direct consequence of EU elections, but it is part of the stream of events.
posted by mumimor at 9:14 AM on May 29 [6 favorites]


D Adler (The Nation): What Just Happened in Europe?

"The ugly truth is that, even if the far right has lost its battle to capture the European Parliament, it has won the war to set its agenda. Political parties from the center left to the center right, taking Hillary Clinton’s infamous advice, now advocate the same anti-migrant policies as their populist challengers. “For four years we fought to get a European Border and Coast Guard. EU countries were blocking, but we managed to get it done: 10000 extra border officers,” bragged Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats. “We need to better protect our external borders to keep our internal EU borders open.” Verhofstadt’s comments, then, raise the question: Who needs the far right when liberals will do the job for them?"
posted by progosk at 3:25 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


D Adler (The Nation): What Just Happened in Europe?

Just as it doesn't make sense for us Europeans to look at US politics through Euro-political glasses, it doesn't make sense to use an American political compass to understand EU politics. The EU political system is deliberately built to force through a consensus democracy. It's probably impossible to win EU elections and actually influence the Union from either edge in politics, and that is why both the far right and the far left find the Union undemocratic.

The risk in this election was that the immigration agenda could give a big win to the far right/fascists, and that didn't happen.
If, and only if there had been a far-right victory, the Conservatives/Christian Democrats may, only may, have been tempted to form a coalition to the right. If that had happened, it would have been a very weak coalition because the national far right parties strongly disagree on important (for them) issues, such as how to manage the refugees that have entered Europe and what relationship they should have with Russia. Also, most national Christian Democrats won't work with the far-right, because they are actually Christian, in the old-school way where you have to love thy neighbor. Specially in Germany, the EU's largest country, this is a very strong sentiment, for obvious reasons. You may remember Merkel saying "wir schaffen das" during the so-called refugee crisis. The more likely result of a far-right succes would be a slightly broader coalition across the middle, where till now the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats have been dominant since the beginning of the European Community, the forerunner of the Union.

Now instead climate became the agenda. I believe there are several reasons for this. The first is of course the amazing movement being led by green activists across the continent. Another is that the press, the mainstream politicians and the intelligence community across Europe to a large extent behaved responsibly. Attempts to use social media to push a Russian agenda was hit down in most countries and the media didn't run after the far right agenda of fear like they had done earlier, while instead highlighting climate facts. The other was that the Social Democrats and some Liberals used a cynical and dirty ploy and signed on to a harsh policy on immigrants and refugees, as mentioned in the article. That part is correct. BUT, the thing is that they got a beating from the electorate for doing that. In countries where Social Democrats are harsh on immigration, they lost by large margins, mostly to Green parties, and in countries where Liberals did not join the racist agenda, they lost to them as well (in Denmark we can choose between two Liberal parties, one racist and one progressive). The wonderful thing about having a multi-party system where the norm is coalition-building is that as a voter, you can clearly state your opinion and still have the coalition you want in charge. Fundamentally, I'm a Social Democrat, but I'm going to vote far left in the national election and I voted progressive liberal in the EU election because that aligns with my values and goals.

The far left has never been very succesful in the EU, as stated above: mainly because they reject the whole founding principle of consensus. For a conscious voter, it will be a waste to vote for someone who won't work with the Parliament to reach results, a Green vote is much more effective. It's interesting that both the far right and the far left have Americans trying to coordinate their efforts. That said, the far left is much bigger in Europe than in the US, even after this beating in the EU and some local elections. In some countries, there are cities and municipalities which are governed by the far left or coalitions of Socialist, Green and Social Democrats, with succes. In those countries, the left also has more influence in national elections.

Out of 28 countries, three large ones stand out as very worrying: Hungary, Poland and Italy. All have them have freedom of press issues, each in their own way, and while Italy has suffered from political violence for more than a generation, it has now also become an issue in Poland and Hungary. The EU is struggling to deal with this, and the new Commission and Parliament may decide to enforce stronger sanctions on countries who refuse to conform to the Unions's values, depending on which coalition is formed. Generally, though, the EU system is able to police transgressions, like violations of human rights, freedom of speech and political violence. Though Le Pen had a very good election in France, there is still a Liberal-Green-Socialist majority in the country.
The reason I voted Liberal rather than Green in the EU elections is that I believe corruption and lobbyism is a huge underlying problem in many countries, from Germany to Greece, I feel that is what really is blocking the Green New Deal we need, and I feel the Liberals have more power to do something about that. But it's a nuance, I didn't choose till I actually made my vote, with a pencil on paper.

I've disregarded the UK in this overview, because nothing makes any sense there. (And BTW, the reason much of this isn't well known outside the EU, and by American organizers, is that English language media either don't cover it, or misunderstand some basics).
posted by mumimor at 5:03 AM on May 30 [9 favorites]


D Adler (The Nation): What Just Happened in Europe?

Just as it doesn't make sense for us Europeans to look at US politics through Euro-political glasses, it doesn't make sense to use an American political compass to understand EU politics.


Just briefly: not sure what made that article appear USian in your view - D Adler has been working for a very (albeit utopian) europeanist movement (DiEM and its European Spring umbrella-thing), so he's definitely working/writing from within a Euro-perspective...

Here's another read of the election: J Pisany-Ferri (Project Syndicate): Europe’s Citizens Say They Want a More Political EU.
posted by progosk at 10:30 AM on May 30


Just briefly: not sure what made that article appear USian in your view - D Adler has been working for a very (albeit utopian) europeanist movement (DiEM and its European Spring umbrella-thing), so he's definitely working/writing from within a Euro-perspective...

Basically, I don't think Adler or his organization has understood how the EU works; that his organization proclaims itself "europeanist" doesn't mean that it works within the specific system that is the European Union. I know they have even failed to get on the ballot in many countries. Also, the article is heavily dependent on English language sources that either overlook or misinterpret European sources.

There's also this (from the article): Another important takeaway is not to assume the compatibility of liberal social policy and redistributive economic policy. One of the hidden benefits of America’s two-party duopoly is that supporters of each of these policies must find a way to coexist inside the Democratic Party. Not so in Europe. The multiparty system allows young, urban, and educated voters to support a cosmopolitan politics without supporting a class-based one.
In a European context, this makes little sense. Apart from the UK, every single EU country has some form of Social Democracy. Most political parties in Europe, including those on the far right, support universal healthcare, some form of redistribution, fair universal pensions, access to cheap or free childcare and education. As a consequence, what defines left and right in Europe is completely different from what defines left and right in the US (and the UK). That doesn't mean class is irrelevant, of course not. It means it is different. For instance, the reason immigration has been an issue for a generation is that the racist right has been able to frame immigration as a threat to welfare. On the other hand, when I was a kid, it was the left that argued against the EEC using race and religion as their key arguments.

Also, the versions of austerity that played out in the UK, Greece, and to some extent Spain had between nothing and little to do with the EU. But they all played a big part in leftist anti EU sentiment. They are three different things, and I wish I had the resources to write a book about them, but in each case, national governments were responsible for how it played out. Because of how the EU works, EU leaders have not spent time pointing this out. Maybe that is a mistake, maybe not.
posted by mumimor at 11:54 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Here's another read of the election: J Pisany-Ferri (Project Syndicate): Europe’s Citizens Say They Want a More Political EU.
This is much closer to reality.
posted by mumimor at 11:57 AM on May 30


In case anyone is wondering about the Irish count process, there were 10 MEPs elected by last night, and it was more or less down to determining the order of the remaining 3 (one is substitute MEP). However, the candidate who just missed out has called for a full recount. That will start next Tuesday, and is expected to last around a month. It’s actually possible that it won’t be finished before the European Parliament opens again...
posted by scorbet at 1:46 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Overview of results in Sweden from Radio Sweden Weekly (in English.) Also, results of a survey about the sexual habits and satisfaction levels of Swedes.
posted by XMLicious at 3:54 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Merkel and Macron at Odds over New EU Leader
And now, following European elections, the EU is now in the process of choosing new occupants for its top positions -- and additional tensions may be on the horizon. In the wrangling over those leadership positions, Paris and Berlin have conflicting interests. Macron wants to take advantage of the opportunity to remake the EU, as he has said in numerous speeches. To do so, he needs an energetic European Commission president who shares his aims.
Merkel, meanwhile, must support Manfred Weber, the German lead candidate for the European People's Party (EPP), the center-right European Parliament group to which Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) belong. She has little choice in the matter, particularly given that her party already suspects her of having left them in the lurch during the campaign. Ever since Merkel gave up her position as the chairperson of the CDU and announced her impending retirement from politics, she has become a lame duck. To prevent her power from crumbling further, the chancellor needs to prove she can still represent German interests in Brussels. She needs to prevent a commission president from being selected whom the Germans do not like.
Merkel has other problems at home as well: German Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles to step down after EU poll losses -- basically, the Social Democrats have melted down some time ago and the EU elections were the last straw. This may lead to the end of the current government coalition in Germany, and Merkel will probably not be the leader of the next one, which maybe what Germans call a Jamaica coalition, which would perhaps be more in accordance with Macron.
posted by mumimor at 7:20 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Well, it seems someone in Italy still has some resolve: Bannon’s being evicted.
posted by progosk at 9:57 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


That will start next Tuesday, and is expected to last around a month.

Turns out that after a partial recheck, it was agreed to stop the recount process. The original count was then restarted, and finished up yesterday. So now all Irish MEPs have been elected. Totally 5 Fine Gael (EPP), 3 Independents, 2 Fianna Fáil (ALDE), 2 Greens & 1 Sinn Féin. 1 each of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are awaiting Brexit. Sinn Féin was the biggest loser, going from 3 to 1 in 2014, whereas the Greens gained 2 seats from 0. FG & FF picked up the two extra slots.
posted by scorbet at 7:17 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Carole Cadwalladr Finds The Missing Link
While the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr painstakingly exposed the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Aggregate IQ connection, and the involvement of the various Leave campaigns during the 2016 EU referendum, there was, building up in opposition to her research, a push-back emanating mainly from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Why this should be is now coming clear.
posted by adamvasco at 1:58 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Deutsche Welle English: Enemy in Brussels: What are Europe's right-wing populists after? (42½min video, .mp4 link)
posted by XMLicious at 9:36 AM on June 7




Europe's left-leaning parties.
Just sayin' that the Greens, the Nordic Greens and the Left Socialists are all out there as well, under different names. Generally, I think the overview is good, but in many countries, the Left is many things other than Social Democrats, and in Germany and to some extent France and the Netherlands, that is a large part of the equation. In Denmark, the Social Democrats are the largest party, but the other left-leaning parties are bigger, combined. This means that there is a huge majority for a green turn and for improving welfare, and a more complicated situation regarding refugees and immigration (no-one knows where that is heading, but probably there is not a majority for the policy proposed by the Social Democrats in their election manifesto)
posted by mumimor at 1:34 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


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