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European politics in 2019 marked by rise of far right

European politics in 2019 marked by rise of far right
Far-right parties win elections in three of four most populous countries in EU, gain ground in other polls

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) - Rise of the far right strongly influenced European politics in 2019, particularly in the EU Parliament elections but also in national and local polls.

The most prominent success of far-right parties was their domination of EU Parliament elections in May in three of the EU’s four largest countries by population: France, the U.K. and Italy.

In France, the far-right National Rally Party of Marine Le Pen narrowly beat President Emmanuel Macron’s party coalition, receiving 23% of the vote.

In the U.K., which is about to leave the EU, the Brexit Party of populist politician Nigel Farage won with 30%.

In Italy, the far-right populist League Party of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini scored a sweeping victory, receiving 34% of the vote, well ahead of the runner-up, the leftist Democratic Party, which received 22%.

The strong showing of these Eurosceptic parties raises serious questions over the future of the EU.

The rise of the far-right was also evident in other elections held this year.

Spain held two general elections -- one in April and one in November. The far-right Vox party secured 24 seats in the 350-seat parliament during the first election and 52 seats in the second, becoming the third-largest party in the country.

In Germany, meanwhile, October elections in east-central Thuringia state reflected the rise of the far-right vote in the EU’s most populous country.

While the Left party won, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party came in second, receiving twice the number of votes compared with the previous election.

On the other hand, Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union suffered a crushing defeat, managing to win only 21.8%, down 12 percentage points from the last election.

In Italy, besides his EU election victory, far-right politician Salvini also scored a historic win in October elections in Umbria, a region ruled by the left for half a century.

The coalition headed by Salvini received 57% of the vote, while the center-left coalition garnered 37%.

Salvini is also clearly leading in opinion polls for Italy’s next general election.

source: News Feed
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