Euro Elections - July 2004

in:

Euro-vote mixed fortunes for the hard right

by Graeme Atkinson



Some of the electoral right-wing extremist and right-wing anti-immigrant/ populist parties that stood in the European elections turned out to be amongst the biggest losers, piling up derisory votes and percentages in country after country.



The biggest loser of the pack was Jörg Haider's Freedom Party (FPÖ) in Austria which saw its vote collapse from 23% in 1999 to a miserable 6.33%. Instead of having four MEPs, it will now just have one, the hardcore extremist and co-editor of the fascist weekly Zur Zeit,  Andreas Mölzer.



In Germany, too, the fascists flopped, shipwrecked on the rocks of their own disunity. No fewer than four fascist parties fielded candidates, accompanied by Helga Zepp LaRouche's crazed fascistoid sect, Bürgerbewegung Solidarität. Even between them, they were not able to muster the 5% needed to elect a single candidate into the 732-seat European Parliament.



The much-vaunted right-wing populist List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) which, two years ago, many political pundits thought unstoppable recorded a comparable flop in the Netherlands. Bereft of its star personality, the late Pim Fortuyn, the fiercely anti-EU LPF resembles a punctured air balloon. Since being in the Dutch government last year, the LPF's support has been plunging, this time to 121,192 votes and 2.6%.



If it looks like the LPF has little future, its rival NieuwRechts has even less, polling a pitiful 0.3% of the vote. Already, recriminations have broken out within this unpleasant right-wing splinter group.



In western Europe, the far-right also failed to get a single candidate elected in the UK, Spain, Portugal and Sweden where the British National Party's (BNP) pals in the National Democrats suffered the ignominy of notching up a vote that was "statistically insignificant". This achievement was complemented in the accession states where extremist parties failed in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia to get a single candidate elected.



It could be argued that some of the far-right and right-wing populists, at least, have been victims of their own incompetence.



After all, they had much going for them:



*widespread dissatisfaction at the convergence of the mainstream parties

* anger at the alleged arrogance of mainstream politicians

* suspicion of widespread fraud and corruption in EU institutions

* resentment at the war in Iraq

* Islamophobia and fear of terrorism

* hostility to what is perceived as the distant and top-heavy bureaucracy of the EU

* annoyance at alleged EU invasion of the national sovereignty of EU member states

* media-fed hysteria in western Europe about "floods" of refugees and asylum-seekers

* a low turnout (26% average in the accession states and under 45% in the west)



Despite these favourable factors, the rightists were not able, uniformly, to capitalise upon them nor, as a rule, to play a leading role in punishing incumbent governments.



However, it was far from meltdown for all the fascists.



In Belgium, for example, the racist Vlaams Blok totted up 930,000 votes and won the support of almost a quarter of the bilingual country's Flemish-speaking population. Its Euro-vote success of gaining an extra seat in the EU parliament, coupled with its successes in regional polls held on the same day, could foreshadow an end to the so-called cordon sanitaire with which the democratic parties have so far kept the VB out of office.



In the UK, the nazi BNP almost matched the VB with an unprecedented 808,200 votes but this "victory" turned out to be Pyrrhic because the score was not enough to get Griffin's hungry snout into the EU's gravy boat.

































The non-mainstream right will still be there, however, now that Robert Kilroy-Silk's United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has won 12 seats. Already, the party has revealed some of its incipient anti-democratic tendencies with Kilroy's much publicised promise to "wreck the European Parliament".



In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National polled 1,684,792 votes and gained 9.81%. This performance is better than the 5.5% it got in 1999, just after the debilitating split with Bruno Mégret, but it is still a marked setback in comparison with the 16% it got in the March 2004 regional elections. However, it has increased the FN's occupation of EU parliament seats from five to seven.



Likewise, in Italy, the fascists of terrorist Roberto Fiore and pin-up Alessandra Mussolini's Alternativa Sociale will be filling a seat, along side the fascist Fiamma Tricolore which had a candidate elected and Gianfranco "we are no longer fascists" Fini's Alleanza Nazionale which will have 9 MEPs.



In Greece, meanwhile, George Karatzaferis' toxically antisemitic party, LAOS, gathered 249,000 votes, enough to secure it a seat in Strasbourg. The Patriotic Alliance - between the hardcore nazis of Golden Dawn and military junta nostalgists - were only able to garner 0.17%, however.



The only other success in western Europe was in Denmark where the anti-immigrant populists of the Danish People's Party kept its single seat and increased its share of the vote slightly from 5.8% to 6.8%.



In eastern Europe, it was in Poland that the anti-EU hardcore extremist right-wing really mopped up. There the antisemitic League of Polish families grabbed 15.92% of the vote and the ultra-right 'Samoobrona" (Self-Defence) totalled 10.78%. These parties will now hold ten and six seats respectively. Three other far-right formations that contested the elections failed to win a seat.



Elsewhere in the accession states, it is thought that deep Euro-scepticism may have been a factor in enabling the For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK party in Latvia (4 seats) and Nova Slovenia and the Slovene Democratic Party in Slovenia (one seat each) to win representation in Strasbourg.



At the time of writing, far-right and right-wing populist parties will have 57 seats in the new European Parliament. This compares with the 24 MEPs whose politics placed them well to the right of mainstream conservatism before the election.



Although their tally of seats has more than doubled, it is unlikely that that their influence will do so. Indeed, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to form a united group big enough to win recognition as a formal group with all the access to piles of cash that that would involve.



For starters, Fini's Alleanza Nazionale will probably want to steer clear of the rest of the extremists and populists and some of the "new starters" are unlikely to want to be seen as foot troops for Le Pen's FN.



Equally, it should not be forgotten that, fundamentally, these people are visceral nationalists possessed of narrow-minded politics that do not lend themselves to international cooperation. UKIP and the other new entrants could not have landed in more suitable company.




















 

 

This article appeared originally in  Searchlight, the international antifascist magazine. In addition, below we present a statistical overview on the Far Right's results in the European Parliament Elections last month. The statistics were compiled with the kind support of many organisations active within the UNITED AGAINST RACISM and SEARCHLIGHT networks. Graeme Atkinson is , European Editor of Searchlight magazine. For subscriptions to Searchlight go here UNITED is the pan-European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, supported by over 560 organisations in 46 European countries. How to join the network: see http://www.unitedagainstracism.org 'joining the network'

BRIEF: Far Right & Right-wing populists

EURO-ELECTION RESULTS June 2004

AUSTRIA -population 8.1 million

Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs

155,856 votes

6,33%

1 candidate elected


BELGIUM -population 10.3 million

Vlaams Blok

930,700 votes

23.16% of all Flemish votes

3 candidates elected



Front National

181,000 votes

7.45% of the French - speaking community

No candidates elected



Front Nouveau de Belgique

26,000 votes      

1.1% of the French - speaking community

No candidates  elected












CZECH REPUBLIC -population 10.2 million

Narodni koalice (National coalition)

2,944 votes

Statistically insignificant



Republikani Miroslava Sladka

15,767 votes

0.79%

No candidates elected






CYPRUS - population 0.8 million

No known far right/right-wing populist candidates

   DENMARK - population 5.3 million

Dansk Folkeparti (Danish Peoples Party).

128,789 votes.

6.8%

1 candidate elected


ESTONIA - population 1.3 million

No known far right/right-wing populist candidates

FINLAND - population 5.2 million

No known far right/right-wing populist candidates

 

FRANCE - population 60.1 million

Front National [ Jean-Marie Le Pen]

1,684,792  votes

9.81%

7 candidates elected



Mouvement National Républicain

0.32%

No candidates elected



Mouvement pour la France [Phillipe De Villiers]

1,145,469 votes

6.67%

6 candidates elected



Rassemblement pour la France [ Charles Pasqua]

291,227 votes

1.7%

No candidates elected
















GERMANY - population 82.4 million

Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands

241,678 votes

0.9%

No candidates elected



Die Republikaner

485,691 votes

1.9%

No candidates elected



Ökologische Demokratische Partei

145,479  votes

0.6%

No candidates elected



Bürgerbewegung Solidarität [La Rouche movement]

22,009

0.1%

No candidates elected



Deutsche Partei

61,954

0.2%

No candidates elected






















GREECE - population 11.0 million

LA.O.S.  [Popular Orthodox Alarm] - George Karatzaferis

249,449                     

4.11%                              

1 candidate elected 



Elliniko Metopo [National Front]

15,129                           

0.25%

No candidates elected                                



Patriotiki Symmachia  [Patriotic Alliance] - nazi Golden Dawn & junta supporters

10,543              

0.17%                              

No candidates elected












HUNGARY - population 9.9 million

MIÉP [Hungarian Life and Justice Party]

72,177 votes

2.35%

No candidates elected


ITALY -population 57.4 million

Alternativa Sociale - [Roberto Fiore/Alessandra Mussolini]

398,036 votes

1.2%

1 candidate (Mussolini) elected



Fiamma Tricolore

236,016

0.7%

1 candidate elected



Pino Rauti

46,827

0.1%

No candidate elected



Alleanza Nazionale

3,759,243

11.5%
















9 candidates elected

IRELAND - population 4.0 million

No known far right/right-wing populist candidates

LATVIA - population 2.3 million

For Fatherland and Freedom [LNKK]

170,819 votes

29.82%

4 candidates elected




LITHUANIA - population 3.4  million. No info received

LUXEMBOURG - population 0.5 million

No far right/right-wing populist candidates

MALTA - population 0.4 million.

Imperium Europa [hardcore nazi Norman Lowell]

1,603 votes

0.59%

No candidates elected


NETHERLANDS - population 16.1 million

List Pim Fortuyn

121,192 votes

2.6%

No candidates elected



Nieuw Rechts

15,663 votes

0.3%

No candidates elected.







POLAND - population 38.6 million

Liga Polskich Rodzin - League of Polish Families

969,689 votes

15.92%

10 candidates elected



Samoobrona - Self Defence

656,782 votes

10.78%

6 candidates elected



Union of Real Politics

113,675 votes

1.87%

No candidates elected

Polish National Party

2,510 votes

0.04%

No candidates elected



National Rebirth of Poland [Third Positionist]

2,546 votes

0.04%

No candidates elected





















PORTUGAL - population 10.1 million

Partido Nacional Renovador

8640 votes

0.1%

No candidate elected


SLOVAKIA - population 5.4 million

SNS-PNS alliance [Slovak National Party - True Slovak National Party]

14,150

2.01%

No candidates elected


 

SLOVENIA - population 2.0 million

Nova Slovenia

101,914 votes

23%

1 candidate elected



SDS - Slovene Democratic Party

76,674

17%

I candidate elected







SPAIN - population 41.0 million

Falange Española [FE]

Falange Españolas de las J.O.N.S [FEJONS]

Democracia Nacional [DN]

Falange Autentica [FA]


Votes:

FE  13,728 [0.09%]

FEJONS 4,308 [0,03%]

DN 6,175 [0.04%]

FA 1,990 [0.01%]

No candidates elected



SWEDEN - population 8.9 million

Sweden Democrats

28,303

1.13%

No candidates elected



National Democrats

7,209 votes

0.29%






UK - 59.2 million

British National Party

808,200 votes

4.9%

No candidates elected.



UK independence Party [anti-EU populist]

2,650,768

16.1%






12 candidates elected



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