Marine Le Pen’s far right Front National (FN) party just made historic gains in France. Now Front National (FN) looks to tie in with other like-minded European protest parties like UKIP for the European elections. The goal will be to send a strong anti-immigration, anti-Brussels message. Here you read about the surge of the far right.
The leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, has made European elections a priority in his bid to impose his views on the United Kingdom, which will open a new chapter in the battle of wills with Brussels. They are also a key objective for the True Finns and France’s Front national (FN), as they are for Beppe Grillo in Italy, and SYRIZA, Greece’s main opposition party. All of these groups are hoping to be the focus of a protest vote, which is more pronounced in EU polls. “European elections have traditionally favoured marginal parties,” explains political scientist Dominique Reynié. “They are characterised by proportional representation and a high level of abstention, especially among moderate voters.”
The ingredients of the protest cocktail are well known: immigration, bureaucracy and austerity. And at times they can form a highly volatile mix. The controversy in France over the Roma has shown that immigration – to Europe and also within the EU – will loom large in the campaigns. The question of migration is the stock and trade of the far right in countries as far apart as Denmark and Greece, as well as in the Netherlands, Austria and France.The issue has also been enthusiastically adopted by the Eurosceptics of UKIP and Germany’s newly created anti-euro party Alternative for Germany (AfD). For a section of the European population that is apprehensive about the crisis, free movement of labour is seen as menace to employment. Romanian and Bulgarian workers have come to represent a threat that used to be embodied by the dreaded Polish plumber.