European elections: A rising left amid the far right danger

TSIPRAS_LAB_POSTER_Zoom1If you base your assessment of what’s going on politically in Europe on the BBC coverage of the Euro elections, you’ll be aware of the massive victory of the Front National in France and not too much else. The parallel rise of the far left was under-reported and where it was covered, the preferred terminology was ‘far right and eurosceptic parties’. Commentators seemed allergic to talking about a left victory. But left victory there was too.

While the big story was the shocking victory of Marine Le Pen’s party – the Front National moved from 6.34% in the 2009 Euro elections to 24.95%, a quadrupling of the vote – Syriza, the Greek radical left party, saw an even greater increase in its support. From 4.7% in 2009, it reached 26.55%, emerging almost 4 points ahead of its nearest rival, the rightwing New Democracy. Continue reading