School of Politics and International Relations

Surge of populism in the upcoming European elections

29 March 2019

A Sky News analysis on the forthcoming European elections has found that populist parties could win almost a third of the seats in the next European Parliament if elections were held this week.

Dr Stijn van Kessel said that the results are partly due to the fragmentation of mainstream parties: "Traditional parties, like the Social Democrats or Christian Democrats, are losing their traditional support, because of economic change and fewer people voting on the basis of religious motivations.”

Dr Sarah Wolff, Director of the Centre for European Research said: "A lot of people in these parties would say we shouldn't have refugees that should be able to move [around] - so we should have more strict controls.”

Dr Paul Copeland reflected upon the consequences of populism for commissioners. He said: "If the commissioners are presented and they are regarded as being too integrationist or too pro-federal, I can see this populist group having some kind of impact. It doesn't need to do much to get [enough] votes to get a blocking majority.”

Read more in Sky News