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Social Democrats Hammered in European Parliament Elections

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"Social Democrats Hammered in European Parliament Elections"

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European Parliament elections are contested country-by-country by national parties. In other words, in France the Parti Socialiste runs against the UMP, and then separately in Germany the Social Democrats run against the Christian Democrats. But the MEPs do sit in cross-national blocs. And in the voting that finished up this weekend, the cross national Party of European Socialism, representing the mainstream center-left parties of Europe, got really hammered. The Greens picked up seats. The far-right picked up seats. The Euroskeptics picked up seats. And the main center-right bloc, called the European People’s Party, picked up a bunch of seats. The ALDE bloc of centrists and liberals basically held even. And the social democrats lost out big time. This, courtesy of the BBC, is what the new European Parliament will look like:

europarliament2009

And here’s how it went in 2004:

europeanparliament2004

It’s not clear that this has any dramatic implications for EU issues as such, since ultimately the balance of power remains the same. But the terrible result the Labour Party put up in the UK—third place—appears to be deepening the political crisis there. Meanwhile, with American conservatives complaining about incipient socialism in the US at the very time Europe is moving toward the right, can the day be far off when conservatives start threatening to move to Sweden?

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