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The recent European Union parliamentary elections represented a massive political earthquake.  

Across the continent, in virtually every country, power shifted away from establishment politicians and toward populist parties.  

EU voters in 27 countries voiced their concern over illegal immigration, militant Islamization, a weak European economy, and an intrusive, aggressive and domineering Brussels bureaucracy. 

FRENCH FAR RIGHT SEEKS ALLIANCE WITH CONSERVATIVES AFTER STUNNING EU PARLIAMENT WINS

In France, for example, the incumbent government was so decisively repudiated that President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the legislature and called for new elections this summer. After two generations of effort by National Rally President Marine Le Pen, and her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen (who led the party from 1972 to 2011) the conservative National Rally Party won twice as many seats as Macron’s party.  

Le Pen leaves party headquarters

Marine Le Pen leaves the Rassemblement National (RN) party headquarters in Paris on June 10, 2024, after a meeting with Marion Marechal and Jordan Bardella, a day after the European Parliament elections. (Adnan Farzat/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In the upcoming French special election, it is possible that Le Pen’s party will have elected its first prime minister, which would turn Macron into a lame duck with limited power. 

The German establishment was totally repudiated. The Socialist Democratic Party of Germany fell to 13% of the vote, its smallest share in modern history. The Green Party found itself losing young voters to the populist right-wing parties. People began to call on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to follow Macron’s lead and call for a new election. 

In Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy Party continued to gain support. It doubled its share of Italy’s seats in the European Union Parliament. Meloni is emerging as a strong voice against Brussels-centered policy in Europe. She is authentically Catholic and conservative on social issues and determined to gain control of Italy’s borders. Her popularity keeps growing, and she is one of the most rapidly rising figures in European politics. 

In Spain, the governing leftists were defeated 50% to 43% by conservatives. It was a clear rebuke of the left’s failed policies on the economy, immigration and the Catalan and Basque separatist movements – which would dismantle modern Spain if successful. 

One of the key patterns was the decline of the various green parties. In Germany the Greens have been a major force in adopting insane economic policies that hurt average people and accomplish virtually nothing on climate. There, the Green Party dropped from 20% in the last European Union Parliamentary election to just 12% this year. Across all of Europe, Green Party representation dropped from 71 to 53 seats. 

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The British Conservative Party (which is the establishment in Britian) has been suffering a similar decline outside the European Union Parliamentary elections. After 14 years in office, the Conservative Party in Britain is headed toward what may be its worst showing in more than 100 years. Again, the issues are similar. People are upset over immigration, increased radical Islamization, economic decay, social policies that violate traditional values and rising crime. 

It would be interesting to know what President Joe Biden learned from having dinner with Macron, as the French leader was being decisively repudiated by French voters. The same establishment-left politics which are the heart of the Biden administration were repudiated almost everywhere in Europe – and often by historic margins. 

In Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy Party continued to gain support. It doubled its share of Italy’s seats in the European Union Parliament. Meloni is emerging as a strong voice against Brussels-centered policy in Europe.

The reaction of the European media is like the reaction of the American leftwing propaganda media. It has tried to avoid understanding the populist movement. Pundits, anchors and editors have caricatured populist leaders. They have attacked anyone who thinks illegal immigration is wrong or resists having multiculturalism forced upon them. Now, many of these views will be represented in the European Union parliament.   

To be clear, European Union parliamentary elections happen every five years and often feature protest votes. The parliament is relatively weak in setting government policies in Brussels, so voters can express themselves without much risk of seriously damaging the system. However, the scale of the populist vote and the repudiation of the governing center-left coalitions was so decisive that it could be a signal of major changes to come. 

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This European earthquake was certainly more like Donald Trump’s vision of a new path forward than the Biden-establishment vision of sustaining the status quo. 

The upcoming special election in France will be a key test. It will indicate whether this earthquake was a temporary shaking of the system – or the beginning of a profound new era in European politics. 

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Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-1999 and a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He is chairman of Gingrich 360.

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