'Wake-up call': Far-right parties set to make huge gains in 2024 EU elections

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected]
'Wake-up call': Far-right parties set to make huge gains in 2024 EU elections
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban speaks at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Hungary could play a crucial role in creating a coalition of conservatives and right-wing populists in the EU parliament after June 9th. Photo: Wojtek Radwanski / AFP)

The European parliamentary elections in June could see a radical shake-up of the current political landscape, with a coalition of far-right and right-wing parties dominating for the first time, a new report suggests.


The next round of European parliamentary elections could bring about a drastic surge to the right, endangering key policies like tackling climate change and providing support to war-torn Ukraine, according to a new report. 

Mirroring a trend in recent national elections, support for mainstream centrist parties is expected plummet in the June elections, while a coalition of conservative and far-right parties could emerge for the first time. 

The report was conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

It's authors, political scientists Simon Hix and Kevin Cunningham, described the polling results as a "wake-up call" for European policy makers.

"The June elections should be about securing and strengthening the EU's position for all those who want a more global Europe. Their election programmes should give the population cause for optimism," said Hix, a comparative politics specialist at the European University Institute in Florence. 

The report predicts that anti-European populists are likely to lead in nine member states, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Slovakia, after voters go to the polls this year.

In Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden, far-right and right-wing populist parties are expected to land in second place.

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Overall, the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) group is projected to gain up to 40 seats, making it the third-largest political force in the upcoming legislature with a total of 98 seats.


Meanwhile, the centre-left coalition of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Greens (G/EFA) and Left is expected to lose seats after June, sinking from 36 to 33 percent of seats in the European parliament. 

The primary centre-right coalition, consisting of the European People's Party (EPP), Renew Europe (RE), and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), could also lose out, dropping its vote share from 49 to 48 percent.

If Hungary's Fidesz party, led by the authoritarian leader Victor Orban, decides to join the EVP, a "right-wing populist coalition" could emerge, with Eurosceptic and right-wing populist parties gaining more leverage than ever before. 

According to the report's authors, a potential return of Donald Trump in the United States and the growing influence of Eurosceptic, right-wing populist parties could hinder “international partnerships in defence of European interests and values”.

This could mean a drastic shift away from the current measures to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment, as well as a rightwards shift on issues such as migration and support for Ukraine. 


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It could also affect politics on a national level, the report said, amplifying the voices of countries like Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Sweden who want to limit the influence of the European Union from within. 

If Geert Wilders’ Eurosceptic PVV heads the new government in the Netherlands, this axis of anti-Europe parties could grow even larger, the report suggests. 

Reiterating his warning to EU policy makers the report's author Simon Hix said: "They should emphasise the benefits of multilateralism and make it clear on key issues of democracy and the rule of law that they, not the political fringe, are best placed to protect fundamental European rights."


Comments (4)

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Andrew A. Anderson 2024/01/27 10:57
Thanks for the article. As an American, I am well aware of the consequences of a MEGA movement in EU. This is a very dangerous trend and will impact not only people yet economics. Let’s hope that cooler heads prevail. I for one along with millions of Americans are working to ensure MAGA does not enter the WH.
paul rivas 2024/01/24 19:47
Finally, they are waking up are they? I wish they would wake up in the UK as we are heading to become a Muslim country.
julioK Gorilla 2024/01/24 19:16
What did everyone expect?
Grovy 2024/01/24 19:11
Disappointing from, turning itself into another mainstream narrative machine. It's not far-right parties rising, it's opposite of all stupid / not-listening to people/common man/farmer policies which are getting traction and all those parties that cater to non main stream narrative will and continue to get the big push. Remember what Anna Baerbock said last year - she doesn't care about her citizens or finance minister no budget for farmers but billions for war.

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