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BBC NEWS | Europe | Job fears fail to rally left-wing vote

On the face of it, the circumstances around these elections looked pretty favourable to the parties of the centre-left.

In the run-up to the election, an opinion poll taken across the EU's 27 member states showed that the worst economic crisis in a generation had pushed a fear of unemployment right to the top of voters' concerns.

So you might have expected voters to back the parties of the left. Instead it was the centre-right that benefited.

Were Europe's voters expressing greater confidence in these parties' abilities to manage economic downturn and - hopefully - the beginnings of recovery?

Maybe. But it is also true that in many European states safety nets already exist for those who lose their jobs, perhaps neutering one of the left's unique selling points.

And if we take a closer look at the picture in some of the big EU states, things begin to look a little more complicated.

by Fran on Mon Jun 8th, 2009 at 02:21:27 PM EST
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