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Rout of the soft left: Europe veers right to beat recession - Europe, World - The Independent
Angry voters stayed home in record numbers but did not flock to extremists

It may be difficult to say who "won" the European elections, but it is clear who lost. From France to Poland - and spectacularly in Britain - politicians of the moderate left were shunned or humiliated by the few voters who bothered to cast their ballots.

In a time of recession - and especially one caused by the exuberance and immoderate greed of markets - centre-left arguments might have been expected to thrive. Instead, centre-left parties of government were routed in Britain and soundly defeated in Portugal and narrowly beaten in Spain. Centre-left opposition parties were rejected in Italy and Poland and crushed in France. In Germany, where the main centre-right and centre-left parties share power, voters rejected the Social Democrats and gave a comfortable victory to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

The principal exceptions to the rout of the moderate left were the good results for social democratic parties in Denmark, Sweden, Greece and Slovakia.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:43:04 PM EST
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