After the shock result of the Brexit referendum became known in June last year, the populist-nationalistic forces thought that their time had come. The US presidential election result of November seemed to confirm such a trend.
The first test was in December in Austria when Green Party contender, Alexander Van der Bellen beat the far-right FPÖ hopeful Norbert Hofel.
That was followed by parliamentary elections in Holland in March, when Mark Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) landed an election blow to far-right Islamophobe Gert Wilder of the Party for Freedom (PVV). Finland held municipal elections in April and saw the Perussuomalaiset* suffer a major setback.
The real test came in France in May when the new politician on the block, Emmanuel Macron, beat Front National’s Marine Le Pen fair and square.
Prime Minister May, who said she won’t resign despite the catastrophic election result and gamble, was hit as well by the “Trump effect.”
Even if there appeared to be a populist-nationalistic tide flooding Europe at the end of last year, one matter is clear: While President Donald Trump’s erratic style of leadership has scared a lot of European voters, Prime Minister May’s campaign was to blame as well.
Below are two headlines that in the Financial Times that picture well May’s election setback. Financial Times’ worldview is pretty much in line with May’s, which measures people by the size of their wallet and the market shares of companies.
After exit polls results became known after polls closed.
The exit poll results were confirmed this morning.
* The official translation to Finnish of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is the Finns Party. In our opinion, it is not only a horrible translation, but one that is misguided. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Such terms like the Finns Party of True Finns promote as well in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and thereafter the acronym PS.