The most crucial European election in more than a generation has given a clear verdict. The old left and right are losing ground. Liberal Democrats and Greens are on a surge. Nationalists appear to be losing momentum.
Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberal Democrats, has now become kingmaker for the old left and right can not form a majority in the European Parliament for the first time ever.
Change is coming, and this change may well be a liberal alliance with the greens.
Libdems in Europe overall have won 107 seats, up 39 seats from 68. Greens have gained 70 seats, up from 18. Nationalists are at 58 seats from 36 and Nigel Farage’s grouping stands at 56 seats, up just 15.
Nor is the picture much different in UK where these results matter a lot with Libdems and Farage arguing over who won.
Just what exactly is the result remains a bit unclear, but Libdems + Greens are maybe a bit ahead or just about the same as Farage.
Farage however argued that conservatives should be added to leave. So then if you have labour for remain, there’s a clear victory.
What matters far more is what has changed since 2014, and here there’s a clear trend. Farage’s then UKIP party won 24 seats on 26.6% of the votes. Five years later, it won 29 seats with 31.6% of the vote.
That addition of just 5 new seats pales in comparison to Libdem’s gain of 15 seats to 16 from just one seat in 2014. So raising their vote from 6.6% to 20%, making them the second biggest party.
While Greens have gained 4 seats for a total of 7, close to doubling their percentage from 6.9% to now 12.1%.
Likewise in France everyone is arguing Le Pen won, but in fact she has lost ground. She won 24 seats on 24.85% in 2014. In 2019, one seat has been lost, down to 23, with the vote share down to 23.31%.
Only in Italy has Salvini’s nationalists made clear ground. They apparently don’t even have a Liberal Democrat party there with this great nation so putting in power the far right in a coalition.
After years of bunga bunga Berlusconi, they now continue to distract themselves with the far right and they wonder what’s wrong with their economy.
Overall, however, although nationalists have made some gains, Libdems and Greens have made the most gain in this election in a momentous surge for liberalism.
Greens and Libdems are also natural allies. They could perhaps even merge under a prosperous flag of green and yellow.