DECRYPTION. European elections: Spain, Germany, Italy… what do the polls say about our neighbors?

DECRYPTION. European elections: Spain, Germany, Italy… what do the polls say about our neighbors?
DECRYPTION. European elections: Spain, Germany, Italy… what do the polls say about our neighbors?

the essential
From Germany to Italy via Belgium, the elections of June 9 could mark a clear advance of the far right on the Old Continent.

In France, political heavyweights are competing for the last places on the lists for the European elections. They include Élisabeth Borne, Édouard Philippe, François Bayrou, Marine Le Pen and even Jean-Luc Mélenchon. In Italy, on the contrary, the president of the council, Giorgia Meloni, announced, at the end of April, that she would be at the top of the lists of her party, Fratelli D’Italia. This does not mean that the European elections interest the Italians more than the French. They are considered there as little more than an internal political match, an opportunity to redefine the existing balance of power. Projections in the polls give Meloni around 26.27% while his allies Salvini and Forza Italia are around 8% and the left is very divided.

The German far right at 17%

In Germany, it is the right which is on the rise but it is closely followed by the far right Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) which confirms its breakthrough with 17% of voting intentions. “The AFD is taking advantage of the growing questioning in Germany about the place of migrants in society and on the job market,” explains Marie Krpata, researcher at Ifri. In addition, Germany appears to be weakened economically, which is not insignificant in a country which has been the economic engine of the euro zone for years. Concern is growing regarding the German industrial model.

In Belgium, where voters will vote on June 9 for the European elections, but also for their federal and regional elections, electoral disparities are widening between the three regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital). Very little visible in French-speaking Belgium, the far right is at the top of voting intentions in Flanders where it is credited with 27.4% of voting intentions. In Wallonia, it is the Belgian Socialist Party (PS) which occupies first place. Among the themes at the heart of Vlaams Belang’s speech: the split of the country and the emergence of a Flemish republic, very strict positions on migration matters (desire to stop immigration, toughen the conditions for granting Belgian nationality ) and internal security (abolition of the conditional release system).

Spain escapes the rule

Portugal is coming out of legislative elections caused by the resignation of the Prime Minister. The right won ahead of the Socialist Party. But here too, it is the breakthrough of the extreme right that should be highlighted. Chega achieved unprecedented progress by placing itself in third position, with 18% of the votes, a record score. The so-called government parties fear an identical movement in the next European elections.

Finally, in a Spain marked by strong political tension, polls predict a very close election. The PSOE socialists, in power since 2018 with Pedro Sánchez, are credited with 19.3% of voting intentions. This is very close to the PP, the conservative opposition party (19.2%). Vox, the far-right party, comes far behind with only 2.9% of voting intentions. For the moment, in this very Europhile country, the June 9 election is taking a back seat. Today, all eyes are on Catalonia where the regional elections on May 12 will define the political future of independentist Carles Puigdemont.

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