European Parliamentary elections were held all across Europe today. Here is a roundup of reaction from the media, as well as from some Conservative bloggers.
June 7 (Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy led pro-business parties in defeating socialists in European Parliament elections, lessening the pressure for more stimulus measures to fight the deepest recession since World War II.
Amid signs the economic slump is bottoming out, the continent’s top two leaders escaped the drubbing in European Union-wide elections that was handed to U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and socialists in smaller countries including Spain, Austria, Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovenia.
Now the BBC, which gives a great summary of the results:
- French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP trounced socialist opponents, while greens from the Europe-Ecologie party also made gains
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing centre-right grouping lost ground but finished ahead of its rivals. The Social Democrats, Ms Merkel’s partners in the grand coalition, saw their worst election showing since World War II
- In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition is ahead of the socialist opposition, with almost 36% of the vote
- In the UK, the governing Labour Party suffered a serious defeat, gaining its lower share of the vote for a century
- Spain’s governing Socialists were slightly behind the opposition Popular Party, according to partial results
- Poland’s governing centre-right Civic Platform has gained ground at the expense of the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party
- Early results show Portugal’s ruling Socialists dropped a massive 18 percentage points, losing out mainly to Greens and far-left parties
From Daniel Hannan’s blog:
Alright, we now have a pretty clear idea of the results. Gains for the Euro-sceptic parties – the Conservatives, UKIP and the Greens – and losses for the Euro-zealots: LibDems and Labour. So far, so predictable.
Still, the extent of Labour’s defeat is hard to take in. They are currently being projected 15 per cent of the vote. No major party has ever been so diminished. To find a precedent, you have to go back to the years before Labour became a national party, when it was simply a band of union-sponsored candidates: “our infant might, when all ahead seemed dark as night”,” as the Red Flag has it.
(Btw, Eurosceptics are opposed to further European integration, and are generally critical of the EU and its aims.)
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, and haven’t heard of Daniel Hannan, behold the Conservative MEP for South East England:
Here’s more analysis of the European elections today from William Burstow of The Burstow Blog:
Low turnout in the UK and Europe as a whole, fascists in the European Parliament, Conservatives winning Wales for the first time in 90 years, Labour vote falling apart all across the country, centre right make gains across Europe, and the Conservatives taking their place again at the top of the European vote with UKIP coming second. Historic, yes. The start of a trend? That’s yet to be seen.
And from John Hinderaker at Powerline:
Any way you slice it, though, the EU elections have had a good outcome, with relatively conservative parties gaining across Europe. England’s Labour Party has reached a nadir, being outpolled today by the United Kingdom Independence Party, which wants to take the UK out of the European Union.
And for Drudge’s headline?
USA MOVES LEFT, EU GOES RIGHT
For a take strictly on the local elections in the UK on June 5th, here are a few Conservative bloggers in the UK:
First, Richard Willis:
The local elections this week could not have come at a worse time for Labour. The party has been riven with resignations and stories of leadership challenges and Gordon Brown’s position still looks shaky despite his Cabinet reshuffle. It is hardly surprising then that Labour suffered a hammering in the County Council election results. What is more surprising is that the Lib Dems did relatively badly as well ending up as net losers of both Councils controlled and seats. At a time when Labour is less popular than a snake on a plane you might expect that the Lib Dems would hoover up seats, especially in the North of England. However, the main beneficiaries of Labour’s woes up and down the country were the Conservatives.
Second, Tory Bear:
What a great day for the Conservative Party – we have wiped out Labour in the counties. The top two stories on the BBC website are calling for Brown to go and reporting the stunning electoral success of the Conservatives. Many a Tory have waited many years to see such an image.
Third, Zehra Zaidi:
Nationally, Labour suffered humiliation, losing control of its four remaining county councils in England – Derbyshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire. With Cabinet resignation after resignation, the Labour Party is in complete disarray and Gordon Brown has lost all political authority. The Labour Party is still clinging to its leader, just. To quote Jon Cruddas, to “simply chuck Gordon overboard would be madness” as they know it would in all likelihood trigger a general election and inevitable defeat.
Finally, here are two electoral maps for the UK, which show the Conservative shift in County Council seats from 2005 to 2009.
An utter trouncing.