For the first time in the post-war period, six parties won seats in the Bundestag. Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU were the clear winners, however, their share of the vote and seats was greatly reduced by the electorate. The election was a big win for the country’s smaller parties, most notably the far-right AfD, who were only formed in 2013.
The AfD are a right-wing, populist movement and went from virtually nowhere to win almost 13% of the vote, according to the BBC. The AfD are on the move. Here are five other countries where the populist right have been making progress.
In a stunning blow to France’s political establishment, back in April, Front National Leader Marine Le Penn came second in the first round of the country’s presidential election. In another hit to the establishment, centrist Emmanuel Macron came from nowhere to come in first place. Two weeks later, the two leaders faced each other. Macron won two-thirds of the vote, a move that led to sighs of relief in the European mainstream, but Le Penn’s 33.9% of the vote (and 10.6 million votes) was a big leap forward from the 17.8% won by her father fifteen years previously.
Last year’s Austrian presidential election was a controversial one. Independent candidate and Green party member Alexander Van der Bellen faced the nationalist Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer in the second round. After electoral irregularities, the results of the second round were annulled, and in the legitimate second round, Bellen won just shy of 54% of the vote. Hofer won 46.2%. Despite losing, it was a significant move forward for nationalists in Europe.
FPO are currently the country’s third-largest party and are looking to make gains in the country’s legislature next month.
3. The Netherlands
The Netherlands’ Freedom party, led by the controversial Geert Wilders, did not do as well as many commentators expected in the Dutch elections earlier this year, but they did supplant Labour as the country’s second largest party, and secured 13.1% of the vote.
We will fight for our countries and our people.— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) September 24, 2017
At the 2014 election, a red-green minority alliance was formed. However, one of the main stories of the night was the rise of the Sweden Democrats who won 12.9% of the vote. Sweden is due to go back to the poll next September, and the election could be an electoral earthquake and a massive blow to the Swedish mainstream as Akesson’s anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats are currently the second-largest party in the polls.
The next Swedish election could be a major advancement for the country’s nationalists.
At the 2015 election, the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party emerged as the second largest. The left-of-centre coalition bloc lost seats, resulting in a right-of-centre government led by the mainstream right-of-centre Venstre, which came third in the election.
The Danish People’s Party currently help out the centre-right coalition government, following their biggest parliamentary win in their history in 2015. The Danes are due to go back to the polls in two years, and are currently neck and neck with Venstre for second place.