By ALAN COWELL and JAMES KANTER MAY 26, 2014
LONDON — Members of the European political elite expressed alarm on Monday over the strong showing in European Parliament elections by nationalist and anti-immigrant parties skeptical about European integration, a development described by the French prime minister as an “earthquake.”
In France, Britain and elsewhere, anti-immigrant parties opposed to the influence of the European Union emerged in the lead. In France, the National Front won 26 percent of the vote to defeat both the governing Socialists and the Union for a Popular Movement, the center-right party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In Britain, the triumph of the U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, which won 28 percent of the vote, represented the first time since 1910 that a nationwide vote had not been won by either the Conservatives or Labour.
“The people’s army of UKIP have spoken tonight and delivered just about the most extraordinary result that has been seen in British politics for 100 years,” said Nigel Farage, UKIP’s leader. …
Official results released overnight showed that populist parties strongly opposed to the European Union also trounced establishment forces in Denmark and Greece and did well in Austria and Sweden. The results, a stark challenge to champions of greater European integration, left mainstream political leaders stunned. …
With the political landscape redrawn across Europe, some politicians, notably Nick Clegg, the British deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior coalition partner, faced calls from their own party members to quit. The Liberal Democrats finished fifth in Britain and lost nearly all their seats at the European Parliament. …
In Paris, the victory by the National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, prompted Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, to acknowledge: “It’s an earthquake.”
“We are in a crisis of confidence,” Mr. Valls added. “Our country has for a long time been in an identity crisis, a crisis about France’s place in Europe, Europe’s place in our country.”
President François Hollande of France called an emergency meeting of senior ministers after his Socialist Party finished a remote third. …
European Parliament ballots often do not reflect voting patterns in national elections, which favor traditional parties. But in Britain, Mr. Farage, the U.K. Independence Party leader, depicted his triumph on Sunday as the harbinger of greater prominence in next year’s national elections, saying that his followers could hold the balance of power if neither the Conservatives nor Labour win an outright majority.
“We will go on next year to a general election with a targeting strategy and I promise you this: You haven’t heard the last of us,” he said.
Here’s a detailed Inside Cricket analysis in The Telegraph of what the rise of the UKIP portends in the next General Election in the UK.
After their success in the local elections, Ukip are poised to wreak havoc in 2015. Robert Ford and Ian Warren explain where and how the battle will be fought.
Nigel Farage scored a spectacular triumph in the early hours of Monday morning, leading Ukip to the first nationwide victory for a new political party in almost a century. Coming on top of Ukip’s success in the local elections, it was hailed as heralding the age of “four-party politics” in England. Mr Farage had shattered the mould of British democracy, and thrown next year’s general election – already set to be the closest and most unpredictable for a generation – into turmoil.
These claims may seem exaggerated. But the more you look at the data – the further you drill down into how people actually voted on Thursday – the more you can see that predictions that Ukip will fade away are a case of wishful thinking. It is now crystal clear that the party really does have the potential to cause chaos in 2015, affecting all three parties in unforeseen and unpredictable ways.
To see why, it helps to understand what matters most about these results, at least in terms of the general election. For, while Ukip’s European triumph has stolen the headlines, their less dramatic advances at local level will ultimately be more important.
The real currency of elections, after all, is not votes, but seats. Before their breakthrough last year, Ukip had won only a handful of local council places in their 20-year history. They now have more than 300 councillors, enough to make them a significant presence in town halls up and down the country.
Why does this matter? Because Britain’s first-past-the-post system poses a huge challenge to any new party, whose support is usually spread evenly over the country. As the Liberal Democrats have learnt, national popularity counts for nothing at Westminster unless you can win locally. So parties like Ukip must try to convince sceptical voters that they are a viable option in constituencies where they have no track record of success.
Thursday’s results were a powerful response to this challenge. In many seats, Ukip activists can now argue on the doorstep that they are the dominant force in local elections, and a strong presence on the council. That will help convince voters that returning a Ukip MP is a logical progression, not a leap into the unknown.
Here in the U.S., the bipartisan establishment and the dominant media have largely succeeded in stifling debate over immigration, but that shows how America is becoming less of a democracy. In most of the rest of the world, patriotic parties are ascendant, as is only natural following the Globalists’ disaster of 2008.