The Dutch Labour Party has seemingly won an unexpected victory over the far-right during the European Elections in Holland, easily seeing off the challenge of the Forum for Democracy.
Exit polls show that Frans Timmermans’ Labour has taken over 18% of the vote compared with just 11% for the Forum for Democracy who finished third in polling behind Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservatives.
The showing by Labour is all the more impressive as it marks a doubling on their 2014 performance and flies in the face of the far-right wave that has been expected by many commentators. An Ipsos poll for 26–29 Apr 2019 placed the Forum for Democracy as high as 16.9% of the votes with Labour scoring a mere 7.8%.
“I hope that this gives a tailwind for a lot of other social democrats in Europe”Frans Timmermans
While the media talks only of advances and successes for the far-right, socialist and other left-wing parties have been quietly forming their own red wave in Europe, taking the fight directly to the right. The latest win comes after Spanish socialists saw off the challenge of Vox in the recent Spanish elections, the anti-Austerity Social Democrats saw off the challenge of the Finns in Finland and Britain’s Labour Party is expected to form the next government under socialist Jeremy Corbyn.
While it is early days, there are signs that a backlash against the far-right might be starting to form with widespread protests against Matteo Silvini being seen in Italy and the downfall of the heavily far-right influenced government in Austria.