Home POLITICSEuropean Elections 2024 Denis MacShane: “Don’t Expect any Dramatic Breakthroughs in this European Parliament Election.”

Denis MacShane: “Don’t Expect any Dramatic Breakthroughs in this European Parliament Election.”

by gary cartwright
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Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane, a former Europe Minister in in Tony Blair’s premiership says “no dramatic breakthroughs” should be expected in the upcoming EU elections, which take place from 6 to 9th June.

The European Parliament will spend an estimated €33 million on a communications campaign that, it hopes, will boost voter turnout in the keenly-awaited election.

The aim, it says, is to continue the much improved participation rate seen in the last elections in 2019. It says the outlay is money well spent as it is the equivalent of less than ten cents per EU voter.

But MacShane, although an acknowledged Europhile, says no “dramatic breakthroughs” should be expected.

He points out that when the first direct elections to a European Parliament were held in 1979 62% of European citizens went to cast their votes.

“At the last election in 2019 just half of voters could be bothered to vote and the participation rate has been much lower,” he says.

The former Labour government frontbencher goes on, “Today, academics and European Parliament observers believe that there will be a surge of right-wing national identity xenophobic anti-immigration voters.

“In fact, anti-European, xenophobic political parties have often done well in European Parliament elections.”

He adds, “It is an easy protest vote election in which the voters the EU davos elites ignore – the poor, the left-behinds, historic agricultural or industrial regions who feel penalised by net-zero climate change policies or open trade in much cheaper food products from overseas – can have their shout at the elites who then ignore them for another five years.”

He says that Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National came top in the European Parliament elections in 2014.

“It was a protest against François Hollande’s Socialist presidency which was being undermined by left-wing Socialists in France who simply opened the door to the davos liberal elite technocrat president, Emanuel Macron.

“In the 2019, European Parliament election Le Pen’s daughter Marine won 18 MEP seats, with the Greens on second place on 10 seats and Macron’s recently created political party winning just 2 seats.

“Yet in the presidential elections in 2017 and 2022, Macron easily outpointed Le Pen while the Socialists had all but disappeared. Similarly, Nigel Farage, the Donald Trump admiring British Europhobe, anti-immigrant populist came top in the 2014 European Parliament election.

“Fifteen years ago Farage’s UKIP party won more MEP seats than the ruling Labour party in 2009. In June 2019, his candidates got 5.2 million votes compared to 1.5 million.

“Yet in December 2019 the Tories won a national landslide and no Farage endorsed candidates entered the House of Commons.

“As Brexit took effect and was seen as a major economic, trade, social and diplomatic failure voters rejected both Farage and anti-European Tories and have turned instead to Labour which seems on course for a major win in the forthcoming House of Commons election to form a government.

Despite these European Parliament triumphs Farage was rejected SEVEN times when he tried to become an MP in any British election to the House of Commons.”

MacShane says, “British voters up to Brexit and other European voters seem to split their votes. They use the European election to punish parties usually in national office and then at the subsequent election they vote down the party they previously had supported.”

He says that this year’s elections “are not difficult” to predict.

The former Minister said, “The Muslimphobe, national identity right will gain some seats. The Social Democratic left is not what it was especially in France and Germany. The Liberals continue to fade.

“There is one shining example of Social Democratic success and that is the new-look Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer.”

Denis MacShane’s forecast? “Don’t expect any dramatic breakthroughs in this European Parliament election.”

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