Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The recent surge of right-wing populist movements in Europe has become a dominant narrative in international media, but the actual election performance of nationalist parties suggests that the scale of their growing influence may be overblown — and that their rise may be rooted in social forces besides migration.

Expand chart
Data: National election commissions and statistical offices. Get the data. Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The big picture: An Axios analysis found that in the last two election cycles, right-wing populist parties, as defined by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, experienced gains (>0.05%) in 15 out of the 27 countries that will vote in next year's European Parliament elections. But a number of these parties were already growing prior to the 2015 refugee crisis — often cited as the main factor in the rise of the far-right —  while others lost support after the crisis, despite vowing to cap immigration.

The details: Because EU countries all have distinct voting calendars, the election years referenced in the data stretch anywhere from June 2009 (Luxembourg) to September 2018 (Sweden).

  • The two most dominant right-wing parties in Europe are Hungary's Fidesz-KDNP and Poland's Law and Justice. Their illiberal policies — including, in both cases, a crackdown on the independent judiciary — have made them the only two countries to ever be censured by the European Parliament for undermining democratic values.
  • The party that has made the largest gains is Italy's League, which saw a 13.3% increase in vote share in an election held earlier this year. The party is led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, an immigration hardliner who has closed Italy's borders to refugees and called on Europe to share the burden of migration.
  • While the migrant crisis has undoubtedly fueled parties like League, others like Latvia's National Alliance and the Sweden Democrats — which just had their best electoral performance ever — were already growing. Meanwhile, parties like France's National Front and Finland's Finn Party actually performed worse after the migrant crisis had begun.

In an interview with The Globe Post, populism expert Cas Mudde called the refugee crisis "at best a catalyst, not the main cause" of growing nationalism. He said that while no Western democracy is naturally immune to the far-right, its electoral success is instead largely driven by dissatisfaction with mainstream parties and elements of the media that overplay migration failures and underplay successes.

The bottom line: The EU is comprised of 28 (soon to be 27) distinct countries and cultures, and the rise of right-wing populism — while strengthened by broader European crises — is rooted in structures unique to each society.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.