Party to watch: Freedom Party (FPÖ)
Domestically, the far-right Freedom Party is currently part of a ruling coalition government alongside the conservative Austrian People’s Party and their Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Polling indicates that they have remain popular while in government and the Financial Time’s poll tracker shows the FPÖ on 21.1% of the vote which would be a rise from the 2014 European elections when they received 19.7%.
Party to watch: Vlaams Belang (VB)
VB are a populist radical right party which seeks an independent Flemish state. At the 2014 European elections they received 4.26% of the vote with the recent Belgian polls showing they have risen to 9.3% this time around, a result that should they achieve it would give them 1 seat. In addition to the European election, Belgian voters will also have simultaneous federal and regional elections.
Party to watch: United Patriots (Bulgarian National Movement (IMRO); the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB); Attack (ATAKA))
The United Patriots is the ultra-nationalist, far-right electoral alliance formed by three political parties: the Bulgarian National Movement (IMRO), the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB) and Attack (ATAKA). They finished third in the parliamentary elections and were invited by the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov to become the minority partner in the coalition government. But for months now, the leaders of the United Patriots have been infighting over who should run on the list for the European elections and in what order. As a party, on average, they were ranked 4th in the polls, on 6% of the votes. Standing together would have been the only chance they had to win seats at this election. However, the leaders of the three parties decided to register separately. The only one who still holds hopes and is polling around 5% is Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Krassimir Karakachanov’s IMRO party.
Croatia sits alongside Ireland, Romania and Portugal as one of the very few countries without a far-right populist party of note standing in the upcoming elections.
Party to watch: National Popular Front (ELAM)
The far-right National Popular Front looks to be making significant gains with a polling average of 8.3%, up from the 2.7% they achieved in 2014. At the moment they look on course to win their first seat. The party has open connections with Golden Dawn in Greece, which it has described as a “brother movement”.
Party to watch: Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD)
Launched by Tomio Okamura in 2015, the SPD is an anti-immigrant far-right party that finished in fourth place in the 2017 parliamentary elections and the now holds 22 seats in the Czech Chamber of Deputies. This will be their first outing in European elections and they have already used it to build links with other similar parties across the continent. They have already hosted a meeting of the Movement for A Europe of Nations and Freedom in Prague which saw attendees from National Rally from France, the Freedom Party of Austria, Lega Nord from Italy and the Dutch Party for Freedom. At present, they are polling below the 5% electoral threshold to secure a seat.
Party to watch: Danish People’s Party (DPP)
At the 2014 European Elections this far-right populist party actually won the election with 26.6% of the vote, making them the largest party for the first time. This time around they are polling much lower at an average of 16.3% placing them in the 3rd spot which would get them just 2 MEPs.
Party to watch: Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE)
This far-right party with its seriously extreme youth wing, Blue Awakening, has had a good 2019 so far managing the largest gains during the parliamentary elections in March, increasing their seat count by 12, taking them to a total of 19. European election polls in Estonia have fluctuated and EKRE have polled as low as 11% and as high as 18% with a poll of poll average of 12.5%, leaving them in fourth place at the moment.
Party to Watch: Finns Party (PS)
Finland had national elections in April and The Finns Party (formerly True Finns), a far-right populist party, surged in the final weeks of the race and took 17.5% of the vote, just 0.2% behind the winning Social Democrats. Current polling for the European election shows them on an average of 15%, placing them in 3rd position behind the Social Democrats and the National Coalition. However, turnout is expected to be very low in Finland.
Party to watch: Rassemblement National (RN)
Formerly the Front National, Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National has been polling consistently between 20% and 24% with an average of 22.1% of the vote placing them neck and neck with Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche (REM). Both parties are well clear of The Republican’s in 3rd place, who are averaging 13.9% in polls. As it stands RN would win 20 MEP’s making them an influential party in the European Parliament and, alongside allies such as the Lega Nord in Italy, a real danger to progressive politics across the continent.
Party to watch: Alternative for Germany (AfD)
The AfD is an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant party that has been on an increasingly extreme trajectory in recent years. After the 2017 federal elections in Germany the AfD became the third-largest party with 94 seats in the Bundestag. They are expected to do well at these elections, currently averaging 10.9% in the polls which would be a small increase from the 7.1% they received in 2014 and would net them around 11 seats.
Party to watch: Golden Dawn
Golden Dawn is an extreme far-right party, described by many as neo-nazi. Greece is continuing to experience difficult economic circumstances and has very high unemployment making it fertile ground for the far right. However, Golden Dawn has had several very difficult years with high-profile and damaging court cases following the murder of an anti-fascist in 2013. In the run-up to this election, the Athens Municipal council also voted to ban the party from using public spaces for pre-election rallies. The party is averaging 7.5% in the polls, which while extremely worrying, is down from the 9.4% they received in 2014.
Party’s to watch: Fidesz
The situation in Hungary is one of the most worrying in Europe with a far-right party currently topping the polls by some margin. The clear favourite for the European elections is Viktor Orbán’s authoritarian Fidesz party with a huge average of 52.4% in the polls. In second place at the moment, with an average of 14.2%, is Jobbik, a party with an extreme right-wing history that has, in recent years, embarked on a modernisation process that has seen them portray themselves with a much more moderate image, even attacking Orbán for isolating Hungary within the European Union. While very worrying it is worth noting that both Fidesz and Jobbik are polling roughly the same as they did in 2014.
Ireland has its own unique political scene and the issue of Brexit and the so-called ‘backstop’ is likely to dominate the debate. However, the relatively new Irish Freedom Party has spent an estimated €40,000 on a billboard campaign that argues Ireland should leave the EU.
Party to watch: Lega Nord
Many in Europe will be watching Italy closely as the far-right League and its leader Matteo Salvini have become real figureheads for the European far-right. Salvini has spoken out about the need for far-right unity in the run up to the elections and has been forging alliances with the AfD, the Finns Party and the Danish People’s Party. In Italy, these elections will see competition between Salvini’s League and their current coalition partners, the populist Five Star Movement. At present, the League is averaging 33%, 10 points higher than the Five Star Movement. This goes to show the League’s rapid rise and ability to attract southern Italian supporters in recent years as they polled just 6.2% back in 2014.
Party to watch: National Alliance (NA)
The National Alliance party, officially the National Alliance “All For Latvia!” – “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK” formed back in 2010 as an alliance between the right-wing LNNK and the far-right nationalist All for Latvia! party. They are currently average 10.5% in polls though one poll has placed them on 14%. As things stand they will receive 1 MEP.
Party to watch: Order and Justice (TT)
The Order and Justice party can be hard to define but has been described as right-wing populist and far right by various commentators. It’s current MEPs sit in the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the EU. Current polls show them polling an average of 7.2%, placing them in 5th place which would see them loose one of their two seats.
Unlike its European neighbours where anti-immigrant parties are doing well, the far-right has not yet made inroads of note in Luxembourg.
Party to watch: Moviment Patrijotti Maltin
Malta fits into the small handful of European countries with no far-right party of real note. However, they do have The Moviment Patrijotti Maltin which is a small far-right anti-immigration party that has failed to make electoral inroads and is polling at 0%.
Party to watch: Forum for Democracy
Founded in 2016, this new far-right populist party, led by Thierry Baudet, shocked Dutch politics when they won the most votes in the recent provincial elections. They will be hoping to emulate this success at the upcoming European elections. Their recent rise means they have eclipsed Geert Wilders Party for Freedom as the main force in Dutch populism. They are currently polling an average of 18.5% which would give them 6 seats while Wilders’ party is back on 5.5%.
Party to watch: Law and Justice Party
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is currently the favourite in the European race with some polls showing them on over 40% which would be a significant rise from the 31.8% they received in 2014. So far, they have campaigned on an anti-LGBTQ rights platform which could well split their opposition and pay dividends.
Portugal has managed to buck the trend in Europe as far-right populism has generally failed to gain significant electoral support. These European elections will see the socialists and the social democrats fight it out for top spot.
The European Parliament elections are taking place in Romania on Sunday 26 May. It is worth noting that Romania is currently hosting the presidency of the Council of the EU under the motto “cohesion, a common value of the EU”. While there is no radical or far-right party contesting these elections, nationalist and populist undertones are present in the rhetoric of some mainstream parties. The ruling party, the Social Democrats (PSD), are forecast to finish second after the National Liberal Party (PNL) after ongoing criticism of trying to amend the penal system to benefit the PSD leader, Liviu Drganea, and a failed referendum that tried to amend the constitution to say marriage is only the union between a man and a woman. For these same two reasons, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has distanced itself from ALDE Romania, the junior partner in the current ruling coalition with PSD. The populists (PMP), the party of the former Romanian President Traian Basescu, known for his Islamophobic and anti-Roma rhetoric, is most likely not going to make the electoral threshold so cannot secure any seats.
Party to watch: People’s Party Our Slovakia
The People’s Party, led by Marian Kotleba, is a far-right party that many describe as extreme right and fascist. In April this year the Slovakian Supreme Court rejected a motion to dissolve the party for having fascist tendencies and thus violating the constitution. The court said the prosecutor did not back up the claims with enough evidence. They are currently expected to do well in these elections and are have a polling average of 10.9% which would land them with two seats in the European Parliament.
Party to watch: Slovenian National Party
The right-wing Slovenian Democrats are out in front in the polls and back in 6th place with an average of 9% in the polls is the far-right Slovenian National Party which would be enough for them to gain one seat. This would be significant for the party and see them rise from the 4% of the vote they received back in 2014.
Party to watch: VOX
In recent months VOX have caused much excitement amongst the international far-right and plenty of international media coverage after their worryingly impressive breakthrough display in April’s national elections. While the Socialists won the election, Vox, who used the slogan “Make Spain Great Again” and have run on a distinctively anti-feminist platform, won more than 10% of the vote, which gives them 24 seats; making them the first far-right party to win seats in Spain in decades. At present the polls for the European elections show them on a similar percentage which could mean they win around 6 MEPs.
Party to watch: Sweden Democrats
The far-right Swedish Democrats will try to exploit the recent political turmoil when it took longer than ever before to form a functioning government. While many had expected the party to join other major far-right parties in Europe it seems that Salvini has decided not to invite them to join his alliance. At present they are polling in 3rd position with a polling average of 15.6% which means they would win 3 MEPs. This is a significant rise from the 9.7% they received in 2014 however the party generally do worse in European elections than Swedish election.
Get our resources on the Sweden Democrats here