Scandanavian nations, for so long held up as examples of tolerant and successful left-leaning societies had mixed fortunes in the European elections.
Strictly speaking Denmark is not one of them, but there the right wing anti-immigrant populists of the Danish People’s Party took the election campaign by the scruff of the neck and more than doubled its score to 14.8%, taking two seats. It has been in government as the largest partner in a populist minority administration since 2001, and is considered the driving force behind tightened legislation on Denmark’s foreigners. The opposition Social Democrats were the big losers, tumbling from 32.6 percent of the vote to just 21%.
In Finland the True Finns party, known for its anti-foreigner rhetoric soared from 0.5% of the vote five years ago to 10%, after joing forces for the election with the Christian Democrats. The three parties in a coalition government polled 54% between them, with one of them, the Greens, significantly increasing their share of the vote to 12%.
In Sweden there was no breakthrough by the far-right. Indeed, the opposition Social Democrats and other parties of the centre-left outscored the sitting Conservative government. The greens doubled their 2004 score, but the big news there was that a new grouping, the Pirate party, scored 7.1%.
It was born just weeks ago following a court ruling against a data-sharing website The Pirate Bay, which fined the four owners nearly three million euros and jailed them for a year. It campaigned for more rights for internet users and the free flow of data on the web.
Northern lights dimmed by rise of the far-right