We don’t know what it means. Now read our analysis!

Elections for the European Parliament were held across the EU. Andrew Sullivan called the results A European Protest. (Followed by an “analysis” that looks only at Britain and Germany.) Michael “The J. means Just a Liberal” Totten titled his post European Earthquake. Here is the composition of the European Parliament following the elections, compared to the 1999 results. [Arranged from right to left, following the EP’s order.]

Political Group Share of Seats (in %)
1999 2004
Union of European Nations5

Centre Right EPP-ED3738
European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party 89
Social Democrats EPS2927
European Unitary Left75

Some earthquake. As for Schroeder’s party’s performance, this article does help make sense of what is going on in Germany:

The dilemma for the opposition Christian Democrats is obvious. If the economy picks up, Schr?der?s chances will improve. If they refuse to cooperate and demand the implementation of their own reform proposals, proposals which are more sweeping than the government’s, the electorate may well opt for the devil they know, rather than the devil they do not. Chancellor Schr?der could then come out on top in 2006.

[Sources: 1999 and 2004. Distribution of seats for 2004 provisional.]


Comments: 7


Is there any worse assignment for a reporter than being sent to Brussels to cover the European Parliament? You can’t blame those guys for trying to create drama one way or another, like by claiming that a 10% showing for the United Kingdom Independence Party is really a European revolution, earthquake, protest, or bukkake!


Yet those making these claims aren’t Brussels-based correspondents, they’re US-based bloggers!


Yeah, I know. But the media reports had plenty of hyperbole also, for those who didn’t bother to read beyond the headlines and first paragraphs.

Guardian: “Kilroy-Silk vows to ‘wreck’ EU”

Independent: “Tories and Labour crushed by UKIP’s bandwagon”, “Voters punish governments of Europe”

Telegraph: “Robert Kilroy-Silk has celebrated the electoral success of the United Kingdom Independence Party by pledging to “wreck” the European parliament.”

Sullivan and Totten will distort anything to bash the left, no matter how irrelevant or insignificant.


Yeah, I know. But the media reports had plenty of hyperbole also, for those who didn’t bother to read beyond the headlines and first paragraphs.

Thanks for the links Iceman. That may very well explain the posts we linked to — somehow the coverage we read this morning was a bit more even-handed. Let’s see if the EU-wreckers can get themselves organized into a political group first.


Seb honey, it’s Mom. You’ve been online all afternoon and Dad needs to use the phone. Can you please hang up and come upstairs so we can all eat dinner together tonight? And don’t forget to pick up your wet towels.


‘Twill be fun to watch as the neowarhawkconbloggers commence piling on to Tony Blair, who up until about 36 hours ago was Our Most Valued Ally In Our Crusade Against Terror.


WTF does Labour’s third-place finish have to do with Euro-skepticism? It was a protest against Blair and his Iraq war. Also, these were LOCAL elections. That’s it. Labour still (strangely enough) enjoys strong support in Great Britain and is expected to prevail in the next national elections. Blair is their only liability, and, again, that is because of the war.

Euro-parliament is an entirely different animal, and I don’t see how the analysis of it even can be tied into the British local elections.


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