Established parties took a beating in the European parliamentary elections following record turnout in many of the European Union’s member states, Monday’s results show. While far-right and nationalist parties didn’t measure up to many predictions of their expected vote tallies, they are on track to increase their vote share and secure about 25% of the European Parliament’s 751 seats. France’s nationalist National Rally, or Rassemblement National beat out President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist La Republique en Marche with 23% of the vote, and in Italy the far-right League earned more than 34% of the vote. One of the most significant upsets saw the newly formed Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, gain more than 30% of the vote in the UK while the ruling Conservative Party ended up in fifth place, with 8.7% of the vote.
Apart from the far-right, Green parties have substantially improved upon past showings to roughly match the seat share of the far-right, eating into vote shares traditionally held by Social Democratic parties in Germany and France. Joining us from Portugal to unpack the results is associate professor of history at Wellesley College Quinn Slobodian.