They Have Them There, Too: Europe’s Far Right on the Rise

Trumpy candidates are popping up all over the place.–and-roasted—-trump-rolls-out-a-new-travel-ban
Donald Trump’s big upset in November wasn’t the first sign that right-wing populism was gaining power. The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union last summer (commonly known as Brexit) should’ve been a warning that, among other things, anti-immigrant rhetoric can help a candidate win an election.

Trump clearly sees himself as one of the leaders of this movement, proudly owning the title “Mr. Brexit” (a nickname that he probably made up himself, like all the coolest people do) and even consulting with Nigel Farage, former leader of the U.K. Independence Party and one of the most vocal advocates for the Leave [the European Union] campaign.

As the upcoming slate of European elections looms, however, everyone’s waiting to see how many members Trump and Farage can add to their Club of Unfortunately Victorious Hatemongers. Here’s a quick look at some of the races to watch.


This one already happened in December, but the effects have yet to be fully realized. Democratic Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after Italians voted against his plan for constitutional reform. Members of the far right in the country celebrated the results.


Freedom Party candidate Geert Wilders has actually been described as a Dutch Donald Trump, and not just because of his ridiculous hair. To give an idea of how radical his position is, Wilders wants to ban the Koran entirely. While it’s not likely the party will win enough seats in parliament to form a government, it’s running about even with the current ruling People’s Party.


The French election has been wild even by our revised post-2016 standards. One of the leading candidates as the race stands now is Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front. Many believe Le Pen won’t win the probable run-off election, though you can guess the tenets of her platform by now: anti-immigrant, anti-E.U., anti-Muslim.


Far-right politics are a hard sell in Germany for some reason. Tough to think of why. Last summer, though, the nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) surprisingly gained in the polls. But the situation has changed — and if current chancellor Angela Merkel is in trouble, it’s because of the rising popularity of the Social Democrat party, not the AfD. So, phew.