Surging Immigration has led to right-wing governments
In the last five years, populist right-wing parties have been elected to rule or effectively control major legislatures in these six stable European democracies: Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden. In every instance, the ruling liberal and conservative party coalitions lost seats and the control of their legislative bodies.
Opposition to what was characterized as “excessive” immigration was a consistent theme in the rise of right-wing governments. Other issues, varying by country, also contributed to their victories, but all parties trumpeted a strong anti-immigration message.
European right-wing parties win by running anti-immigrant messages.
Spain’s Vox Party has just become its third-biggest party. After 42 years of government controlled by the center-right Popular Party and the center-left Socialist Workers’ Party coalitions, support from the far-right wing Vox Party is now necessary to pass national policies. Vox strongly opposes Muslim immigration, even though the number of actual Spanish Muslims is relatively low. Nevertheless, Vox ran a video of an imaginary news report on the imposition of sharia law in southern Spain and the conversion of the cathedral of Cordoba into a mosque.
Italy’s recent elections saw the Brothers of Italy emerge this fall and have their leader, Giorgia Meloni, become the Prime Minister. She is militantly anti-migrant, calling for a naval blockade against illegal migrants and saying the battle against immigration is “an epochal battle for Italy and Europe.”
Holland’s anti-immigration Party for Freedom (PVV) won the most seats of any party this November. All four parties of the incumbent coalition government suffered substantial losses. Geert Wilders, leader of PVV, says Holland should “stop the immigration to our societies — because we have had more than enough Islam in our societies.” He called for “a total halt to accepting asylum-seekers.”
Sweden’s far-right party, Sweden Democrats (SD), became the second largest party in their legislature after the 2022 general election. The country’s ruling center-right coalition needs SD to stay in power. In return, SD wants to exclude Sweden from the European Union’s process of relocating asylum refugees. Their party…