The Left is soaring in Europe – is the Far-right surge over?

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Bennett Morgan reports.

In just days a political earthquake will rattle Europe, sending the days of austerity measures for the poor into the catalogs of the past and the dawn of a new era into the present.

On the 25th of January Greece heads to the polls. Since 2012 Greece has been governed by the Centre-right New Democracy party which, under instruction from the EU, has legislated some of the harshest budget cuts in living memory. Greece has been debt-plagued since 2010, in which it was officially operating under a debt crisis. The centre-left Prime Minister, George A. Papandreou resigned.

The Left-wing SYRIZA Party (Coalition of the Radical Left) has been surging ever since with the centre-left party dropping more than 100 seats at the 2012 poll.

Once just a mere fringe party of feminists, environmentalists and marxists, the party is now favored to win power in two days in a 10-point landslide over rivals New Democracy.

The surge would see Alex Tsipras, SYRIZA leader, elected 186th Prime Minister of Greece with up to 150 seats, just 1 short of an overall majority.

New Democracy, meanwhile, would be reduced to a mere 70.

Meanwhile, Golden Dawn, the much talked about inspiration for the surge of the Far-right across Europe is plummeting to electoral oblivion.

Mr. Tsipras, taking to his Facebook of 108,000 fans, posted “First we [the left of europe] take Athens, then we take Madrid!”, sharing a photo of him with leader of the Spanish version of SYRIZA, Pablo Turrion – leader of Podemos.
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Podemos, formed just last year is in some polls already the most popular party in Spain and could take power in December.

Spain, also part of the European union, has been the centre of massive cuts to education, health, infrastructure, pensions and welfare. Podemos wants to reverse that, and the Spanish public is enthusiastically behind them;

Podemos (purple) and their surging popularity.

Podemos (purple) and their surging popularity.

The surge of Podemos has left the United Left Party starving for support.

Currently the combined support of all parties left-of-centre in Spain stands at 53.1%, the combined right-of-centre stands at 33.4%.

The opposition to the right and austerity in Spain is bitter.

The drop in support for the Far-right continues into France. Support for the National Front’s Marie Le Pen, after a brief surge into the 30s, has fallen back to 19.5% – almost as low as her 2012 election result. Support for Socialist president Francois Hollande sits just behind the Centre-right candidate with 29.5% and 28.0% support respectively.

In Britain support for the neo-nazi British National Party has fallen to a 20-year low after a surge which saw them enter European parliament. Meanwhile support for UKIP, which once reached 27%, has fallen back to as low as 11%.

In Norway, support for the two year old Conservative/Progress government has fallen back and the natural governing party, Labour, has re-taken the lead.

And lastly in Ireland, where the centre-right government is continuing to enforce harsh austerity measures including water charges, is for the first time starting to poll behind Left-wing nationalist group Sinn Fein.

Only in the Netherlands now does the Far-right maintain its lead in the polls.

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