Spain’s center-right parties haven’t learned anything from the last election.
When they tried to outflank the far right, it only helped Vox. The neo-Francoist party got 10 percent support then and polls as high as 15 percent now. And still the mainstream parties try to best it.
This is hopeless. Vox is always willing to go a step further. Read more
Conservatives Put Party Before Country. They’ve Harmed Both
Center-right leaders in Britain, Spain and the United States have put the interests of their parties ahead of the good of their countries. Both their parties and their countries have suffered as a result. Read more
Republicans Now Have More in Common with the European Far Right
Expect plenty of coverage between now and the 2020 election about how Democrats in the United States have moved to the left.
This isn’t wrong. On everything from health care to transgender rights, Democrats have become more left-wing.
But they’re still more centrist than most center-left parties in Europe while Republicans have moved so far to the right that they now have more in common with Austria’s Freedom Party and the Alternative for Germany than they do with Britain’s Conservative Party and Germany’s Christian Democrats. Read more
Vladimir Putin Is Not Your Conservative Hero
In an interview with the Financial Times, Vladimir Putin claims “the liberal idea” has “outlived its purpose” and seeks to position himself at the head of a global reactionary movement against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism.
The Financial Times knows that Putin’s evisceration of liberalism chimes with anti-establishment leaders from American president Donald Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Matteo Salvini in Italy and the Brexit insurgency in the UK.
But true believes ought to take a closer look at the Russian leader. He may sound like an ally, but he’s really not interested in your cause. Read more
Spanish Center-Right Rethinks Appeasement of Far Right
Spain’s center-right parties are having second thoughts about cozying up to the far right.
Before the general election in April, the liberal Citizens and the conservative People’s Party ruled out a deal with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ Socialists. That meant the only alternative to his pact with the far-left Podemos was a right-wing coalition with the support of the nativist Vox. Voters preferred the former.
They once again gave the Socialists a plurality in European and local elections last month.
The Citizens now say they are willing to consider coalitions with the Socialists at the regional level under “exceptional” circumstances. They also reject more deals with Vox such as the one they struck in Andalusia last year.
France’s center-right Republicans will be looking for a new leader after Laurent Wauquiez stepped down in the wake of a disappointing European election result.
His party got just 8.5 percent support, placing fourth behind President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and the Greens.
Wauquiez had been at 8 to 10 percent support in polls for the next presidential election, which is due in 2022.
But the party needs more than a fresh face. It needs a better strategy. Read more
Far Right Fills Gaps Left by Merkel and Rutte
Mark Rutte has suffered the same fate as his closest ally in Europe, Angela Merkel. Both center-right leaders moved to the middle in a bid for centrist voters only to leave a gap on the right that the far right has filled.
In midterm elections on Wednesday, the Dutch Freedom Party and Forum for Democracy won a combined 21 percent of the votes, their best result to date.
In Germany, support for the Alternative is down a few points in the polls but still at 11-14 percent. Merkel’s Christian Democrats fell from 41.5 to 33 percent between the 2013 and 2017 elections. Read more