Macron’s victory was the latest in a row of successes by centrist forces against anti-EU populism…
It’s not as simple as this. Macron’s performance in both rounds of the presidential election, along with his party’s standing in the legislative elections, indicates centrism in France is dying. In the first round, Macron won 24.01% of the vote compared to the combined 37.76% of the vote his spiritual predecessors (and allies) Hollande and Bayrou won in 2012. In the second round against Marine Le Pen, Macron won only 66.1% of the vote compared to the 82.2% the “crook” Chirac won against her father in 2002.
Finally, Macron’s coalition actually won less seats than Chirac’s faction did in legislative elections (designed to give the President of France a majority) plagued by low turnout. In essence, Macron and his centrist allies are performing poorly electorally despite complete backing from the financial and political elite and the electoral system working in their favor.
…recent elections in Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
Alexander Van der Bellen, while sometimes portraying himself as a left-leaning moderate, ran on a strong left-progressive platform that will definitely irk some establishment centrists. The candidates of the established parties in the Austrian election did not advance to the second round but the Green independent did.
The Green-Left, led by Jesse Klaver on a forward-thinking left platform, made major gains in the Dutch election. Meanwhile, the established liberal VVD and Labor Party lost seats while Geert Wilders’s PVV still (unfortunately) won seats.
Bulgaria is not a defeat of the far-right…at all. The far-right, ultra-nationalist, Eurosceptic Islamophobic alliance United Patriots is now in government. The government is also backed by the “patriotic” Volya party, led by a man who acts like and compares himself to Trump.
Europe is currently on the right course. Indeed, 2017 appears to be the year in which we see the beginning of a kind of European revival.
It’s not. As long as Europe continues to represent a cog for neoliberalism, austerity, and elitist capitalism, it cannot succeed. That does not mean we should abandon the concept of the European project, but ignoring the EU’s flaws and boosting establishment politicians such as Emmanuel Macron only helps the far-right.