Sinn Fein credentials remain dubious
Extremist politicians have gained ground across Europe but their chances of having real power remain slim
Published 01/06/2014 | 02:30
There is no little concern across Europe about the rise of extremist and even anti-democratic forces. Last week's Europe-wide election results show that the threat is over-stated in most countries, but under-stated in this country.
In the European Parliament elections across 28 countries, as in most others since the economic crisis erupted in 2008, the most prevalent trend has been anti-incumbent, not pro-extremist, a point underscored by two Trinity College political scientists, Gail McElroy and Michael Marsh, in detailed presentations on the Europe-wide results in Dublin last week.
Of the 28 countries in the EU, most saw no significant increase in extremist parties in last weekend's votes. Some – Italy, the Netherlands and Finland for instance – saw support for moderate centrists increase and the extremist-tending parties, which have risen to prominence in recent times, falling below expectations.