Magazine April 2, 2018, Issue

Europe’s Left Collapses — Or Does It?

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of Far-left opposition “France Insoumise” (France Unbowed) party, leaves after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, November 21, 2017. (Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)
A rejection of social democrats is reconfiguring the continent’s politics

Everyone has noticed the collapse of Europe’s social-democratic parties, largely because it is unmissable. Take, first, the three big parties in the EU. France’s Socialist party went from a governing majority in the presidency and the National Assembly to 7 percent of the total vote in last year’s presidential election and virtual disappearance from parliament. Germany’s Social Democratic party (SPD) fell to 20 percent in the recent elections (and it’s fallen further during the negotiations over forming the new German government). Italy’s Democratic party managed a little better, winning 23 percent of the votes for both the Senate and the

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