With Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s ruling Labour party heading towards defeat in Thursday’s British general election, the European left may soon be in even worse condition than it was just one year ago. The trouble started in last June’s European Parliament elections, when centre-right parties swept to victory in the European Union’s six biggest countries – France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK.
Then came the Social Democrats’ crushing defeat in September’s German election: the SPD took a mere 23 per cent of the vote, its worst result in the Federal Republic’s 60-year history. Finally, Hungary’s ruling socialists were decimated last month in an election that saw the triumph of the centre-right Fidesz party and a strong performance by the ultra-right Jobbik party. Read more