The radical left won impressive votes in many parts of Europe. The results show what is possible when the left is organised and can give a clear alternative.
Some of the best votes came in Ireland where Joe Higgins, a Socialist Party member, was elected as an MEP.
He won the third European parliament seat in Dublin getting 12.4 percent of first preference votes.
Meanwhile, members of the People Before Profit group, which Socialist Worker’s sister organisation in Ireland is a key part of, won five seats in council elections.
Richard Boyd Barrett topped the poll in Dun Laoghaire with 22.8 percent of the vote.
The vote for radical left candidates – including those from People Before Profit, the Socialist Party and the Workers and Unemployed Action Group – was significant.
In Germany, the Social Democrats, Germany’s Labour Party which is part of a grand coalition government with the centre-right Christian Democrats, received its worst result in a national election since the Second World War. It got just 20.8 percent of the vote.
The left wing Die Linke party increased its vote to 7.6 percent from 6.1 percent in 2004 and won eight seats.
Die Linke put up posters across Germany in the run-up to the election demanding, “Millionaires pay up!”
The party tapped into the mood of bitterness.
In Portugal, the ruling Socialist Party’s votes dropped by around 18 percent, while the Greens and far left parties did well. The radical Left Bloc won an impressive 10.7 percent of the vote, up from 4.9 percent in 2004.
In France the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA), formed only four months ago, won 4.8 percent of the vote, although unfortunately it failed to win a seat.
There was also a major shock in national elections in Greenland last week.
The far-left Inuit Ataqatigiit won 43.7 percent of the vote. It will now have 14 seats in the country’s 31-seat parliament.
The ruling social democrat party, Siumut (Forward), which has ruled since 1979, was hammered – winning just 26.5 percent of the vote.