Far right parties in many parts of Europe were hoping for major gains in this week’s elections.
Several held a rally in Milan, Italy, last Saturday.
Headlining the event was Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini whose Lega party led in the polls.
He was flanked by Marine Le Pen of France’s fascist National Rally.
Also present were Geert Wilders of the anti-Islam Dutch Party for Freedom and Jorg Meuthen of the anti?migrant Alternative for Germany.
And there were far right parties from Slovakia, Austria, Finland and Bulgaria.
Salvini’s supporters chanted, “Europe is Christian, not Muslim.”
Le Pen said, “We say no to this immigration which has submerged our nations, putting our people at risk.”
Salvini responded by saying, “There are no extremists, racists or fascists in this square.”
Hundreds of counter-demonstrators jeered and whistled, sometimes drowning out the speakers. “Fascists leave Milan,” they chanted as Salvini took the stage.
In France polls showed the National Rally neck and neck with president Emmanuel Macron’s party.
Le Pen has posed as the focus for all those who want to cast a “useful vote” to deny the unpopular Macron top spot.
Unfortunately the left has not been able to put forward a credible fighting alternative.
Many who have taken part in the Yellow Vest movement won’t vote, seeing the elections as irrelevant to their lives.
They continue with their street protests.
However there was good news last week that the CGT union federation’s conference voted for “convergence” with the Yellow Vests.
Activists have been demanding this for months.
Pessimism from Change UK
Change UK was hardly figuring in election opinion polls as Socialist Worker went to press.
The party is rooted in The Independent Group formed by seven anti-Corbyn MPs who left the Labour Party in February.
Now with added Tories it has 11 MPs.
But leader Heidi Allen has hinted the party may not be even around at the next election. She told Radio 4 the future could include a “modern world of coalition” with parties including the Liberal Democrats.
Last Saturday, Change UK candidate Rachel Johnson told the Times newspaper magazine her party has “a terrible name”.
She said it wants to “focus-group everything” and that it made an error in not doing a deal with other Remain parties.
Last week, Johnson admitted that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party would walk it in the South West region.
She said she was going to have her “arse handed to her on a plate by Ann Widdecombe”.
Sun’s Kavanagh is for Farage
Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun’s former editor, has announced support for Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.
“Eurosceptic Britain has always treated its five-year election cycle with the contempt it deserves, with barely one in three bothering to vote at all,” wrote Kavanagh on Monday.
But, he added, this time, “We need to take the trouble, turn up at the polling station and put our cross on Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.”
It follows the Sun’s demand that “Mrs May MUST go immediately after her deal’s final defeat in early June”.
Such support underlines the danger of a racist party, possibly in alliance with Boris Johnson as Tory leader, receiving widespread media support.