The May 2019 European elections marked the decline of the traditional centre-right and centre-left parties. The beneficiaries were the green parties, with their objective of ever-more forceful climate policies, and right-wing populists, concerned more about employment and income.
This change was also underpinned by a generational shift: young voters are moving from the traditional left-wing parties to the emerging green groups, and older voters are moving from both the centre-left and the centre-right to the populist right. Somewhat simplistically, the green wave was driven by economic surpluses, as in Germany, and the populist wave was driven by economic deficits, as in France. In this overall picture, climate and energy policies are pertinent.
In Germany, enjoying
full employment and large budget surpluses, high energy prices are not seen as
a threat, except for low-income groups. In Germany, the young, well-educated
and well-off middle-class supported the Green Party, leaving the social
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