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New book explains why the mainstream right is doomed

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The European Union’s former Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, is a big beast in politics, but his withdrawal last week from the race to represent Les Républicains (LR) in next year’s French presidential battle is tacit acknowledgement of a new reality: the mainstream right across Europe is in a death spiral.

Changing an LR candidate is as futile as rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. With President Emmanuel Macron occupying the centre-liberal position with La République En Marche! and Marine Le Pen with the Rassemblement National on the far right, the mainstream right has struggled for some time to find policies, votes and power. Barnier clearly decided it was better to cut and run than go down the gurgler with this whole sorry mess.

The mainstream right – including conservative, Christian democrat and liberal parties – is facing an existential crisis, explored with fascinating insight in the recently published ‘Riding the Populist Wave: Europe’s Mainstream Right in Crisis’, edited by Tim Bale and Christobal Rovira Kaltwasser.

Running the rule over eight European nations – Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK – the team of authors all reach the same conclusion. And that is the far right is dragging the mainstream into assuming much tougher positions in four key areas: immigration, EU integration, moral issues and welfare. Maybe for good.

If further proof were needed of the mainstream right’s demise, look to Germany, where, after spending 57 of the last 72 years........

© RT.com

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