Parties on the left and right are having to adapt to the rapid rise of environmental politics
As Europe suffers another summer of record-breaking heatwaves, it is worth reflecting on the group perhaps least happy to benefit from the soaring temperatures – Green parties across the continent, which are, however, in a better electoral position than ever.
In May’s European parliament elections, the Greens won 22 more seats and 4.4% more of the vote than in 2014. Domestically, the German Greens participate in a majority of state governments and top national polling; the president of Austria is a Green-Independent and Greens have secured record vote shares in recent elections in Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands. They are also poised to pick up votes in forthcoming Swiss and Austrian elections. Although setbacks in Denmark and Sweden highlight the importance of national context, Greens have been gaining footholds outside their historical strongholds and are surging in polls in Ireland and the UK.