The Guardian reports: Two weeks after Britain’s EU referendum, Europe has defied predictions that the UK’s vote to leave would inspire a surge in copycat breakaway movements, with establishment parties enjoying gains and populists dropping points in the polls.
In Germany, the Brexit aftermath has seen Angela Merkel’s popularity ratings surge to a 10-month high, almost returning to the level the chancellor enjoyed before the height of the refugee crisis last September. An Infratest Dimap poll published on Friday also marks a two percentage point gain for Merkel’s party, the centre-right CDU, and a one point gain for the centre-left Social Democratic party.
Rightwing populist party Alternative für Deutschland, meanwhile, has seen its ratings drop by three percentage points to 11%. The anti-refugee party’s struggles may lie in its leader’s failure to contain an internal rift over an antisemitism scandal.
“The Brexit debate has fostered a more pro-European climate among the German population,” said Infratest Dimap’s managing director Michael Kunert. “The government is profiting from this trend while populist, eurosceptic parties are suffering.”
In the Netherlands, seen as one of the countries that could potentially follow Britain’s example, support for the Freedom party of far-right politician Geert Wilders has fallen to its lowest level since last autumn. One poll suggests Wilders could win 30 out of the 150 seats in parliament if an election were held now, three fewer than a week ago, though his party remains the most popular in the fragmented Dutch political landscape. [Continue reading…]