Voters in former-communist states swing to centrist parties
Despite all the talk of extremist advances in last month's European Parliament elections, it's interesting to see what actually happened, especially in the former-communist states of central and eastern Europe.
Our analysis of the EP election results shows that, in contrast to the rest of Europe, the only type of party to increase their MEP numbers in the these 11 'new' democracies were centrists. For example, the liberal ALDE group increased its MEPs by 52% in the EU's former-communist countries and all the centrist parties combined in these countries saw an increase. This was not the case in the EU as a whole, which saw big falls for both the centre-left and centre-right parties and strong growth for some extremists.
There are of course some differences between the former-communist democracies, but it appears that, on the whole, if you have lived under a communist dictatorship in the past, your reaction to extremism is more likely to be a move towards centre-ground, liberal politics.