18 march 2016, germany’s ukip

Although they have just one seat from the last general election, the united kingdom independence party is a massive success, getting 13% of the vote and having won outright the european elections. Much more importantly, they have shifted the country's political landscape. There is no doubt that without the party started in 1993 by a few professors to stop britain joining the euro, we would not now be having a referendum. If the uk does indeed leave, a mighty blow for the eu itself, ukip will have become one of modern history's most successful political movements. Germany now has its own ukip. The alternative fur deutschland, afd, has quickly accelerated along the same path from anti-euro, to anti-eu, to anti-migrant, opportunistically capitalising on general discontent. Germany is of course different. First, migrant volumes were not the gradual heating a lobster in water story of the uk, but a massive shock of refugees driven by the syrian war. Second, although opposition to the eu was not prohibited, until recently it has not been evident, largely as "europe's" roots in post-war germany are deep, the eu being in many ways an ersatz identity for where the patriotism common in france or britain has only over the last decade had any place at all (see flagging). Third, with its grand coalition and power distributed over a large number of federal state governments, all the main parties are essentially co-opted into, and largely agree with, the political consensus of pax merkela, who has squatted clearly over the centre ground, both left and right, meaning in effect the germany government has had no proper opposition. With afd's mould-breaking 24% in saxony and great results in the west too, it does now.