Analyzing the results of the Communist vote in the European elections is becoming increasingly complicated with each suffrage. In fact, the relatively homogenous bloc that western European Communist Parties formed for so long first cracked, then exploded. Since then, the Communist galaxy or that which emerged from Communism has itself been undergoing an accelerated process of differentiation. The strategies deployed by its different components have diverged, and the distance between them has grown steadily. Communist Parties in northern Europe, traditionally weak except in Finland, have clearly broken with Communism. In Sweden and Finland, they have transformed themselves into parties to the left of the left, while in Denmark and the Netherlands, they have either imploded or been integrated into coalitions with other small, radical groups. In both cases these Communist Parties have entered the post-Communist era. In other countries, that is to say Greece, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Communist Parties intend to remain loyal to a portion of their original project, which they are nonetheless trying to redefine. The antagonism between post-Communist and Communist parties, however, cannot obscure other differences that weaken this already disparate whole in rather original ways.


Communist Party Coalition Government Electoral College Socialist Party Extreme Left 
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  1. 4.
    See Svante Ersson, “Le Parti de gauche et les élections suédoises de 1998,” Communisme, no. 57–58, 1999, pp. 35–41.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See Marc Lazar, “La gauche communiste plurielle,” Revue française de science politique no. 4–5, August–October 1999, pp. 695–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 7.
    For a recent study of the electoral characteristics of the PDS, see Patrick Moreau, “La situation électorale et politique du Parti du socialisme démocratique,” Communisme, no. 57–58, 1999, pp. 7–34.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    On this party, see Gerrit Voerman, “Das Gespensi des Kommunismus-Fine verblassende Erscheining. Gegenwart und vergangenheit des Kommunismus in den Niederlanden,” in Patrick Moreau, Marc Lazar, Gerhard Hirscher (eds.), Der Kommunismus in Westeuropa. Niedergang oder Mutation? Landsberg: Olzog, 1998, particularly, pp. 515–518.Google Scholar

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© Pascal Perrineau, Gérard Grunberg, and Colette Ysmal 2002

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  • Marc Lazar

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