The end of the left and right as we knew them

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The rise of an affluent left — sometimes triumphant, sometimes not — can be seen in the victories of Emmanuel Macron and his new La République en Marche (the Republic on the Move) party in France; in the surprise showing of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the June 8 parliamentary elections in Britain; in the composition of the electorate that unsuccessfully backed Hillary Clinton; and in the victories of Alexander Van der Bellen, president of Austria, and of Mark Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy in the Netherlands.

In much of Europe, although not in Britain, the growth of the populist right has devastated once powerful labor and social democratic parties on the left. In the Austrian presidential election, for example, the success of the far right Freedom Party resulted in a fourth place showing for the Social Democratic candidate. In the French parliamentary elections this month, the ruling Socialist Party saw its 280 seats dwindle to 29 out of 577. In the Netherlands, the number of seats held in parliament by the Dutch Labor Party fell from 38 to 9 after the March election.