The Guardian view on the EU elections: a chance to reshape our politics | Editorial

Pro-European voters should back candidates who oppose hard Brexit and are in with a chance. Above all, they must make their votes count

Next week, voters across Europe face the most highly charged election to the European parliament in 40 years. In most of the previous five-yearly EU polls, political parties have struggled to engage the more than 400 million citizens who are entitled to vote. Past contests have regularly been fought on domestic rather than Europe-wide issues. Voters have often used their ballots as an opportunity to kick their own governments. Turnout has declined every time – down to 43% in 2014.

That trend may not – and certainly should not – continue next week. The 2019 elections, the first since the rise of populism, have been more confrontational. That’s because there is more at stake for Europe today than before in the face of resurgent nationalism, and in a world marked by Chinese power, Russian aggression, American isolationism and Islamist terrorism.

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