Donald J. Trump’s historic presidency is part of an even larger, global movement that is seeking to change our world for the better. In a wave of elections, year after year since 2010, many nationalist and populist parties have scored historic victories, while establishment parties of both the Right and the Left have simultaneously suffered historic losses.
This movement has been built over the course of the last decade, and we are here to break down the entirety of the movement for you, from country to country. This is a full, comprehensive timeline of all the major electoral victories by nationalist populist figures around the world: A movement that has been referred to as “The Patriot Spring.”
April: Although Viktor Orban had already previously served as the Prime Minister of Hungary from 1998 to 2002, the landslide victory of his FIDESZ party in the elections of April 2010 marked the beginning of his current tenure. FIDESZ alone won an outright majority of 227 seats by gaining 99 seats (when only 194 were needed for a majority). Together with its coalition partner, the Christian Democratic People’s Party (which won 36 seats), Orban’s government formed a two-thirds supermajority that allowed the new government to make amendments to the country’s constitution.
December: Like Orban, Shinzo Abe had already served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2006 to 2007, before resigning due to health issues. However, he staged a comeback in 2012, with his Liberal Democratic Party picking up 176 seats for a total of 294 overall (53 seats more than the minimum threshold for a majority, at 241).
2014: India and Europe
The year 2014 could be seen as the very first global wave in the Patriot Spring. One of the earliest major elections took place in the world’s largest democracy: India.
The Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) narrowly won a majority of seats on its own, gaining 166 seats to win a total of 282 (just above the majority threshold of 272). Like Orban’s victory in 2010, this initial majority was strengthened by the BJP’s multiple coalition partners bringing it to a final total of 336 seats.
In doing so, Modi and the BJP defeated the long-reigning Indian National Congress (INC); the party of Mahatma Gandhi saw one of its worst defeats ever (losing 162 seats), and fell to its second-lowest total number of seats, at just 44.
In that same year, both Orban and Abe were re-elected in each of their respective countries.
But the most widespread victory was in that year’s elections to the European Parliament in May, where nationalist and populist parties all around the country won record numbers of seats. In several countries, these parties won more seats than any other party, including the Danish People’s Party in Denmark (with 4 seats), the ANO 2011 party in the Czech Republic (also with 4 seats), the National Front in France (with 24 seats), and the UK Independence Party (also with 24 seats). In the case of the UK, this marked the first national election in over 100 years where the highest number of seats was won by a party other than the Conservative or Labour parties.
April: In Finland, the Finns Party became the second-largest party in the 200-seat Parliament for the first time in its history. As a result, the party was made a partner in the governing coalition for the first time ever, and party leader Timo Soini became Deputy Prime Minister.
June: Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Denmark held its parliamentary elections that same year. The Danish People’s Party (DPP) picked up 15 seats, which was greater than the gains by all other parties that year combined, as well as more than all of the DPP’s prior legislative gains in its history combined. Like the Finns, the DPP became the second-largest party for the first time in its history, and was also made a governing partner, after being in the opposition after the 2011 election.
October: In Poland, the Law and Justice Party (PiS) – which had been in government once before after the 2005 election – won a razor-thin majority of seats in the lower house of the Parliament, the Sejm, by picking up 101 seats for a new total of 235 seats, with 231 needed for a majority. In the upper house, the Senate, the PiS gained 30 seats for a total of 61 seats in the 100-seat chamber. In both cases, the PiS earned its largest majorities ever in the legislature. As a result, Beata Szydlo became Prime Minister.
That same year, the Law and Justice Party’s candidate for president, Andrzej Duda, defeated the incumbent President Bronislaw Komorowski, with 51.5% to Komorowski’s 48.5%, giving the PiS complete control of the government.
2016: The U.K. and U.S.
We all know what happened in this year. The year 2016 still remains the pinnacle of the Patriot Spring; not only by dint of the two major elections that year, and not only because that these elections were in two of the world’s leading superpowers, but also because both results were total upsets that defied all polling, predictions, and expectations from the media and scholars alike.
In the United Kingdom’s historic referendum on membership in the European Union on June 23, where the turnout was one of the highest in the UK’s history (with over 33.5 million citizens casting a vote), 17.4 million people (52%) voted to leave the European Union. And this was despite the fact that for the preceding two years, polls overwhelmingly showed the “Remain” option as the favorite to win.
Then, just a little over four months later, the world was stunned once again when Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States. On the day of the election, virtually all the polls said Hillary Clinton would win, with some saying her chance of winning was as high as 98% or 99%.
Later that year, as President-elect Trump was making the transition to President Trump, Austria held its own presidential election in December. In the original primary, the Freedom Party’s nominee Norbert Hofer came in a decisive first, with 35%, ahead of the runner-up, Alexander van der Bellen of the Green Party, at 21%. In the runoff, Hofer appeared to narrowly lose by less than one percent (50.3% to 49.7%). After a recount, van der Bellen expanded his lead in the redone second round with 54% to Hofer’s 46%; but nevertheless, Hofer came closer than any Freedom Party nominee in history to winning the presidency, and his candidacy set the stage for the country’s legislative elections in the following year.
2017: Europe and Japan
If 2016 was the Patriot Spring’s strongest year, then 2017 was definitely a close second in terms of the sheer number of consequential elections, with some being outright victories and others being narrow losses.
March: In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) became the second-largest party in the Dutch House of Representatives for the first time ever; its 20 seats won in that election marked the second-highest amount of seats it had ever held. Simultaneously, the country’s dominant left-wing party, the Labour Party, had its worst result ever, losing 29 seats and failing to win a single municipality for the first time in its 70-year-history.
Despite the PVV being shunned by all other parties for possible government formation, the party’s strong showing led to such a fractured parliament that a new record was set for the longest amount of time spent forming a new government: 208 days.
April – June: In April, France held the first round of its presidential election, where the top two candidates would advance to the run-off election in May. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, came in second with 21% behind former Socialist minister Emmanuel Macron, at 24%. Although Le Pen would go on to lose the election, her performance of 34% was the highest ever for a National Front candidate, previously believed to be unthinkable for the party. At the same time, it was the first election in modern history where neither of the two major parties (the Republican Party and the Socialist Party) were represented in the presidential run-off.
In the country’s subsequent legislative elections in June, the momentum from Le Pen’s campaign translated into the party’s best performance since 1986, winning 8 seats in the National Assembly; among the newly-elected members of the party was Le Pen herself, in her first-ever election to a domestic office, representing the 11th constituency of the Pas-de-Calais. Just like in the presidential race, both of the two major parties saw massive declines in their respective seat shares, with the center-right coalition losing 93 seats, and the center-left coalition losing 286 seats.
September: Germany saw one of the most stunning results in the Patriot Spring, due in part to the party’s extremely young age. The Alternative for Germany (AFD) was founded in 2013. But just four years later, the new party would smash right into the Bundestag by winning 94 seats. It immediately became the third-largest party, and the first right-wing party besides Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to even be represented in the legislature since the 1950s.
Over the course of just one week in October, there were three total victories for nationalist and populist forces around the world.
October 15: Austria held its legislative elections for the 183-seat National Council. The incumbent left-wing government of the Social Democratic Party was defeated by the Austrian People’s Party (OVP), which saw its party platform shifted firmly to the right on such issues as immigration under the leadership of Chairman Sebastian Kurz. The Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), the original nationalist and populist party, also made significant gains, and the OVP and FPO formed a coalition government as a result, with Kurz as Chancellor and FPO Chairman Heinz-Christian Strache as Vice Chancellor.
October 20: The Czech Republic held its election for the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. In that election, the populist ANO 2011 party gained 31 seats for a new total of 78 overall, easily becoming the largest party by far. The party had only been formed in 2011, and had become the second-largest party in the 2013 elections after winning 47 seats. As a result of this election, the party’s leader, billionaire outsider Andrej Babis, became Prime Minister.
And in another stinging defeat for the establishment left, both of the major left-wing parties suffered heavy losses. The center-left Czech Social Democratic Party lost 35 seats, bringing it to its lowest total since 1992 at just 15 seats. The Communist Party lost 18 seats, reaching its lowest level in history, also with only 15 seats.
October 22: Shinzo Abe was re-elected in Japan for a record third consecutive victory, and is slated to become the longest-serving Prime Minister in Japanese history.
2018: Europe and Brazil
March: Italy had already been trending away from its left-wing government for some time, after 60% of the voters rejected a series of proposed constitutional amendments in a referendum in 2016. As the referendum was championed by incumbent Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of the Democratic Party, it was seen as a humiliating loss; Renzi resigned and called for a general election in 2018, creating a perfect opportunity for the Patriot Spring to take Italy.
In the election in March of 2018, Renzi’s coalition sustained heavy losses, losing 227 seats in the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies, and 65 seats in the 315-seat Senate.
The right-wing coalition came out on top, winning 265 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 137 seats in the Senate. Defying most polling expectations, the largest party on the right was not the Forza Italia party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but the more firmly populist and Eurosceptic League (formerly the Northern League), led by Matteo Salvini. As the largest individual party (and second-largest bloc overall) was another Eurosceptic party, the centrist Five Star Movement, a coalition government was formed between the League and Five Star.
April: In Hungary, Viktor Orban won re-election for a third consecutive term. Like Shinzo Abe in Japan, this victory has set Orban up to break the record for the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of his country.
September: In the election for Sweden’s Riksdag, the Sweden Democrats had their strongest result yet, marking the third consecutive election in which they gained seats. Picking up more seats than any other party that year, they achieved a new total of 62 seats (out of 349 total), and became the third-largest party. Unfortunately, just like Geert Wilders’ party in the Netherlands, all of the other parties in the Riksdag have refused to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats; nevertheless, they have proven to be a rising force in the country.
October: One of the most stunning developments in this ongoing wave, which proved how far this global movement can truly reach, was when the movement came to South America’s largest country. Despite Brazil’s long history of leftist, socialist government, the presidency was won by the right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro. Even after an assassination attempt nearly took Bolsonaro’s life, he went on to win the election on an unapologetically anti-socialist message, winning 55% of the vote.
2019: Israel, Europe, Australia, and India
April: In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ran a tough race against a rival coalition of center-right parties. Despite most polls showing the opposition with an edge over the Prime Minister’s Likud party, Netanyahu pulled off an upset victory by tying with his rival party, with both winning 35 seats. The leader of the opposition conceded defeat, and Netanyahu is expected to remain as Prime Minister after forming the next government.
Also in the month of April, there was a significant breakthrough in Spain akin to the Alternative for Germany’s rise in 2017. The Vox party, also founded in 2013 and the only Eurosceptic party in the country, won seats in the Congress of Deputies for the first time ever, picking up 24 seats to become the fifth-largest party in the legislature.
The month of May, like October of 2017, would produce several more key victories all within the span of less than ten days.
May 18: In what has been called one of the biggest upsets in modern history, right alongside Brexit and President Trump’s victory, the election in Australia shocked the world. In what was called a “massive polling failure,” the universal consensus consistently predicted, for three straight years, that the left-wing Labor Party would defeat the incumbent right-wing coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison managed to achieve this shocking victory with a vote preference agreement with two smaller, more firmly populist parties – One Nation and the United Australia Party – thus taking advantage of the country’s single-transferable vote system to secure the win.
May 19: In India, Narendra Modi also defied the polls when his BJP party actually made significant gains by picking up 21 seats and further strengthening their majority, with their coalition partners picking up an additional 19 seats for a decisive 355 seats out of 545 total. Modi benefited from the record-high turnout of 67% of the 900 million eligible voters, making this the biggest election in history.
May 23 – 26: If the 2014 European Union election was a headache for the global elite, then the 2019 election was a nightmare. Nationalist and populist parties came in first in five major countries: The U.K. (Brexit Party, 29 seats), France (National Front, 23 seats), Italy (League, 29 seats), Hungary (Fidesz, seats), Poland (Law and Justice, seats), and the Czech Republic (ANO, 6 seats).
Some of the most disastrous results for incumbent ruling parties included the UK, where the Conservative Party, winning just 4 seats with 9% overall, had its worst performance in history, and the Labour Party also sustained losses; and Greece, where the incumbent left-wing party, Syriza, lost so badly that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a snap general election.
Overall, this last decade has proved to be one of the most historically significant in recent history. Following the turmoil of a decade dominated by 9/11 and the rise in global Islamic terrorism, the last decade saw a new – and equally grave – threat of the same vein in the form of mass migration into Europe and the United States.
All the while, political elites on both sides essentially excused this and maintained their iron grips on their respective countries, with the consensus clearly established regardless of whatever the will of the people was. Those who tried to warn about the dangers of globalism, multiculturalism, and open borders were written off as racists and xenophobes, with no chance whatsoever at obtaining political power of their own.
But recent years saw the elites finally begin to lose their grip on power. Figures once decried as “extremists” and “far-right” began picking up steam, ranging from strong third- or second-place finishes to gaining outright power in some of the world’s major powers. From Europe, to North America, to Asia, to even South America, the people are finally electing leaders who will represent them and take on the deeply-entrenched forces that have been at the top of the food chain for too long.
Despite the resistance of the “elites” still in power, with the assistance of the mainstream media, the nationalist and populist forces for good are winning. From 2015 onward, these victories have only continued and increased, with no signs of slowing down.
Indeed, a revolution has begun; but a peaceful revolution, and one that could prove to be the most consequential peaceful revolution in modern history.
AMERICA First is the newest nationally-syndicated radio show in the United States, part of the Salem Radio Network. The host, Sebastian Gorka PhD., served most recently as Deputy Assistant for Strategy to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and is author of the New York Times bestselling book “Defeating Jihad.” His latest book is “Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies – With No Apologies.” You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka, on Facebook, and on Instagram @sebastian_gorka. AMERICA First is available on the iTunes podcast app, streams live at www.sebgorka.com, and is on YouTube. You can contact him here.