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WestVirginiaRebel

Europe’s far-right parties hunt down the youth vote

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BOKRIJK, Belgium (AP) — They are strikingly young, but emphatic that they should not be considered newcomers. Rather, they are claiming the mantle of Old Europe at its most traditional.

Several of this year’s far-right candidates in Europe are well under the age of 30 — just like some of their most ardent supporters. In Belgium, the telegenic Dries Van Langenhove, who is among the top picks on the list for the far-right party Vlaams Belang, is 26. In France, the head of the far-right National Rally slate for the upcoming European Parliament elections is 23 and has been a card-carrying party member since the age of 16. In Denmark, the lead candidate from the Danish People’s Party is a 29-year-old who is already a veteran campaigner. And in Spain, the chief spokesman for the Vox party is 27 and was elected to parliament last month.

These candidates are part of a growing attempt by Europe’s far-right parties to gear their anti-migration, euroskeptic message to the young, with everything from beer nights for adults and bouncy castles for kids to an outsized presence on social media, the Associated Press has found. Young European voters are responding with a rightward shift sometimes faster and farther than their elders — as illustrated by voting results or party rolls from Italy, France, Spain and Austria.

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The right wing generation?

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