Climate change madness has permeated European political culture as seen with the ascent of the Green Party in Switzerland. For the first time, it achieved 13.2% of the national vote, greatly exceeding previous outcomes and even their own expectations. ? TN Editor
Switzerland's Green Party made historic gains in national elections Sunday, while the anti-immigrant right wing remained the largest party in parliament despite a slip in its support.
Definitive results confirmed a pre-vote forecast that rising concerns about climate change would trigger an electoral "green wave".
The results mark "a tectonic shift", said Green Party president Regula Rytz, and the leftwing party called for the "urgent convening of a national climate summit".
The Greens garnered 13.2 percent support, exceeding their pre-election projection and marking a six-point bump on their 2015 performance.
The Green Liberals — an environmentalist party with libertarian socio-economic policies — also gained ground, taking 7.8 percent of the vote compared with less than five percent in 2015.
"It's more than a wave, it's a tidal wave on the Swiss scale," political scientist Pascal Sciarini told AFP.
Focus will swiftly turn to whether the Greens — or a coalition of the two environmentalist parties — will demand one of the seven cabinet positions that are shared among the leading political parties.
The Swiss People's Party (SVP), which has repeatedly been accused of demonising migrants, claimed 25.6 percent of the vote.
But that is down from the 29.4 percent it garnered in 2015.
University of Lausanne political scientist Oscar Mazzoleni told AFP the results showed that the SVP struggled to attract young voters while its ageing electoral base was less motivated to vote than in 2015, when Europe's migrant crisis was on "page one".
The SVP is also the only major party that has not pledged to pursue bolder climate action, having consistently denounced "climate hysteria" in Swiss politics.
"We knew we were going to suffer a setback," outgoing SVP senator Oscar Freysinger said on RTS.
"But the important point remains that before saving the planet we have to save Swiss sovereignty," he added.