Parties with clear, bold ideas on left, right and even centre captured the imagination.
But the traditional beasts of the EU are feeling diminished.
In France, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party topped the poll, just beating President Macron’s En Marche.
The Greens came third, with traditional centre-left and centre-right parties trailing badly.
The populist League party beat expectations in Italy, with 34% of the vote. But its coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, only managed third place behind the centre-left Democrats. Chancellor Merkel’s CDU came first in Germany.
The Greens took second, almost doubling their vote share and beating the left of centre SPD. The far right AfD, on 11%, failed to make a breakthrough.