Certain sections of the commentariat are quite excited this morning at what they think will be a domino effect in European politics, following the victory of Syriza. In Spain, Podemos can bring huge crowds to the streets and are taking about a third of the poll against the established duopoly of the PP and PSOE. Likewise in France, the FN have about a third of the opinion poll share. Spain has national elections due in November, and France's regional elections in March will test the poll predictions. Here, the strength of UKIP's challenge will be felt in May and the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Denmark all have elections in some form this year that allow opportunities for insurgent parties.
However, I'd caution not to underestimate the built in checks to rapid political change that exist in all of Europe's democratic systems. There is a tendency towards stability and the status quo built in to all the various electoral systems. Syriza won in Greece because they got a game-changing free 50 seats as the leading party; on vote share alone, they scored 99 seats, not 149. And as in France and Spain, that's about a third of the poll. And I suspect that most European parliaments would prefer to form a bodge-up 'government of national unity' from the old incumbent parties rather than allow the insurgent newcomers into power.
The establishment has staked its claim on the basis that populism isn't democracy - that votes for the insurgent parties across Europe are somehow less democratically valid than votes for established parties. Expect to hear this argument developed far more deeply and pervasively as elections near.
Threatened civil servants and bureaucrats across Europe will also work to game the system to keep their old benefactors in power, fearful of the retributive power of an insurgent administration to extract reckoning for past corruption and incompetence.
Over time, democracy will win - the ballot box will win - but the democratic struggle will not be easy. Loosing the rictus grip of Con, Lab and Spiv politicians on the green leather of the Commons' benches will take an outsize boot to stamp on their pinkies. And along with Europe's entire political establishment, ours will throw everything into keeping power and excluding insurgents, even at the cost of democracy itself.