Europe News

Has Syriza ruined it for Europe's populist parties?

The "economic and financial disaster" of Greece's ruling Syriza party has hit the chances of other populist parties gaining power in Europe, analysts told CNBC, after surprising shifts in voting in local elections in France and Spain this weekend.

In France, Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front party was seen triumphing in the first round of local election held on Sunday. However, the conservative UMP party headed by former President Nicolas Sarkozy won, pushing the National Front into second place. As expected, the ruling Socialist party, led by President Francois Hollande, came third.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Syriza
Louisa Gouliamaki | AFP | Getty Images

Meanwhile, in Spanish local elections, Podemos, a new anti-austerity party seen as Spain's answer to Syriza, came third with 14.9 percent of the vote. It gained less votes than the ruling People's Party, which came second.

Reacting to the results on Monday, analysts said Syriza's failure to resolve the mounting economic crisis in Greece, and its increasingly sour relations with Europe, might be putting voters off populist parties, despite opposition to economic reforms and austerity measures.

"Voters (in France and Spain have) confirmed that a Greek-style takeover by right- or left-wing populists in these two countries remains an extremely unlikely scenario," Christian Schulz, senior economist at Berenberg Bank, said in a note Monday.

Read MoreBarroso: Greece should blame itself

"The populists gained, but fell far short of winning. So is Europe's populist threat on the verge of being deflated by its most visible success so far, Syriza's victory in Greece in January?"

The Syriza party came to power in January with promises to "tear up" the onerous austerity measures that were a strict condition of its two international financial bailouts, which totalled 240 billion euros ($260.8 billion). Since then, however, it has retreated from those promises, while asking its euro zone neighbors and creditors for a debt haircut, which has been refused.

A number of high-profile spats between German and Greek ministers have cause diplomatic relations to deteriorate further, and Greek Prime Minister is in Berlin Monday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Local specificities played a major role. But the economic and financial disaster Syriza has triggered in Greece in a record-short time period may have confirmed people's suspicions about the populists," he added, suggesting Podemos' star could be "sinking already."

High levels of voter participation suggested the electorate were becoming wary of the risks that well-organised "extremists" of the left or right could pose to their economic well-being, Schulz added.

"The wave of public discontent Syriza and partners had hoped for does not seem big enough to sweep populists railing against Brussels, Berlin and the inconveniences of a globalised economy to power across Europe."

Not over yet?

However, Antonio Barroso, a senior analyst at Teneo Intelligence, told CNBC that he did not believe Syriza had played a part in voters' decision-making in France and Spain.

"Regarding Syriza, I would be very careful about to assume that it had an effect on these elections. European questions tend to play a very small role in the decisions of voters, especially when it comes to subnational elections," he said on Monday.

Read MoreWhy Tsipras needs to turn on the charm with Merkel

Podemos' result was "impressive, given that they were virtually unknown a year ago," Barroso said.

He added that the National Front in France had increase its number of elected officials, despite failing to fulfil the high expectations set by Le Pen. "This will give them increased power and resources to continue widening their support base."

The economic situation in France and Spain remains fragile, but neither country is in as bad a state as Greece, which has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union, at 25.8 percent, and the highest debt-to-GDP ratio, at around 175 percent.

Unemployment in Spain also remains high, coming in at 23.4 percent in January, but economic growth has picked up recently.

In France, stagnant growth has accompanied President Hollande's decline in popularity, but unemployment is far lower than in Greece, at 10.2 percent.

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt. Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld