This essay considers the levels of support, the ideological-political spectrum and the electoral possibilities for European radical left parties, with reference to the social and political context of the 2019 European elections. At EU Parliament level this is mainly expressed through the United European Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group. Reviewing the contours of the elections, the aim is to invite reflection on the short-term conjuncture and its effects on the radical left (e.g. the effects of Brexit, the rise in importance of environmental issues, the defeat of Syriza), but also to historicise the dynamics internal to this political grouping. More long-term structural issues include both systemic mechanisms and the variation in national circumstances, both of which necessarily delimit socialist strategy. The overarching question concerns the prospects for establishing an EU- wide counter-hegemony from the left.