As local elections in Britain noted the rise in the UK Independence Party's (UKIP) victories, analysts began to consider the implications for European elections and whether the in/out referendum on European Union (EU) membership for the UK that David Cameron has promised for 2017 could be moved forward.
Early results from local elections showed a surge in popularity for UKIP that holds an open anti-Europe stance with the party bagging almost a third of the votes.
So far the so-called Euro-sceptic parties are expected to capture around 25% to 30% of the 751 seats on the European Parliament. Britain itself has 73 representatives on the EU body.
Martin Harvey, fixed income expert at Threadneedle, used UKIP as an example as he noted on Friday that the European elections are widely expected to show a shift towards protest parties.
"However, this should not prevent the more traditional parties from forming a majority, given that those gaining share will not necessarily form alliances at the European level due to their diverse ideologies," he said.
Alpari UK Analyst Joshua Mahony also told Digital Look that he doubted anti-Europe parties could muster enough clout to cause a serious threat.
"Given that those Euro-sceptics typically come from across the political spectrum, there is unlikely to be a single party that represents them all which will move to power," he said.
However, Mahony did warn that markets could be affected by the increase in anti-euro sentiment. "The perceived disruption from having a greater representation from those against the greater integration and the euro project as a whole will likely be the major market mover in terms of the currency markets," he explained.
Meanwhile, CMC Markets Analyst Michael Hewson suggested that monetary policy was a bigger issue for the euro that who won the victory in the European elections. "The direction of the currency is likely to be determined by what the ECB does at the next rate meeting in June", he wrote in an e-mail.
For the UK, the case closer to home appeared to be whether the increase in UKIP popularity might force Cameron to take a tougher stance against further EU integration.
Already, media reports suggested that the number of MPs who may be willing to form a pact with UKIP was on the rise. The party's own leader had promised to seek agreements with other anti-EU Mps and, according to The Independent, stated: "I would do a deal with the devil if it got us a referendum".