Success for the far right in the European parliament elections was widely forecast.

But the tectonic plates underpinning European politics for decades have shifted in ways few expected before the marathon voting and counting process to deliver 720 MEPs for the next five years. Of the six countries that founded the original EEC the three biggest – France, Germany and Italy – have moved a long way to the right, while the Netherlands already has a far right led government and only narrowly avoided returning a majority of MEPs sympathetic to that cause.

The headline drivers of this shift are well known and led by immigration, living standards and concerns around too many policies being driven by Brussels rather than national governments. The farm protests also played a part, creating new tensions between urban and rural communities over the direction and speed of green policies, not least the nature restoration legislation that is widely seen as anti-progressive farming.

The clear message of the surge to the far right is that many people across Europe are saying enough is enough of Brussels knowing best. Strip away the national differences and this is a revolt by people similar to that which delivered Brexit in the UK, as a way of delivering a bloody nose to the establishment.

This is most notable in France, where the Far Right party of Marine Le Pen has boosted its chances of securing the presidency and winning the hastily called general election in advance of the Olympic Games; Italy with Georgia Meloni already has a Far Right government and in Germany Alternative for Deutschland (AFD) mad massive gains, particular in the former East Germany. Add in Austria and Hungary and this is a mix that precludes any possibility of business as usual being able to continue.

The far right made the headlines and will create the disruption, but in reality the centre held at the expense of the left and green parties. The EPP (European Peoples Party) centre right alliance remains the biggest group in parliament and increased its number of MEPs. The Greens were massive losers across all member states.

They have lost numbers and influence, ending up a distant sixth in the new parliament in terms of numbers and well behind the far right. The biggest unknown is unaligned MEPs at over 100, but there is no escape confirmation that the era of green influence has faded. This is not what Brussels bureaucrats, with their liberal agenda, want, but they have to accept a new political reality.

The strengthening of the EPP could boost the re-election prospects of the sympathetic to farming current European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. But at the same time there will be pressure for real change by sweeping away connections to what many see as the failed regime of the current European Commission.

This will become clear next month when member states nominate their new European commissioners, because that group will reflect the shift to the right in key EU member state governments.

The green lobby are seeking to put a brave face on what has been a political rout of their power and potential influence. They may claim this does not reflect what people say, but the election results underline the disconnect between private and public statements of intent. There is already pressure from some quarters for the parliament to use its altered structures to move away from the EU Green Deal, including Farm to Fork in agriculture.

There is even more pressure to kill off the Commission's flagship Nature Restoration legislation. This has been agreed, but is stalled because member states have withdrawn their support. This was opposed in the parliament by the EPP group, which now has even more MEPs, meaning it has the power to vote down any attempts to change the name and do the same with similar legislation.

If the farming lobby can block this before it becomes law it would be a major victory that would reverse the frustration of the legislation squeezing its way through the parliament last year because a very few who should have voted against it chose to abstain.

It will be the autumn before the new European Commission is nominated, approved and in place.

By then there will be further elections in member states, but already it is clear Brussels is set to learn the reality of the old Chinese curse about being forced to live in interesting times.