The EU Parliament’s three-day elections have concluded across Europe. The polls attracted a record number of voters, not seen in over two decades, while exit polls signal the expected rise of right-wing parties is accurate.
The turnout for the union-wide elections has become the largest in two decades, with an estimated 51 percent of voters showing up at the polling stations. It’s the greatest turnout since 1994, when over 56 percent of Europeans partook in the polls. The previous 2014 elections, on the other hand, showed the lowest-ever turnout at only 42.5 percent.
On an EU scale, the pro-European bloc EPP and the Social-Democratic alliance S&D have apparently retained the largest representation, yet their number of seats is expected to shrink significantly – from 221 and 191 back in 2014 to 177 and 147, respectively.
The predicted rise of right-wing parties across the union has apparently come true, exit polls suggest. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party may obtain around 24 percent of votes, according to different exit polls, narrowly beating President Emmanuel Macron’s party, which is expected to score some 22 percent.
In Hungary, PM Viktor Orban’s party is poised to score a solid win, receiving support of some 56 percent of the voters. His closest competitors, the Socialists and the leftist Democratic Coalition are expected to get around 10 percent each.
The German ruling coalition suffered significant losses, as the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) scored around 28.5 and 15 percent, respectively. The country’s Greens, meanwhile, surged to third place with almost 21 percent of votes, doubling its result from the previous election. The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) is poised to get a solid fourth place, scoring nearly 11 percent of votes compared to 7.1 percent in 2014.
Austrian right-wingers have apparently been left unshaken by the political scandals that have caused the ruling coalition to collapse. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s center-right People’s Party has shown its best-ever result in the EU polls and is expected to get some 34.5 percent of votes.
“It is a barnstorming result. We have achieved the best result of all time, the biggest lead of all time over the second-placed party,” Kurz told his supporters,
Austria’s Social Democrats are in second place with some 23.5 percent, while the scandalized member of the now-defunct ruling coalition, the Freedom Party (FPO) is in third place with 17.5 percent.
In Poland, the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party is in line to come first with 42.4% of the vote, according to exit poll.
Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party has secured a solid win, getting over 28 percent of votes, exit polls indicate. The conservative Popular Party scored second with around 17 percent, while the recently formed right-wing Vox Party is set to receive its first representation in the EU Parliament, with support of some 6.5 percent.
Italy’s right-wing League party, led by deputy PM Matteo Salvini, has won the EU elections in his country, scoring between 26 and 31 percent, according to different exit polls. The 5-Star movement, led by another deputy PM, Luigi Di Maio, took between 18.5 and 23 percent, likely getting overtaken by the center-left Democratic Party, which is expected to receive some 20.5-25 percent of the votes.
The result is a big win for the League, which emerged with only 6.2 percent back in 2014 and some 17 percent last year, during the country’s general elections.
In Greece, however, the socialists lost their positions as the embattled ruling SYRIZA party garnered the support of some 27 percent of voters, while the main opposition party, right-wing New Democracy took a solid lead with 34 percent.