Four days ago last week, voters from 28 countries had the highest voter turnout in a European election in 20 years, when they selected new representatives for the European Parliament.
Here are some key findings:
- Traditional centrist parties coalesced with the so-called Grand Coalition, which consists of the center-left bloc of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S & D) the center-right People's Party (EPP) lost 77 seats and the majority in the European Parliament. One of the key figures in the S & D is Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, while Chancellor Angela Merkel is a member of the EPP. By contrast, the Liberal-centrist union of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE & R), to which French President Emmanuel Macron is a member, has won 32 seats and is now playing an important role in appointing officials to important EU positions play.
- In Britain, the Brexit Party, led by Arch-Brexiter Nigel Farage, received 31
- The Spanish Socialist Party recorded another strong performance after winning an election in late April winning 32.84% of the vote. Center-right parties, the People's Party (20.1%) and Ciudadanos (12.2%), came in second and third when Spain opposed the general European trend towards political extremes. The far-right party Vox received only 6.2% of the vote.
- The results in France provided further evidence that a projected increase in support for right-wing populist parties did not occur . According to the French Ministry of the Interior, the right-wing National Rally of Marine Le Pen won with 23.31% of the vote and defeated the French President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche alliance with 22.41%. However, Le Pen's share of votes fell slightly compared to 2014, when its Front National party received 24.86% of the vote.
- In Italy, the right-wing Lega party, led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, won with 33.64% of the vote. Eurosceptic Salvini said he will try to form an anti-EU bloc with Marine Le Pen and the Hungarian Viktor Orban . It is unclear if this will happen.
- Orban, Hungary's far-right nationalist prime minister, scored a huge victory after his Fidesz party received 52.14% of the country's votes. That's more than three times the second most popular party, the left-wing Democratic coalition, which received only 16.26%.
- The Green Alliance achieved the strongest performance of all time in the European elections winning 70 seats and receiving 9.32% of the vote – an increase from 2014, when they got 50 seats. Much of the party's profits came from northern Europe, including Britain, Ireland, France, and Germany, where young people held demonstrations calling for climate change policies.
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would call a early election after his party's poor performance in European elections and local elections. The opposition conservative party "New Democracy" won 33.27% of the vote, ahead of the ruling coalition of the radical left "Syriza" of currently 23.85%.