EU elections: how Europe is voting

The Maastricht Treaty, the foundation of the European Union (EU). Credit: Mateus2019/Wiki

The recent EU elections have showcased a significant shift in the political landscape across Europe, with mainstream right-wing parties making substantial gains in several countries.

However, support for the centre-right held strong in others, while left-wing parties also made surprising inroads. Here is a round-up of the key provisional results:

Spain

In Spain, the conservative Partido Popular (PP) narrowly secured first place. The PP captured 34.2 per cent of the vote, translating to 22 seats, while the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) collected 30.2 per cent and 20 seats. The far-right Vox party finished third with 9.6 per cent and six seats, an increase of two from 2019.

Additionally, the newly emerged far-right Se Acabó la Fiesta, meaning ‘The Party’s Over’, secured three seats.  This emerging Spanish political party has outlined a bold platform without a traditional written program. The party aims to reform the state by significantly reducing bureaucracy for a more efficient administration. They defend the constitutional protection of cash and seek to limit media influence to promote freedom of expression.

Austria

In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) led the EU elections with 25.7 per cent of the vote, narrowly surpassing the ruling conservative People’s Party (OVP) at 24.7 per cent.  The Social Democrats (SPO) followed closely at 23.2 per cent, with the Greens, currently junior partners in the government, obtaining 10.7 per cent, down from 14 per cent in 2019.

France

In France, President Macron faced a severe setback as Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) secured approximately 32 per cent of the vote, doubling the 15 per cent garnered by Macron’s allies.  In response, Macron announced snap legislative elections for June 30, telling his people, “I cannot act as if nothing had happened. I have decided to give you the choice.”

France’s Socialist Party saw a resurgence, securing 14 per cent of the vote with a platform focused on climate policy and European economic protection.

Germany

Germany’s conservative bloc, led by the Christian Democratic Union, remained the strongest party with over 30 per cent of the vote. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) experienced a historic low with only 14 per cent support. Despite controversies, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) made gains. Meanwhile, the Greens saw a decline, impacting their role in shaping EU climate policy.

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