Review of European election results

Dolors Montserrat of PP and MEP leader returns to European Parliament Credit: Dolors Montserrat X

As the preliminary results started to gain numbers every hour, Spain witnessed a massive shift in votes compared to the last elections.

In 2019, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) emerged as the leading party with a strong pro-European and progressive agenda. This year, the conservative People’s Party (PP) dominated the votes in most of the country’s provinces.

Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE)

Led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the PSOE has maintained its position as one of Spain’s leading parties. Their pro-European stance and progressive policies resonated with a considerable portion of the electorate. However, they saw a slight decline, securing 20 seats, down by one seat from the previous term.

Partido Popular (PP)

Under the leadership of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the conservative PP made significant gains, reflecting a balanced voter base between the centre-left and centre-right. The PP won 22 seats, a remarkable increase of 10 seats, indicating a strong performance and a shift towards conservative policies among many voters.

Vox

The further-right party Vox, known for its nationalist and anti-immigration rhetoric, saw a surge in support. This mirrors a global trend of rising right-wing populism. Vox gained three additional seats, bringing their total to s, signalling a growing nationalist sentiment and concerns over immigration and national identity within Spain.

Other Parties’ Performances (2019-2024)

Ahora Repúblicas: Maintained their three seats.

Se Acabó la Fiesta: Added three seats.

Podemos: Reduced from six seats to two.

Junts UE: Reduced from two seats to one.

CEUS: Held steady with one seat.

Ciudadanos: Lost all their seats, previously holding seven.

Sumar: Entered the Parliament with three seats.

The right-wing domination on preliminary results

As anticipated, right parties made significant advances not only in Spain but across Europe. From the total of 27 countries, 12 had finished counting votes at the time of writing.

In the general preliminary result, the European People’s Party Group (EPP) is in the lead with 186 seats, followed by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) with 135 seats and the liberal Renew Europe (RE) with 79.

Spain’s shift from mainly centre-left votes in 2019 to a more right-leaning orientation in 2024 highlights a significant transformation. These results reflect the current polarization of the society divisions and debates over the direction of national policies.

The success of Vox shows a growing nationalist sentiment and concerns over immigration and national identity. This trend is not unique to Spain and is part of a broader European and global rise in right-wing populism.

According to Vox’s spokesperson, José Antonio Fúster, in an interview with Euronews, the election outcomes unequivocally affirm the “undeniable ascendancy” of patriots and proponents of national sovereignty within the European Parliament.

The reactions around Europe

In France, the National Rally secured almost a third of the votes in the upcoming Parliament.  This result led President Emmanuel Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and call for snap elections.

Marine Le Pen, Deputy of the French National Assembly, mentioned Macron’s decision from his party headquarters in Paris. “Tonight’s message, including that of dissolution, is also addressed to the leaders of Brussels,” she said, “This great victory for patriotic movements is in line with the direction of history, which is seeing throughout the world the return of nations.”

In Denmark, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democrats maintained their seats, with the election seen as a verdict on her government’s immigration policies. In Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy also saw a substantial rise, with over a quarter of voters supporting her party.

Meloni expressed her pride in the electoral results, stating, “It’s a source of pride to lead the strongest government as we head to the G7 and engage with Europe,” during her speech at her party’s headquarters.

While internal divisions may hinder the formation of a unified right bloc, their significant presence in the European Parliament shows an influence on policy directions towards the right.

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Written by

Talyta Franca

Talyta Franca, Class 2026, Northwestern University in Qatar.

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