European Parliament Voting Results
The Center governing coalition lost its majority and will have to form a new coalition, Far Right parties take 25% of the seats
The press center of the European Parliament released provisional results of the election for Members of the European Parliament after the closing of all voting stations, the website of the European Parliament reported.
The governing coalition of the EPP (European People’s Party) and S&D (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) have lost their majority.
EPP will get 178 seats, with social democrats getting 152 seats out of 751. ALDE&R (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party) took third with 108 seats. “Green” parties increased their parliamentary seats by 18.
Here is the result of the voting:
- EPP – 178 (European People’s Party).
- S&D – 152 (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats).
- ALDE&R – 108 (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party).
- Greens/EFA – 67 (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance).
- ECR – 61 (European Conservatives and Reformists Group).
- GUE/NGL – 39 (Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left).
- EFDD – 53 (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group).
- ENF – 55 (Europe of Nations and Freedom Group).
- NI – 7 (Non-attached Members).
While the parliament itself is supra-national as it covers the entire EU, it is often national politics that color the results.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron has become increasingly unpopular. This has lead to a very narrow loss by his party to Marine LePen’s nationalist National Rally bloc, which is very critical of the EU in general, as reported by the New York Times.
Overall, the nationalist and populist parties managed to increase their total share in the newly elected parliament from 20% to 25%. However, while the parties may share nationalist and populists positions, that does not necessarily mean they can, or will, work together in the new parliament.
The National Rally party of France has a very close relationship with Russia, the party, while using its former name of National Front, took a sizable loan from a Russian owned bank several years ago, while the nationalist party of Poland is vehemently opposed to any rapprochement with Russia. The parties may not be able to work together to form a solid opposition bloc.
Besides Macron, another big loser was Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats party, as well as the other major party in Germany, the Social Democrats. Both parties lost seats that were mostly gained by the Green Party. A far right, nationalist party also did surprisingly well considering Germany’s past with the the far right Nazi party.
While gains by the far right were expected, the numbers were not as large as many had expected as the center seemed to still hold and, with it, the vision for a more unified European Union. However, the two main center parties will no longer have a majority and will have to form new coalitions to achieve a governing majority.
Both the Center Left and Center Right have said they will not form a coalition with any of the far right parties.
Another big winner was a party that wants nothing to do with the EU or its parliament, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party of the UK, as reported by the New York Times. The UK was forced to participate in the election as the formal separation of the UK from the EU has not yet happened. The new deadline set by the EU is October 31, 2019.
The Brexit Party managed to best both the Conservatives, the party lead by Theresa May until her resignation next week, and Labour, lead by Jeremy Corbin. The two main parties remain in a deadlock over how, exactly, to leave the EU. The Brexit Party has taken a stance that the UK should leave on October 31 with or without a deal and suffer the consequences of a no deal Brexit.
Labour managed to only come in third in the vote behind the Liberal Democrats who want no Brexit at all. The Conservatives only managed a fifth place showing with under 10% of the vote total with the Greens taking fourth.
The strong showing by the Brexit Party could impact the Conservatives’ choice of a new Prime Minister to succeed May when she steps down on June 7, 2019. Also, there may be calls for a snap election for the British Parliament which could see the Brexit Party taking a large number of seats and being able to control the Brexit process in a governing coalition with either Conservatives or Labour, assuming either party could fare well in any potential national election in the United Kingdom.
In general, turnout across the EU was up from the previous parliament election five years ago to just over 50% for the entire bloc of nations. Last election, it was around 42% turnout.