EU Elections: The Winners and the Losers

Ella Kietlinska
By Ella Kietlinska
June 9, 2024Europe
EU Elections: The Winners and the Losers
Supporters celebrate at the announcement of the election results during an evening gathering of French National Rally party on the final day of the European Parliament election, at the Pavillon Chesnaie du Roy in Paris, on June 9, 2024. (Julien de Rosa/AFP via Getty Images)

After polls closed in all EU countries, the center-right group in the European Parliament that currently holds the most seats gained the most, while the centrist Renew Europe group and the Greens group lost the most seats in the union’s parliament.

Right-wing parties didn’t quite make the substantial gains that were predicted.

The largest political group in the European Parliament, the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), gained 10 seats, according to the early counts released by the European Parliament as of 4:20 p.m. on Monday. The preliminary counts also identified the biggest losers as Renew Europe, losing 23 seats, and the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA), losing 18 seats.

The number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) not affiliated with any political group decreased by 17.

Voters also elected 55 new MEPs who were not allied to any of the political groups of the outgoing Parliament, according to early counts. They will have an opportunity to join any existing political group, form new groups, or stay unaffiliated, an EU spokesperson said.

The EU requires that at least 23 MEPs representing one quarter of EU nations must come together to form a political group.

Two right-wing groups, European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) parties, gained four and nine seats respectively.

The left-wing group called The Left in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) lost one seat.

The total voter turnout in all EU countries, estimated at around 11 p.m. local time, was 51 percent, according to a European Parliament spokesperson.

The elections began on June 6 and ended late on June 9. The last polling stations closed in Italy at 11 p.m. local time.

New European Parliament

The new parliament will consist of 720 seats due to demographic changes in EU member countries, while the outgoing European Parliament, elected in 2019, was made up of 705 members.

“Following the elections, France, Spain, and The Netherlands will each get two additional seats, while Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Ireland, Slovenia, and Latvia are attributed one extra seat each,” the EU Parliament said in a statement.

The MEPs are organized by their political affiliation, not by nationality, according to the parliament website. MEPs who belong to a political group cannot be forced to vote in a particular way.

Overall, across the EU, two mainstream and pro-European groups, the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, remain the dominant forces.

National Results

The star of a stunning electoral night was the right-wing French National Rally party of Marine Le Pen, which dominated the French polls to such an extent that French President Emmanuel Macron immediately dissolved the national parliament and called for a new election.

Ms. Le Pen’s party is estimated to win over 30 percent of the vote, or about twice as much as the coalition that includes Mr. Macron’s Renaissance Party, which is projected to reach less than 15 percent of support.

“We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration,” Ms. Le Pen said.

Ms. Le Pen’s party can potentially gain 12 seats in the European Parliament.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s conservative Brothers of Italy group is projected to win the most votes in this weekend’s European parliamentary election, exit polls predict, which would solidify its status as Italy’s most popular party.

With almost all ballots counted, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s conservative Brothers of Italy group is predicted to win around 28 percent of the vote, more than four times what it took in the last EU election in 2019, and exceeding the 26 percent it secured in the 2022 national ballot when it rose to power.

The party is allied with the right-wing ECR parliamentarian group and is expected to gain 14 seats in the European Parliament.

Its opposition center-left Democratic Party is predicted to get 24 percent of the vote, while another opposition group, the 5-Star Movement, came third with nearly 10 percent, according to the parliament’s projection.

NTD Photo
Alice Weidel, (C), and Tino Chrupalla, (center R) both AfD federal chairmen, cheer at the AfD party headquarters during the forecast for the European elections, in Berlin on June 9, 2024. (Joerg Carstensen/dpa via AP)

In Germany, the right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) shrugged off scandals to take second place in Sunday’s EU election, making gains in particular among young voters, while Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats scored its worst-ever result.

The AfD was up 12 percentage points to 17 percent among 16- to 24-year-olds, tying with the conservatives as the most popular party in that age group and in the former Communist East.

The party will likely gain six seats in the European Parliament but is not allied with any political group.

Mr. Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) and the third coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), also underperformed; expected to win 14 percent and 5.2 percent of the vote respectively, down from 15.8 percent and 5.4 percent in the last election.

The SPD is projected to lose two seats in the European Parliament, while the FDP will likely retain its five seats.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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