(26 May 2014) – European politics were jolted as seldom before on Sunday when France’s extreme nationalists triumphed in the European parliament elections, which across the continent returned an unprecedented number of MEPs hostile or skeptical about the EU in a huge vote of no confidence in Europe’s political elite.
France’s Front National won the election there with a projected 25% of the vote, while the governing socialists of President François Hollande collapsed to 14%, according to exit polls.
In Britain the Nigel Farage-led insurrection against Westminster was also expected by all three main parties to deliver a victory for Ukip in the election, albeit with a lower lead than some opinion polls had been predicting in recent weeks. Turnout in Britain was 36%, higher than at the last European elections in 2009.
Four days of elections across 28 countries returned a record number of MEPs opposed to the EU project. Voters delivered a string of sensational outcomes, according to exit polls, with radical and nationalist anti-EU forces scoring major victories both on the far right and the hard left.
Provisional results published on Monday at 15.50 CET showed EPP winning 213 seats in the new Parliament, ahead of S&D (190 seats), ALDE (64 seats) and the Greens (53 seats). ECR is projected to win 46 seats, GUE/NGL 42 and EFD -38. The number of MEPs coming from parties/lists that were among those non-attached in the outgoing Parliament is 41, while another 64 seats were won by new parties/candidates still not aligned to any of the existing groups. (With The Guardian)