Euroskeptics Surge: Results From The 2014 European Parliament Election
The 2014 European Parliament is set to be a stunning setback for the "old" Europe with a surge in Euroskeptic seats in the European parliament.
Anti European Union parties on both the right and left appeared to be making significant gains in Europe's parliamentary elections, according to Sunday evening exit polls, a sign of the increasing wave of discontent being expressed against decision making in Brussels and continued high unemployment.
Though the two largest political groups in the parliament will be made up of pro-European parties on the centre left and right, anti-EU parties in the UK, France, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Greece all made gains, according to exit polls.
In Germany, exit polls showed the Christian Democrats, which is led by Angela Merkel, won the election with 36% of the national vote and 35 seats in the parliament. The Social Democratic Party came in second place with 27.2% of the vote. The anti-European Alternative fur Deutschland party in Germany could enter the party with 6.5% of the vote, granting them their first ever seat in the European Parliament.
In France, exit polls showed that the far right Front National, whose views on immigration policy and further European integration have been cause for much controversy, brought home a victory with 24.4% of the total vote. The centre UMP party came in second place with 21% while the ruling Socialist Party attained just 14.2% of the vote.
UMP president Jean-Francois Cope said the results should be seen as an expression of disappointment against the government of Francois Hollande, who has so far failed to tackle issues such as high unemployment and turn round a stagnant economy.
"These elections show a huge anger against Francois Hollande's policy," he told French media. The Socialist Party spokesman Olivier Faure said "The whole left has to reconsider itself."
Exit polls from the UK, where the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party are expected to win, were not immediately available.
In Greece, where unemployment levels are still at 27%, the far-left Syriza party gained 28% of the vote, the most out of any other party. Greece's New Democracy party, led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, came in second place with between 23 and 25% of the vote.
Other countries that saw positive results for anti-EU parties included Belgium and Denmark where the Danish People's Party received around 23% of the vote and 3 seats, according to exit polls.
The FT is not happy. Not happy at all.
Worse, in an election in which the turnout is expected to be greater than in 2008, the incremental marginal votes appear to be largely against the European dream.
Below is a real-time tracker of the results from the elections as they come in:
Finally, courtesy of the WSJ, here is the breakdown by European nation:
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