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Gains for far-right parties: Here are the main takeaways from European elections | World News


A woman casts her ballot for the European elections in a polling station in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, June 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)


Far-right parties have made major gains in parliamentary seats for the European Union.

Some ballots in the vote for the European Parliament are still being counted, but the outcome shows the 27-nation bloc’s parliamentary membership has clearly shifted to the right.

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In a bitesize breakdown of the elections, here are some of the main takeaways:

Winners

The surge in the far-right had been predicted and appears to have materialised with populist, nationalist and Eurosceptic parties on course to secure just under a quarter of the votes.

In France, the National Rally’s decisive win sent a clear message to President Emmanuel Macron who responded by calling a snap parliamentary election.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaks about the results of the European Parliamentary elections at a press conference at the Fratelli d'Italia party electoral committee in Rome, Monday, June 10, 2024. (Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse via AP)
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Italian leader Giorgia Meloni received a boost from the results. Pic: AP

In Italy, Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party got 28% of the votes, boosting her position at home and arguably making her one of the strongest leaders in Europe.

In Germany, the Alternative for Germany party (AfD) pushed the Chancellor’s socialists into third place, stealing more than half a million votes from them.

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Emmanuel Macron calls a snap election

Young people are believed to have been a major source of support with 16-year-olds allowed to vote in Germany for the first time.

There, and across Europe, nationalist parties capitalised on concerns over spiralling prices, migration and war.

Losers

Greens across Europe appear to have been one of the main casualties, predicted to lose around 18 seats in the new European Parliament.

Since the last vote in 2019, the world has radically changed with the war in Ukraine and the conflict in the Middle East potentially altering people’s priorities.

Amid high inflation and a cost of living crisis, many have transferred their votes to other parties.

A damaged election poster shows German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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A damaged election poster showing German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Frankfurt. Pic: AP

In Germany, Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats scored their worst result ever with some calling for him to follow Mr Macron’s lead.

The drubbing came despite the fact the AfD opposition has been plagued with scandals going into the election, including the lead candidate having to step back from campaigning for declaring the Nazi’s main paramilitary force, the SS, “were not all criminals”.

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His aide is also being investigated for allegedly spying for China while another candidate faced allegations of receiving cash from a pro-Russian news portal.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo also announced he was going to resign following poor election results for his party.

One more thing

While the far-right surge has stolen the headlines, it’s important to remember it was the centre-right that were victorious overall with the European People’s Party tightening its control on the chamber.

Provisional results show they would have around 189 seats and considerable influence in the next parliament.

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