EU Parliament Elections

European Parliament Elections: What has happened so far?

European Parliament Elections: What has happened so far?

The European Parliament elections have dealt a seismic shock to the major and long-ruling centrist political parties as voters rooted for alternative political movements such as the Greens,  and right-wing political movements.

An anticipated win for the Eurosceptic parties took place on Sunday 26th of May, as seen in France with the National Rally party, led by Marine Le Pen, triumphed by a narrow margin over En Marche, Emmanuel Macron’s party.

The Green movement saw an increase of roughly 20 additional seats won throughout Europe, especially in Germany where the Greens defeated the Social Democratic party with around 20 percent of the votes.

As power is slowly stripped away from the centrist political groups, the outcomes could spark an EU Parliament reshuffle, including replacements for the European commission’s President position.

“To know exactly how things will develop in Europe in 28 cabinets, that’s really difficult but I guess that some marginal parties will be less marginal tonight. I don’t know it but I guess that will be the case.” Said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as he cast his vote on May 26th, 2019.

When asked about the EU elections ALDE group leader Guy Verhofstadt said“The aim is to reform and renew Europe the fastest as possible because we cannot continue eternally with Brexit and other exits, so we need to move forward and the best way to move forward is to renew Europe because Europe is our only future.”

The overall gauge from the exit polls suggests that the right-wing European People’s party remains the major party in the European Parliament but could lose around 40 seats.

European Parliament Elections

Exit poll indicators suggested that the Socialists and Democrats party could lose approximately 40 seats, which could see them requesting the aid of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, En Marche and the Green groups to secure a majority in Parliament.

The EPP’s ruling candidate for the position of President of the European Commission, Manfred Weber said that the European Union would have to come to terms with the shift in political groups taking away seats from the centrist conservative and socialist parties, however, he made it clear that he would not be interested in forming a majority with the far right-wing groups.

Manfred Weber also said that he would be interested in negotiating with the Greens and ALDE groups to form a stable majority in the EU parliament in order to be able to implement legislative changes.

Manfred Weber said: “If we are the strongest group, then every citizen will say that the strongest group will have the right to make the president of the Commission. There is no majority against the EPP possible. When I look at the figures, I don’t see a majority against liberals, socialists, EPP. What I would ask us to do is to join our forces and work together.”

Taken from euractiv.com.

The leader of the Green group, Philippe Lamberts said: “To make a stable majority in this parliament the Greens are now indispensable.”

Leader of ALDE group, Guy Verhofstadt said: “For decades I have heard politicians and journalists on the stage say Europe is not popular when you look at the participation rate going down, well this time I think that is the first big news of the evening that is that Europe is back and Europe is popular as around 50 percent of the people have gone to the ballot boxes. My second point is that the first estimates and projections for us look promising all-day Renaissance and or USL party in Romania and other new parties we are expected to win around 30 to 40 seats in this election and we will form and establish a new group in the Parliament of around 100 seats. These 100 seats and this new group that we will establish will be a crucial group because for the first time in 40 years since the first elections in 1979 of the European Parliament, the 2 classical parties, socialists and conservatives will no longer have a majority, and that means that no solid pro-European majority is possible without the help and participation of our new centrist group that will be composed by the ALDA family by Renaissance and other reform driven like-minded parties.”  

Click here to watch the full speech.

The percentage of voters who visited the ballot boxes to cast their vote throughout the Eurozone bloc on Sunday 26th of May reached 51 percent. Nevertheless, the unexpected electorate turnout increase did not favor the long-established parties.

Germany’s Christian Democratic Union lost 7 percent of the votes standing at 28 percent, and the Social Democratic Union dropped from 27 percent to 15 percent, the lowest result since the party began. Data from the exit polls indicated that the Alternative fur Deutschland rose slightly to around 11 percent.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has warned that the European Union is facing a threat of division from nationalists who want to reestablish independence from the political union that started in 1993.

In the wake of its recent victory in the Spanish general election the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party acquired 20 seats and nearly 33 percent of the votes, whereas the right-wing Vox party took 3 seats and managed 6 percent of the votes.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested a national election following a strong victory by the New Democracy party which took 34 percent of the votes compared to 25 percent by the Syriza party.

What impact did Nigel Farage’s Brexit party have on the EU Parliament elections?

How will Brexit end?

The EU Parliament elections have been a big shakeup for the two major and traditional political parties within the UK. The 6-week-old Brexit party stamped out the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have been given a jump-start after gaining votes from former Labour party supporters.

Taking the votes away from former key Conservative areas including Leeds, Sheffield, and Cardiff the Brexit party came out victorious sending a serious message to the wavering Conservatives to reconsider the notion of a no-deal Brexit on WTO terms. On the opposite end, the Liberal Democrats were raised from the ashes after securing a majority in Maidenhead a key Conservative constituency and Islington a key Labour constituency.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party took 28 seats and the Liberal Democrats secured 15 seats, the Labour party finished in third place with 10 seats, then the Green party took 7 seats, and finally, the Conservatives secured a meagre 3 seats.

As things stand the no-deal Brexit campaign amounted to 35 percent as the Brexit party secured 32 percent and UKIP took 3 percent. 44 percent of the votes were secured by leave campaign parties which also saw the Conservatives secure an all-time low of just 9 percent.

Sourced from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48417744

On the other hand, remain orientated parties equaled 40 percent, as the Liberal Democrats took 20 percent, followed by the Green party with 12 percent, Scottish National Party took 4 percent and Change UK took 3 percent. The Labour party which took an on the fence approach to try and secure votes from both sides of the spectrum by offering a soft Brexit with the chance of a second referendum, finished with 14 percent.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party said:

“After three years of Tory failure to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole country, these elections became a proxy second referendum. With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote. Labour will bring our divided country together so we can end austerity and tackle inequality. Over the coming days we will have conversations across our party and movement and reflect on these results on both sides of the Brexit divide. We will not let the continuing chaos in the Conservative Party push our country into a No Deal exit from the EU. Parliament can and will prevent such a damaging outcome for jobs and industry in the UK.”

Click here to read the full report from Express.co.uk.

In his EU elections victory speech, Nigel Farage said:

“Never before in British politics has a new party launched just 6 weeks ago topped the polls in a national election. The reason, of course, is very obvious; we voted to leave in a referendum, we were supposed to do so on March the 29th and we haven’t. There is a huge message here, the Labour and Conservative parties could learn a big lesson from tonight though I don’t suppose that they actually will.”

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