The far-right party achieved significant gains in the European parliamentary elections

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Far-right parties made significant gains in EU elections, performed well in Germany and comfortably won the vote in France, prompting Emmanuel Macron to call for a national election. Assembly quickly.

The European parliament’s initial forecasts show far-right and far-right parties are likely to hold almost a quarter of the seats in the body’s next session, up from a fifth in 2019.

The French president shocked his allies on Sunday by Call for immediate National Assembly elections after exit polls gave France’s Rassemblement National 31.5% of the vote, more than double the share of the vote in Macron’s centrist coalition.

“I decided to give you back the right to choose,” Mr. Macron said in a speech to voters from the Elysée palace.

The result dealt a blow to the domestic positions of the French president and German chancellor Olaf Scholz, and is expected to help push the European parliament towards a more anti-immigrant and anti-green stance.

But centrist parties retained a majority in the new parliament.

Opinion polls gave the center-right European People’s Party 189 seats, leaving the Socialists and Democrats in second place with 135 seats, while the radical Renew group won 83 seats, hold third place. Estimates show that the Green Party is considered the biggest loser, falling from 71 seats in 2019 to 53 seats.

In France, the RN party led by Marine Le Pen is expected to come out on top with around a third of the country’s vote, according to exit polls on Sunday, in a criticism of the centrist coalition. Macron’s, which won about 15% of the vote. vote.

“This result is very clear. Our countrymen have expressed their desire for change and a path for the future,” said Jordan Bardella, head of the RN campaign list.

In Germany, the three parties in Scholz’s coalition were all overtaken by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which came in second behind the conservative opposition CDU-CSU. Radical and nationalist parties also won or made significant gains in Austria, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands, opinion polls showed.

The AfD defied recent scandals to win 16.4% of the vote – one of the best results in a national election, although lower than the 22% that polls had suggested on January.

“This is a great result. . . a record result,” said party co-leader Tino Chrupalla. “Our voters remained loyal to us and we defeated the prime minister’s party, the Greens and the liberals.”

Its success came despite a series of negative headlines, many of them concerning its main candidate in the election, Maximilian Krah. His staff were arrested on suspicion of spying for China, and he caused outrage by downplaying the crimes of the SS under the Nazis. Meanwhile, the second person on the AfD’s list is being investigated for corruption.

The result was a disaster for the three parties in Scholz’s fragile coalition – the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the radical FDP. The Green Party saw its vote share fall by more than eight percentage points while the SPD won just 14% – its worst result ever in a national vote.

The opposition centre-right party CDU-CSU won the election with 29 seats, the SPD only won 14 seats, the Green Party 12 and the FDP 5.

In Italy, opinion polls put Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy Party at the top, with 26% to 31% of the vote. The result would strengthen her position in the three-party alliance and strengthen her position in negotiations with other European leaders.

“Say goodbye to the European Green Deal,” said Simon Hix, a politics professor at the European University Institute in Florence, referring to the ambitious plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. .

He said European commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s centre-right EPP had become even more powerful because it could cooperate with its left-wing or right-wing parties.

But the result, which disadvantages the liberal and Green parties, could complicate von der Leyen’s bid for a second term as head of the EU executive.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’s far-right Freedom Party (PVV) won seven seats, up from one last time, although still slightly less than the Labour-Greens coalition.

Forecast data shows that EPP parties have been strongly active in Germany, Spain, Poland, Greece and several other countries.

“There is still a majority at the heart of a strong Europe. The center is holding out,” von der Leyen said after the preliminary results. “We are all interested in stability,” she added, calling on other centrist parties to support her for a second term as commission chair.

Von der Leyen needs a majority in the 720-seat parliament to support her. Final results are expected as early as Monday.

Additional reporting by Laura Dubois in Brussels and Amy Kazmin in Rome

How will the European Parliament elections change the EU? Join Europe editor Ben Hall and colleagues in Paris, Rome, Brussels and Germany for a webinar for subscribers on June 12. Register now and book Your questions for our workshop at


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