Winners and Losers in the European Election


Hannah Wenzel | Sun, 2 Jun 2019


Courtesy of Wikicommons

Between the 23rd and the 26th of May, the European election took place for the ninth time. It was previously predicted as being an election of fate - a vote for or against the European idea. After weeks of countless predictions and heated discussions, the Europeans have voted.
 
The danger of an overwhelming increase for anti-European, nationalist and right-wing extremist parties was feared by many. However, the suspected wave of right-wing parties did not swoop as impactful through the European Parliament as it was expected. To give a few examples: in Finland, the right-wing party, The Finn, did only turn out to be the fifth biggest party. The Danish People’s Party lost voters and the Vox Party in Spain only gained 6% of the people’s votes. The Dutch PVV of Geert Wilders lost its places in the EU Parliament.
While these figures seem to relieve concerns over the growth of the alt-right, in multiple countries Euroscepticism played a significant role. One of the biggest winners of the European election was, paradoxically, the party whose sole goal is to get its country out of the EU as soon as possible; the Brexit Party.  Nigel Farage’s party won around a third of the vote in the UK. In Sweden, the right-wing populist party, The Sweden Democrats, became third with 15,4% of the votes. Compared to the last European election in 2014, Jimmie Åkesso’s party gained 5,4% of the Swedes votes. As for Germany, The Alternative for Germany did not perform as well as expected, however, especially in the East, they gained a significant number of votes. Compared to 2014 they expanded by 4%. Furthermore, in countries such as France and Italy, right-wing populism clearly triumphed. Marie Le Pen’s Rassemblement National won the nip-and-tuck race over Macron’s La République en Marche with 23,3% of the votes. In Italy, the Lega of Matteo Salvini won by getting 34% of votes.
In total, the nationalist and EU-sceptical parties come to a total of 171 of the 751 seats in the European Parliament. 
As for the Pro-Europeanism bloc, the European People's Party and the Social Democrats lose a considerable number of seats. With 326 out of 751 seats, they no longer have a common majority. Therefore, the European People's Party and Social Democrats could increasingly rely on the votes of the Greens and the Liberals, which were able to make significant gains in this new election.
 

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