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European Parliament Elections See Greens and Far-Right Gain Ground But Pro-EU Parties Retain Majority

HeadlineMay 28, 2019

European Parliamentary elections took place over four days of voting that saw the highest turnout since 1994. Centrist parties lost dozens of seats, while far-right nationalist and Green candidates gained significant ground. In France, the far-right National Rally led by Marine Le Pen narrowly beat the centrist alliance led by French President Emmanuel Macron amid widespread discontent with the government and after months of popular protests by the yellow vests movement. In Britain, the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage came in first with 31% of the vote. The elections came soon after Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation over the failure to pass her Brexit deal. In Italy, far-right nationalist League party placed first, while Hungarian right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party is set to score around 52% of vote.

The Green Party soared in popularity in many nations—especially Germany, where it placed second. Greens also did well in Finland, France and Ireland. The next president of the European Commission will likely be Bas Eickhout of the Dutch Green Party.

In Spain, leftist Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau lost to Catalan separatist Ernest Maragall by less than 5,000 votes, and Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena said she would step down despite winning the most votes, after a right-wing bloc collectively gained enough support to claim control over Madrid’s City Hall. We’ll have more on the EU elections after headlines.

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