The European Election winners and losers, country-by-country analysis

With voter turnout dropping to a record low of 43.01 per cent – down from 45.47 in 2004 – RFI gives a country-by-country breakdown of what the next European Parliament will look like.


The Spanish right have scored a narrow victory over the ruling Socialists of Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, taking 23 seats to 21. Zapatero’s PSOE has been expecting something of a hiding at the polls, with Spain reeling from the global crisis and unemployment soaring to levels not seen since the 1980s. But in the end, they suffered only a minor rap on the knuckles, thanks probably to Mariano Rajoy’s lacklustre leadership of the Popular Party, which has yet to fully recover from its defeat in the controversial national elections after the bomb attacks on Madrid in 2004.


Early exit polls put Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and his People of Freedom party on a little more than 40 per cent, still the biggest party, but down on what they were expected to poll before the scandal over Berlusconi’s relationship with a teenage lingerie model threatened to derail his campaign. Berlusconi stood in all five of the country’s electoral regions, although he has no intention of taking a seat in Brussels. The centre-left opposition scored between 27 and 31 per cent, according to the polling agency IPR Marketing.


The ruling conservatives, which have a single-seat majority in parliament, finished six percentage points behind the opposition Socialists, exit polls show. Battered by scandals, the New Democracy party garnered about 33.5 per cent, compared to 43.3 per cent in 2004. The socialist PASOK party, led by George Papandreou, mustered 36.3 per cent. The KKE Communists came third with 7.9 per cent, staying within their 2004 margin. The Laos nationalists and the Syriza leftists made gains, with Laos pulling 7 per cent and Syriza 4.6 per cent. The fledgling Green party scored 3.3 per cent.


There will be pirates in the next European Parliament. The Swedish Pirate Party, set up to defend freedom of file-sharing and internet downloaders, took 7.4 per cent of the vote – more than enough to guarantee them seats in Brussels and Strasbourg. It was a good night also for the main opposition Social Democrats, who took a quarter of the vote, seven points ahead of the governing centre-right Moderate Party, while the Greens doubled their vote from six to almost 12 per cent. Apart from the government, the big losers were the extreme left, who saw their vote halve.


Poland’s ruling liberal Civic Platform party has won the elections, taking 45.3 per cent of the vote and 24 of the 50 Polish seats in the parliament, according to an exit poll. The opposition right-wing Law and Justice Party, run by ex-prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of President Lech Kaczynski, won 29.5 per cent of the vote – which translates to 16 seats. The ex-communist left-wing Democratic Left Alliance and the tiny Union of Labour, allied with the Party of European Socialists, ranked third with 12 per cent and six seats. Civic Platform junior coalition partner, the Polish Peasants’ Party took 7.9 per cent of the vote, or four seats. No other party surpassed the 5 per cent threshold required to enter the European Parliament.


The nationalist and eurosceptic True Finns party, which has called for tighter immigration rules, has seen a strong rise in support as ruling parties suffered losses, preliminary results show. The True Finns had 10 per cent of votes, soaring from 0.5 per cent in 2004. This suggests the party will grab one of Finland’s 13 seats at the European Parliament. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen’s Centre Party took 21 per cent of the vote, down from 23.4 per cent in the last election, while Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen’s conservative National Coalition party was seen dropping to 21.9 per cent from 23.7 per cent in 2004. Both parties should get three seats each.


Near-complete results indicate that Prime Minister Jose Socrates’s Socialists have taken a battering as voters punish the government. The ruling party is showing an 18 percentage point drop to 26.45 per cent, with the conservatives only slightly up on 33.07 per cent as against 2004. Greens and far-left parties were the main beneficiaries of the Socialist vote collapse.


The opposition Labour Party has scored a resounding success with 55 per cent of the vote against 40 per cent for the Nationalist Party. Malta has five seats in the EU parliament, but it was not immediately clear how they would be shared out. One of the biggest issues facing the tiny Mediterranean island at EU level is the bloc’s procedure against it for running an excessive deficit.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing UMP party romped home with 28 per cent of the vote, leaving the opposition Socialists trailing on 16.8 per cent in a ballot marked by voter apathy. The results are a dramatic fall for the Socialists, who took 29 per cent in 2004, when the UMP had trailed on 16.6 per cent. This year, the Socialists finished just ahead of greens, Europe Ecologie, who were tipped to win more than 16 per cent. The centrist Modem party of Francois Bayrou, the “third man” in France’s last presidential vote, took less than nine per cent.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party was beaten in third place by the eurosceptic UK Independence Party. The main opposition Conservatives gained 1.2 per cent to 19.8 per cent, while the far-right British National Party has picked up two seats in northern England, the first time it has ever been elected to a parliament. Both its new MEPs, Nick Griffin Andrew Brons, are former heads of the neo-fascist National Front. The anti-European UK Independence Party (UKIP) saw its share increase by five per cent.


Support for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and its sister party, the Christian Social Union, may have slipped to 39.7 per cent from 44.5 per cent in 2004 – but they have still trounced the main centre-left rivals in a poll that is a litmus test for September’s federal vote. Their uneasy grand coalition partners, the Social Democrats, fell to a record low of 20 per cent from 21.5 per cent. The pro-business Free Democrats were big winners on 11 per cent, up from 6.1 per cent in 2004, while the Greens took 12.1 per cent, and the Linke leftist party 7.5 per cent.


Hungary’s right-wing opposition Fidesz party scored a crushing victory over the ruling socialist MSZP, taking 56.37 per cent of the vote – more than three times that of their rivals. The extreme right Jobbik party, whose violently anti-Semitic and anti-Roma rhetoric has already set off alarm bells in Brussels, broke through for the first time, taking 14.77 per cent and three seats. They finished only three points behind the governing party, who have lost five of their nine seats in the parliament. A Roma party failed to reach the threshold.


Exit polls have put the Social Democrats (PSD) neck and neck with the Democratic Liberals (PD-L), with PSD leader Mircea Geoana saying results confirmed his party was the strongest in Romania. He said the president, whose daughter Elena Basescu (pictured above) is running as an independent, would probably try to tally his PD-L party results with hers. Meanwhile, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the leader of the far-right Greater Romania Party, said the elections signalled the return of PRM. Opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu thanked Romanians “who voted only once” – alluding to accusations the voting process was marred by irregularities.


The opposition Social Democrats appear to have come out on top despite a drop in support from the 2004 vote, an exit poll shows. It predicted the Social Democrats would win four seats, or a third of the country’s 13 seats. This represents 21.8 per cent of votes. Denmark’s governing Liberal Party looks set to hold onto its three seats, winning 20.8 per cent of votes, while its junior coalition partner, the Conservatives, should maintain their sole seat with 12.4 per cent. The far-right Danish People’s Party, which supports the minority coalition in the Danish parliament, may win two seats – one more than in 2004, and 14.4 per cent of votes. The opposition Socialist People’s Party is primed to double its mandate to two seats, with 16.1 per cent of votes, while eurosceptic the People’s Movement Against the EU should hold on to its seat at 6.9 per cent.


The list of eurosceptic campaigner Hans-Peter Martin has made major gains, while the ruling Social Democrats had their worst election debacle, according to estimates. Far-right parties also chalked up gains. Martin picked up 17.87 per cent of the vote, gaining almost four points from the last EU election. The ruling conservative People’s Party shed 3 per cent with 29.7 per cent. Its coalition partner, the Social Democrats, saw support drop 9.5 points to 23.85 per cent, losing two deputies in parliament. It was the party’s worst result since the end of World War II. The far-right also increased its score. The Freedom Party got 13.08 per cent, up 6.31 points, while the Alliance for the Future of Austria took 4.66 per cent. The Greens fell to 9.5 per cent.


Exit polls show the centre-right opposition Democratic Party has defeated the ruling centre-left Social
Democrats. The Democratic Party won 26.46 per cent of the vote, followed by Premier Borut Pahor’s Social Democrats with 18.22 per cent. This would give both parties two seats each in the European Parliament, out of Slovenia’s seven. The centre-right Nova Slovenija, which is not represented in the national parliament, was expected to lose a seat from the two it holds in the EU assembly, after winning 14.71 per cent. The centre-left junior coalition partners, Liberal Democracy Party and Zares, received 11.91 and 11.26 per cent of the vote respectively, giving them one seat each.


The centrist Fianna Fail party, led by Prime Minister Brian Cowen, has suffered a major voter backlash in a triple ballot, including local polls. Declan Ganley’s Libertas, which has its roots in the anti-Lisbon Treaty campaign in Ireland, looks unlikely to win a seat in the parliament for Ireland’s North West constituency, early returns show. In Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA which fought a guerrilla war against British rule for 30 years, topped the poll for the first time.


Despite an uninterrupted 14 years in government and the unprecedented economic crisis, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to easily win a fresh mandate after. Voting here is mandatory, with some 240,000 electors from a population of under half a million will choose their 60 parliamentary deputies as well as the six members of the European Parliament. The Grand Duchy’s political landscape has been dominated since WWII by Juncker’s Christian Social People’s Party. The opposition socialists of foreign minister Jean Asselborn is expected to remain the second political force in the country.


Slovakia saw a high turnout by its own standards – 19 per cent – which is two per cent up on the country’s 2004 poll – the lowest ever recorded in Europe. Preliminary results indicate the ruling party has won the elections, but an ultra-nationalist party picked up a seat amid low turnout. Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer took 31.05 per cent of the vote, adding two lawmakers to the three that already represent the party in the European Parliament. Smer’s junior coalition partner, the ultra-nationalist SNS party, known for its inflammatory rhetoric against the Roma and Hungarians, won its first seat with 5.39 per cent. The LS-HZDS party won one seat as well, losing two seats from 2004. The opposition liberal SDKU party of former prime minister Mikulas Dzurinda was second with 16.47 per cent, losing one of its three seats, while the opposition ethnic-Hungarian SMK party came third and kept its two seats. The fifth party to get into the parliament was the opposition Christian-Democrats, with two seats, one down from 2004.


The centre-right opposition party came out on top of the ruling socialists of premier Sergey Stanishev, according to exit polls. Figures showed the GERB party of Sofia mayor Boyko Borisov winning between 25.5 and 26.5 per cent of the vote. It was followed by the ruling Bulgarian Socialist party, with between 19.5 and 20 per cent. The liberal Turkish minority MRF party scooped support from between 13 and 14.1 per cent, followed by the ultra-nationalist Ataka party of firebrand Volen Siderov, with between 10 and 12 per cent support. The Blue Coalition of the small UDF and DSB right-wing parties garnered between 7.7 and 8.4 per cent. The liberal NMSP party of former child king Simeon II won between 6.6 and 7.3 per cent of the vote.

The Netherlands

Dutch far-right and anti-Islamic demagogue Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party came second with 17 per cent of the vote, winning four seats in the assembly – near-complete results indicate. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s Christian Democrats lost over four percentage points to finish with less than 20 per cent of the vote. The release of the Dutch results broke rules banning their publication before the close of polls across the 27-nation bloc at 8pm GMT Sunday.


Cyprus’s ruling communist party was narrowly beaten by the right-wing opposition Disy party after a campaign dominated by the division of the island and whether it should support Turkey’s application to join the EU. President Demetris Christofias’s Akel party took 34.9 per cent of the vote, and will hang on to its two seats in Brussels, while Disy will lose one of its three MEPs even though they beat Akel by a percentage point. The remaining two seats were taken by the centrist Diko (12.28 per cent) and the socialists of Edek (9.85 per cent). Voter turnout was down at 59.4 per cent.


Taking 24.32 per cent of the vote, preliminary results show the right-wing Civic Union party has won the elections in post communist Latvia – the European country worst hit by the economic crisis. The Harmony Centre party, which draws its support from Latvia’s large Russian-speaking population, came second with 19.53 per cent. Latvia has eight seats in the EU Parliament. Two out of five parties in the centre-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis did not win any seats. Apart from the Civic Union, Dombrovskis’ New Era party won 6.66 per cent of the vote, while the Union of the Fatherland and Freedom received 7.46 per cent.


Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius’s conservative party finished first with 26 per cent of the vote, according to near total results. The party looks set to take four of the 12 parliament seats accorded to Lithuania, an ex-Soviet Baltic state of 3.4 million people. With 82 per cent of the ballot counted, the Social Democrats ranked second with 18.99 per cent of the vote, winning three seats. The populist Order and Justice party took 12.55 per cent, or two seats. It was followed by the centre populist Labour Party, with 9.26 per cent. A party representing ethnic Poles, the Polish Election Action in Lithuania, managed one seat winning 8.01 per cent of the vote. The Union of Liberals party, polling at 7.14 per cent, has also won a seat.


Estonia’s largest opposition party, the left-leaning Centre Party, came out in front, taking two of the country’s six seats. The Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip took one of the six seats commanded by the tiny Baltic nation of 1.3 million people. Another party in the governing coalition – the centre-right Pro Patria and Res Publica – took one seat. The Social Democrats and the independent Indrek Tarand shared the last two seats.

Czech Republic

Despite stayaway voters, the Czech eurosceptics of the Free Citizens’ Party, and Sovereignty, did not make it to the parliament. The right-wing Civic Democrats of former prime minister Mirek Topolanek were the largest party, with 30.95 per cent after just under 94 per cent of votes were counted. The left-wing Social Democrats took 22.75 per cent, with the Communists on 14.43 per cent and the centre-right Christian Democrats picking up 7.78 per cent. The elections were seen as a test for October general elections that follow the embarrassing collapse of the Topolanek government midway through the Czech EU presidency.


Fractured Belgium went to the polls in both European and regional elections, which could change the country’s political landscape. Surveys show the balance of power among French-speaking politicians is set to dramatically change, with big losses predicted for the Socialist Party both in the Brussels region and in Wallonia. There, the Liberals and the Greens are expected to come out on top. In Belgium’s third region of Flanders, the political landscape is even more fragmented because only the Christian Democrats look likely to pass the 20 per cent mark. However, losses in the other regions could deprive Christian Democrat premier Herman Van Rompuy of a majority and lead to early elections, prompting Flanders to reiterate its demands for greater autonomy – a move some fear could lead to the break-up of the kingdom.


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