In cooperation with the South East Europe at LSE blog, EUROPP ran a live blog with commentary on the European Parliament election results. Live updates were provided by Stuart Brown and Tena Prelec in London and Jakub Krupa in Brussels. Please note that the figures mentioned during live blogging were partial results, and might therefore not reflect the final outcome of the elections.

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Blog Admin May 25, 20148:02 pm

Welcome to our European Parliament election results live blog! Since Thursday, voters in all 28 EU states have been voting in the elections to determine the 751 MEPs who will make up the next Parliament.

Although some exit poll data has already been announced in certain countries, exit polls will be officially released at 10PM (Brussels time/9PM UK time) and official election results will be announced from 11PM (Brussels time/10PM UK time) onwards.

Blog Admin May 25, 20148:11 pm

First impressions from Austria are that the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) has fallen short of the two mainstream parties in the vote, with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) coming out in first place.

Blog Admin May 25, 20148:17 pm

The FPÖ were one of the main populist/anti-EU parties expected to do well in the vote and while they have fallen short of the first place expected to be achieved by other anti-EU parties such as UKIP in the UK and the Front National in France, they still appear to have drastically increased their share of the vote from the 12.7 per cent they gained in the 2009 elections.

Blog Admin May 25, 20148:23 pm

Interesting thoughts from Cas Mudde (University of Georgia) who argues that the narrative of populist/anti-EU parties doing well across the whole of Europe is flawed and that what we are really seeing is isolated anti-EU parties doing well in specific countries.

This ties in with a previous blog post in which he argued that the notion of a sharp rise in far-right support across Europe during the crisis had been overstated: http://bit.ly/13RLni3

Blog Admin May 25, 20148:29 pm

In Poland, Law and Justice, who are members of the ECR group containing the UK’s Conservative Party, were initially expected to come out comfortably ahead in the election after polling consistently higher than their main rival, Civic Platform, over the last year. This poll lead has narrowed significantly in recent months, however, and Jakub Krupa in Brussels notes that exit polls in the country show Civic Platform may have narrowly pipped Law and Justice to first place.

Blog Admin May 25, 20148:39 pm

The European Parliament elections are not the only elections happening in Europe this weekend. Ukraine is also holding its Presidential election, following the crisis that has engulfed the country. Although the results are to be formally confirmed on Monday, Petro Poroshenko has already declared victory, with an estimated 55 per cent of votes, followed by Yulia Tymoshenko on 19 per cent. Turnout is also reported to be high at over 60 per cent.

Gideon Rachman writes that Ukraine has cast a shadow over the European symbolism of these elections in his commentary for BDlive:

“It is no coincidence that Ukraine has chosen to hold its own presidential election on the same day as elections to the EU parliament. What better way of demonstrating that the country looks to Brussels, not Moscow? But the symbolism is looking rather forlorn. […] A strong presence of the political extremes in the European parliament will be welcome to the Kremlin — and confusing to liberal political forces on the fringes of the EU, which look to Brussels and Strasbourg for support.”

Blog admin May 25, 20148:45 pm

Brussels: the “Spitzenkandidaten”, i.e. the top candidates for the post of European Commission president, are making their way into the Parliament. The final race is deemed to be down to German Social Democrat Martin Schulz (S&D) and Luxembourg Christian Democrat Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP, centre-right). Also concurring are Belgian Liberal Guy Verhofstadt, French Green Jose Bove and far-left candidate Alexis Tsipras. Christine Lagarde is rumoured to be a potential outsider candidate.

After the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission President now needs to be chosen in the light of the European Parliament elections results. However, the European Council has not formally endorsed the new process yet – and could therefore still reserve the right to themselves to pick a different candidate.

This is Green co-candidate Ska Keller, who told journalists: “we are still to make decision who to endorse for EC Pres, we want to hear their take on our ideas”.

Blog admin May 25, 20148:47 pm

Brussels: the “Schpitzenkandidaten”, i.e. the top candidates for the post of European Commission president, are making their way into the Parliament. The final race is deemed to be down to German Social Democrat Martin Schulz (S&D) and Luxembourg Christian Democrat Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP, centre-right). Also standing are Belgian Liberal Guy Verhofstadt, French Green José Bové and far-left candidate Alexis Tsipras.

After the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission President now needs to be chosen in light of the European Parliament election results. However, the European Council has not formally endorsed the new process yet – and could therefore still reserve the right to propose a different candidate.

This is Green co-candidate Ska Keller, who told journalists: “we are still to make a decision on who to endorse for EC Pres, we want to hear their take on our ideas”.

Blog admin May 25, 20148:48 pm

Brussels: the “Spitzenkandidaten”, i.e. the top candidates for the post of European Commission president, are making their way into the Parliament. The final race is deemed to be down to German Social Democrat Martin Schulz (S&D) and Luxembourg Christian Democrat Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP, centre-right). Also standing are Belgian Liberal Guy Verhofstadt, French Green José Bové and far-left candidate Alexis Tsipras.

After the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission President now needs to be chosen in light of the European Parliament election results. However, the European Council has not formally endorsed the new process yet – and could therefore still reserve the right to propose a different candidate.

This is Green co-candidate Ska Keller, who told journalists: “we are still to make a decision on who to endorse for EC Pres, we want to hear their take on our ideas”.

Blog Admin May 25, 20148:54 pm

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People’s Party (EPP) candidate for Commission President, has written on Twitter that the EPP is “in the process of winning the European Parliament elections” and that they therefore claim the President of the Commission. This would match previous polling estimates from PollWatch which gave the EPP a lead of 16 seats.

However Sigmar Gabriel, leader of Germany’s SPD, has a different message in praising Martin Schulz’ campaign.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:06 pm

News is beginning to filter through on the turnout. As Roger Scully notes, the first evidence is that overall turnout may be up, although only by a very small margin.

Turnout has consistently fallen in European Parliament elections over recent years and stopping that decline was a major focus in terms of the EU’s alleged democratic deficit. As Mats Persson has argued, it does not say a great deal positive about the Parliament if turnout continues to fall, despite the Parliament gaining increased powers (namely the Lisbon Treaty’s extension of co-decisionmaking between the Parliament and national governments in the Council of the EU).

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:08 pm

…Roger Scully was perhaps being sarcastic with that tweet.

Blog admin May 25, 20149:11 pm

Exit polls show turnout was lowest in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia and Poland. As already remarked in earlier hours:

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:13 pm

In Germany, smaller parties have been given a greater chance of winning a seat in the European Parliament after the German Constitutional Court ruled against the electoral threshold previously used in the country’s European elections. As Kai Arzheimer notes, this may have opened the door to the controversial far-right National Democratic Party of Germany, which looks like it may gain a seat.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:22 pm

The broader picture in the German exit polls looks like this:

The 7.1 per cent for the anti-euro Alternative für Deutschland would rank as an extremely impressive result for the party and arguably entrench their place in the Germany party system (having narrowly missed the 5 per cent electoral threshold in last September’s federal elections).

Blog admin May 25, 20149:27 pm

Voter turnout as visualized by Euractiv:

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:29 pm

The full turnout figures across Europe are available here: http://www.results-elections2014.eu/en/turnout.html

Belgium, which was also hosting national elections, alongside Luxembourg, are top on 90 per cent, Slovakia the lowest at only 13 per cent.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:35 pm

The latest update from exit polls in France shows Marine Le Pen’s Front National comfortably ahead of the mainstream centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:37 pm

While UK turnout was up slightly on 2009, LSE’s James Ker-Lindsay suggests the independence debates taking place in Scotland (as well as in Catalonia in Spain) may have helped increase turnout.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:43 pm

The first estimates are now in (ahead of schedule) for the make up of the next Parliament.

The EPP are down significantly from what they achieved in 2009, but are still predicted to be the largest group in the Parliament.

Blog admin May 25, 20149:44 pm

Nigel Farage’s UKIP wins European elections in the United Kingdom, according to ‘Die Welt’: UKIP 30% LAB 26% CON 23% LDEM 8% GRN 7%.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:50 pm

The Party of European Socialists’ S&D group have responded to the first estimate by stating that as the EPP has lost support since 2009 there is a ‘real demand for change’ from the last Parliament. This implies that the EPP will have to compromise to receive the support of S&D over Juncker’s candidacy for Commission President. It is also important to note that without the S&D’s support, it is unlikely that Juncker could gain a majority in the European Parliament.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:54 pm

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group, is currently speaking in the Parliament. He notes that the nomination of Commission candidates is at the heart of the small increase in turnout experienced during the election.

He also points out that while some countries such as France have seen anti-EU parties doing well, this is not the case all over Europe. In the Netherlands in particular, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom has finished some distance behind the pro-EU Democrats 66 party.

Blog Admin May 25, 20149:59 pm

With the official announcement of results due shortly, Michiel van Hulten summarises the story so far as:

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:04 pm

UK Conservative Struan Stevenson is now speaking on behalf of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group. He states that he does not believe putting forward candidates for Commission President prior to the election was a legitimate course of action and that the ECR is unlikely to support Jean-Claude Juncker.

Broadly he also argues that the results show there is a clear consensus for reform across the EU.

Blog admin May 25, 201410:08 pm

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) of Sergey Stanishev, who is also president of the European Socialist Party, is set to come a distant second after centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). Stanishev admitted the unsatisfying results and tried to turn the attention to the low turnout (35% in Bulgaria).

Some commentators are already calling for his resignation:

The left is said to have been punished for its association with Russia. Much of the debate in Bulgaria has been centered around the association with Moscow of the extremist parties, both on the left and on the right side of the spectrum (far-right Ataka being the most emblematic example).

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:12 pm

Results are now becoming clear in Spain, with Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party topping the poll with most of the votes counted.

Despite being one of the worst hit states by the Eurozone crisis, Spain has not seen the emergence of a strong Eurosceptic/populist party during the elections. Turnout was marginally down from 2009.

Blog admin May 25, 201410:16 pm

In Italy, Matteo Renzi’s PD is predicted to scrape to victory against Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement. Pollsters seem to have once again underestimated the appeal of Grillo’s party, albeit not to the same extent as during the national elections in February 2013.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:21 pm

Although it was clear that the ruling Fidesz party would win comfortably in Hungary – particularly as they won national elections a little over a month ago – the far-right Jobbik also appear to have finished in second place in the country.

Blog admin May 25, 201410:22 pm

In Italy the campaign has been very heated, as mainstream parties feared an even larger surge of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement. Current and former PD leaders (Bersani, D’Alema, Letta, Renzi) decided to put all their disagreements aside to pull forces together. In the words of former PM Enrico Letta: “Attila (i.e. Grillo) is standing at the gates”.

Berlusconi, who was found guilty of fiscal fraud and was therefore deprived of the right to vote, declared that this represented “a real burden” for him – sitting and watching while the Left and the Five Star Movement are expected to collect a large amount of votes. Berlusconi has repeatedly likened Grillo to dictators such as “Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot” and stated that he is set to “demolish Italy’s democracy”. In the increasingly heated debate, even Berlusconi’s poodle Dudu was caught in the cross-fire, as Grillo suggested the animal should be subjected to vivisection (ensuing political controversies abounded, to the point that weekly L’Espresso even dedicated a blog to the animal).

While Berlusconi misses his European political engagement, it is unlikely that EU politicians will feel the same about him. Jeremy Paxman has duly reminded us of Berlusconi’s Merkel gaffe in a recent interview with him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvyuW-xn55M

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:23 pm

Nigel Farage is now speaking to journalists. He states that the increase in Eurosceptics might not make a huge difference at the EU level, but it will make a difference at the domestic level. He argues that this makes European integration no longer seem “inevitable”.

Blog admin May 25, 201410:28 pm

Farage reaching out a hand to Putin

Blog admin May 25, 201410:33 pm

Facebook exchange:

– Voting Forza Italia in 2014 – that’s so 1990s.

– Voting Front National in 2014 – that’s so 1920s.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:36 pm

Estimates of seats in Greece show that Alexis Tsipras’ SYRIZA has come out one seat ahead of New Democracy.

As LSE’s Spyros Economides wrote before the election, the vote had a clear division between those who broadly supported the country’s austerity programme and reform project (who would therefore support New Democracy) and those who opposed it (who would support SYRIZA).

Blog admin May 25, 201410:37 pm

Facebook exchange:

– Voting Forza Italia in 2014 – that’s so 1990s.

– Voting Front National in 2014 – that’s so 1920s.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:46 pm

Hugo Dixon sums up the latest picture in the UK:

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:50 pm

The polls in Italy are now looking better for Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party than earlier, with the party now sitting at 34.5 per cent – around 9 per cent ahead of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:52 pm

The latest updates for the number of seats each group will hold in the Parliament are available here (continually updated): http://www.results-elections2014.eu/en/election-results-2014.html

Blog admin May 25, 201410:52 pm

Breaking: controversial Bulgarian MEP Delyan Peevski, whose appointment to President of the State Agency “National Security” prompted the mass public protests exactly one year ago, was elected – but won’t take up his seat, Euractiv reports.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:53 pm

UKIP representative talking to journalists, states that the only thing the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group will say about future alliances in the Parliament is that they will not co-operate with the Front National.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:55 pm

In Sweden, the far-right Sweden Democrats look like winning two seats. The party are expected to join Marine Le Pen’s ‘Eurosceptic Alliance’ in the Parliament.

Blog Admin May 25, 201410:57 pm

Martin Schulz is now speaking in the Parliament. He states that he will try to form a majority for his election as Commission President despite the European People’s Party having the largest number of seats.

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:00 pm

Earlier exit polls in the Netherlands may have overstated the support for the pro-EU Democrats 66 party. Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) also has one more seat in these results than in the previous exit poll.

Blog admin May 25, 201411:06 pm

Breaking: controversial Bulgarian MEP Delyan Peevski, whose appointment to President of the State Agency “National Security” prompted the mass public protests exactly one year ago, was elected – but won’t take up his seat, Euractiv reports.

That should be welcome news for liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt, who previously stated Peevski will not be accepted into the ALDE group.

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:06 pm

Contrary to polling prior to the election, Peter Kellner from the polling company YouGov expects the Labour Party to have the highest support in Scotland ahead of the Scottish National Party (SNP), while UKIP may win one seat. That result might be seen as having some relevance for the Scottish independence referendum in September. The SNP were generally expected to top the European elections in Scotland.

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:09 pm

The earlier Dutch exit polls may have overstated the support for the pro-EU Democrats 66 party. Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom also appears to have one more seat than previously predicted in the exit polls.

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:15 pm

Guy Verhofstadt of ALDE states that it is not always the biggest party that takes the Commission President and that it is possible to build a majority around his candidature.

Blog admin May 25, 201411:19 pm

Lithuania has also held the second round of its presidential elections alongside the EP elections, hoping to raise the country’s meagre turnout rate during the 2009 EP elections. The Social Democrat LSDP has won the largest share of the vote in the 2014 European elections, while incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite has been reelected as president.

Although the adoption of the Euro is now becoming a less popular measure, popularity of the EU is still quite high in Lithuania (66%) and there are no real Eurosceptic parties. For more, read Mažvydas Jastramskis’ post for EUROPP: http://bit.ly/1ii7AN0

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:19 pm

Ska Keller, Commission President candidate for the Greens, is now speaking at the Parliament. She states that Green parties have made large gains in several countries including Sweden, the UK, Ireland and Croatia.

On the Commission President, she says that only one of the candidates previously nominated should become President, but that the Greens will only support a candidate who prioritises environmental issues and sustainable employment.

Blog admin May 25, 201411:22 pm

Lithuania held the second round of the country’s presidential elections alongside their EP elections, hoping to raise the meagre turnout experienced in the last European elections in 2009. The Social Democrat LSDP topped the polls in Lithuania for the EP elections, while incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite has been reelected as president.

Although the adoption of the euro is now becoming a less popular measure, popularity of the EU is still quite high in Lithuania (66%) and there are no real Eurosceptic parties. For more, read Mažvydas Jastramskis’ post for EUROPP: http://bit.ly/1ii7AN0

Blog admin May 25, 201411:25 pm

The turnout in South East Europe has been lower than the EU average. James Ker-Lindsay summarises:

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:31 pm

In France, while the Front National topped the poll, French President François Hollande’s Socialist Party is estimated to end up at around 14 per cent. This would be an even worse result than the (at the time extremely disappointing) 16.5 per cent the party received in 2009.

Blog admin May 25, 201411:33 pm

Countries waiting to get into the EU:

Even though they are not electing any MEPs, the effect of an extremist surge in the European Parliament could be considerable on these countries. As pointed out in a recent LSE event by Serbia’s Chief Negotiator to the EU, Tanja Miščević, even the existence of an EU Commissioner for Enlargement is rumoured to be in danger, should Eurosceptic forces have a big say.

Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia have been badly hit by disastrous floods in recent days, inflicting a further tragic burden on countries already struck by economic and political paralysis. EP president Martin Schulz visited Croatia to show solidarity.

Blog admin May 25, 201411:34 pm

Countries waiting to get into the EU:

Even though they are not electing any MEPs, the effect of an extremist surge in the European Parliament could be considerable on these countries. As pointed out in a recent LSE event by Serbia’s Chief Negotiator to the EU, Tanja Miščević, even the existence of an EU Commissioner for Enlargement is rumoured to be in danger, should Eurosceptic forces have a big say.

Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia (the latter already an EU member) have been badly hit by disastrous floods in recent days, inflicting a further tragic burden on countries already struck by economic and political paralysis. EP president Martin Schulz visited Croatia to show solidarity.

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:34 pm

Tim Farron, the President of the UK’s Liberal Democrats, states that it is possible the party will be reduced to having no MEPs in the European Parliament. However he says that the pro-EU campaign the party has fought has been “courageous” and that calls for the party’s leader, Nick Clegg, to stand down are misguided.

Former Labour MP Denis MacShane had this reaction:

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:46 pm

In the Czech Republic, the new ANO movement led by Andrej Babiš, which received a large share of the vote in the Czech parliamentary elections in 2013, appears to have topped the European elections in the country. This result may firmly establish ANO’s place in the Czech Republic’s party system, although the actual vote share at around 16.1 per cent is less than had been predicted prior to the elections.

Blog admin May 25, 201411:47 pm

Contest for European Commission president:

With official exit polls showing the EPP ahead, it is now clear that Juncker stands a better chance than his direct opponent Martin Schulz.

Moreover, one of Schulz’s campaign posters appears to have backfired, as he used a nationalist argument in a European vote (“A German can become EU Commission president only if you vote for Martin Schulz and the SPD”).

Juncker is not getting much better treatment either, as commentators mock both candidates’ eagerness to present themselves as the man for the job. The Guardian’s Ian Traynor remarks:

Will the man for the job end up being… a woman?

Blog admin May 25, 201411:48 pm

Contest for European Commission president:

With official exit polls showing EPP’s lead, it is now clear that Juncker stands a better chance over his direct opponent Martin Schulz.

The campaign wasn’t all plain sailing. One of Schulz’s campaign poster backfired, as he used a nationalist argument in a European vote (A German can become EU Commission president only if you vote for Martin Schulz and the SPD)

Juncker is not getting a much better treatment either, as commentators mock both contendant’s eagerness to present themselves as the man for the job. The Guardian’s Ian Traynor remarks:

Will the man for the job end up being… a woman? (i.e. Christine Lagarde)

Blog admin May 25, 201411:49 pm

Contest for European Commission president:

With official exit polls showing EPP’s lead, it is now clear that Juncker stands a better chance over his direct opponent Martin Schulz.

The campaign wasn’t all plain sailing. One of Schulz’s campaign poster backfired, as he used a nationalist argument in a European vote (“A German can become EU Commission president only if you vote for Martin Schulz and the SPD”).

Juncker is not getting a much better treatment either, as commentators mock both contendant’s eagerness to present themselves as the man for the job. The Guardian’s Ian Traynor remarks:

Will the man for the job end up being… a woman?

Blog admin May 25, 201411:49 pm

Contest for European Commission president:

With official exit polls showing the EPP ahead, it is now clear that Juncker stands a better chance over his direct opponent Martin Schulz.

One of Schulz’s campaign posters appears to have backfired, as he used a nationalist argument in a European vote (A German can become EU Commission president only if you vote for Martin Schulz and the SPD)

Juncker is not receiving much better treatment either, as commentators have mocked both candidates’ eagerness to present themselves as the man for the job. The Guardian’s Ian Traynor remarks:

Will the man for the job end up being… a woman? (i.e. Christine Lagarde)

Blog admin May 25, 201411:52 pm

Contest for European Commission President:

With official exit polls showing the EPP ahead, it is now clear that Juncker stands a better chance over his direct opponent Martin Schulz.

One of Schulz’s campaign posters appears to have backfired, as he used a nationalist argument in a European vote (A German can become EU Commission president only if you vote for Martin Schulz and the SPD)

Juncker is not receiving much better treatment either, as commentators have mocked both candidates’ eagerness to present themselves as the man for the job. The Guardian’s Ian Traynor remarks:

Will the man for the job end up being… a woman? (i.e. Christine Lagarde)

Blog Admin May 25, 201411:59 pm

A surprising result in Latvia where Unity, who are currently in government, are estimated to have won four seats, while the Russophone Harmony Centre is only on one seat. This is substantially different from the pre-election polls, which had predicted Harmony Centre would come out on top. It may also have some links to the Ukraine crisis, given the large Russian speaking minority living in the country: http://bit.ly/1osjqXK

Blog Admin May 26, 201412:09 am

Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA, who topped the poll in Greece, and Commission President candidate for the Party of the European Left, has responded to the results on Twitter:

Blog Admin May 26, 201412:10 am

Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA (who topped the poll in Greece) and Commission President candidate for the Party of the European Left, has responded to the results on Twitter:

Blog admin May 26, 201412:15 am

In Croatia, the leading Social-democratic party (SDP) seem to have done everything they could to lose the elections. Early this year, PM Zoran Milanović’s (SDP) popularity fell due to a populist referendum banning gay marriage from Croatia’s constitution, which he had tried to oppose (see interview with him: http://bit.ly/1h3lfNh), and due to them scoring plenty of own goals.

That aside, the general commentary in Croatia has largely focused on MEP candidates hunting for a well-paid seat in Brussels. Reporting about the elections has been extremely low in the mainstream media, and electoral campaigns were pretty much non-existent.

Considering the above, there are two suprising elements in the Croatian results:

1) turnout has actually risen from last year’s MEP elections (from 20.8% to 25.06%)

2) the SDP didn’t do as bad as they could, coming in a close second to right-wing party HDZ (the one founded by Franjo Tudjman)

Possible third surprise:

3) Green Party ORaH won a seat, confirming an overall good result for the European Greens.

Blog Admin May 26, 201412:17 am

With most of the votes counted in Portugal, the opposition Socialist Party has topped the poll with around 31.5 per cent, around 4 per cent ahead of the ruling centre-right Social Democratic Party of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho. Much like Spain, despite being hard hit by the Eurozone crisis there was no emergence of a strong Eurosceptic party, but the turnout was only 34.5 per cent.

Blog admin May 26, 201412:24 am

In Croatia, the leading Social-democratic party (SDP) seem to have done everything they could to lose the elections. Early this year, PM Zoran Milanović’s (SDP) popularity fell due to a populist referendum banning gay marriage from Croatia’s constitution, which he had tried to oppose (see interview with him: http://bit.ly/1h3lfNh), and due to the SDP scoring plenty of own goals.

That aside, the general commentary in Croatia has largely focused on MEP candidates hunting for a well-paid seat in Brussels. Reporting about the elections has been extremely low in the mainstream media, and electoral campaigns were pretty much non-existent.

Considering the above, there are two suprising elements in the Croatian results:

1) turnout has actually risen from last year’s MEP elections (from 20.8% to 25.06%)

2) the SDP didn’t do as bad as they could, coming in as a close second to right-wing party HDZ (the one founded by Franjo Tudjman)

Possible third surprise:

3) Green Party ORaH won a seat, confirming an overall good result for the European Greens.

Blog Admin May 26, 201412:30 am

In Belgium, the estimates show the Flemish Nationalist party, New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA), coming out on top with four seats. This would be a strong result for the party and one more seat than had been predicted in pre-election polls. This is particularly important as Belgium is also holding national elections this weekend and there is apprehension over whether a similarly difficult process of government formation as took place in 2010 might occur again (in 2010 a government was only formed after 20 months of negotiations).

Blog Admin May 26, 201412:44 am

In Finland, the largest party in the Finnish Parliament, the National Coalition Party, has come out ahead of the Centre Party. The Eurosceptic Finns Party, while winning two seats, appears to have polled substantially less than predicted in pre-election polls. It is only on 12.9 per cent, while the polls had predicted it would receive as much as 21 per cent in the vote.

Blog Admin May 26, 201412:50 am

The Liberal Democrats in the UK have managed to win a seat in the South East England region. Earlier it had looked possible that the party would fail to gain any representation in the European Parliament.

Blog admin May 26, 201412:52 am

In Slovenia, the EPP group won the lion’s share, scooping 5 seats of out 8.

The only S&D seat will be taken up by Social Democrat Tanja Fajon, an MEP who is popular across Europe (and especially Albania), due to her role in brokering visa liberalisation agreements.

The independent newcomer Verjamem (We believe) won a seat – remarkable result for a party without even a website. Its only online PR tool seem to be a twitter account with 15 tweets (https://twitter.com/verjamem)

In recent weeks, the Slovenian political arena has been dominated by Zoran Jankovic’s re-election as leader of Positive Slovenia (PS), at the expense of the country’s Prime Minister, Alenka Bratusek, who subsequently submitted her resignation as PM on 5 May. Bratusek fought hard to avoid an international bailout of Slovenian state-owned banks, and has succeeded in this respect; however, this came at the cost of increased taxation and higher foreign government debt, resulting in a fall in popularity. Jankovic took the opportunity to successfully challenge Bratusek’s leadership at the party’s annual congress, thus provoking her resignation, with national elections expected in July.

Positive Slovenia ended up not winning any seats in the EP elections today.

Blog admin May 26, 201412:59 am

In Slovenia, the EPP group won the lion’s share, scooping 5 seats of out 8.

The only S&D seat will be taken up by Social Democrat Tanja Fajon, an MEP who is popular across Europe (and especially Albania), due to her role in brokering visa liberalisation agreements.

The independent newcomer Verjamem (We believe) won a seat – a remarkable result for a party without even a website. Its only online PR tool seem to be a twitter account with 15 tweets (https://twitter.com/verjamem)

In recent weeks, the Slovenian political arena has been dominated by Zoran Jankovic’s re-election as leader of Positive Slovenia (PS), at the expense of the country’s Prime Minister, Alenka Bratusek, who subsequently submitted her resignation as PM on 5 May. Bratusek fought hard to avoid an international bailout of Slovenian state-owned banks, and has succeeded in this respect; however, this came at the cost of increased taxation and higher foreign government debt, resulting in a fall in popularity. Jankovic took the opportunity to successfully challenge Bratusek’s leadership at the party’s annual congress, thus provoking her resignation, with national elections expected in July.

Positive Slovenia ended up not winning any seats in the EP elections today.

Blog Admin May 26, 20141:07 am

Cyprus went to the polls just over a year after a deep financial crisis. Hardening attitudes toward the EU appear to have been most evident in the turnout, which dropped from 59.4 to 44 per cent. In terms of seats, the results ended up with the governing centre-right DISY (EPP) of President Nicos Anastasiades and the opposition communist party AKEL (GUE/NGL) gaining two seats each.

Blog admin May 26, 20141:09 am

Socialists win in Romania, which has also surprised everyone with a slightly higher turnout.

Blog Admin May 26, 20141:11 am

In Denmark, the populist Danish People’s Party (DPP) has won around 27 per cent of the vote to top the national poll. This is in line with pre-election predictions, but will see the party double its number of MEPs from two to four.

Morten Messerschmidt, the party’s leading candidate, responded by stating:

“I see it as a clear indication that the Danes want the EU back on track… Around Europe we are some democratic, civilised but EU critical parties – such as the Danish People’s Party, such as the British Conservatives and others – who now try to steer back the EU to what it is all about, to find a solution to trade, environment and energy challenges we have across borders, but not an EU that’s going to interfere in everything.”

Blog Admin May 26, 20141:20 am

That brings to an end our live blog of the election results. We will post an ‘expert reaction’ piece tomorrow with some in-depth comments from LSE academics to the election results. From everyone at the team thanks for reading!

Blog admin May 26, 20141:25 pm

Countries waiting to get into the EU:

Even though they are not electing any MEPs, the effect of an extremist surge in the European Parliament could be considerable on these countries. As pointed out in a recent LSE event by Serbia’s Chief Negotiator to the EU, Tanja Miščević, even the existence of an EU Commissioner for Enlargement is rumoured to be in danger, should Eurosceptic forces have a big say.

Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia have been badly hit by disastrous floods in recent days, inflicting a further tragic burden on countries already struck by economic and political paralysis. EP president Martin Schulz visited Croatia (already an EU member) to show solidarity.

Blog Admin May 27, 20144:13 am

Brussels: the “Spitzenkandidaten”, i.e. the top candidates for the post of European Commission president, are making their way into the Parliament. The final race is deemed to be down to German Social Democrat Martin Schulz (S&D) and Luxembourg Christian Democrat Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP, centre-right). Also standing are Belgian Liberal Guy Verhofstadt, French Green José Bové and far-left candidate Alexis Tsipras. Christine Lagarde is rumoured to be a potential outsider candidate.

After the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission President now needs to be chosen in the light of the European Parliament elections results. However, the European Council has not formally endorsed the new process yet – and could therefore still reserve the right to themselves to pick a different candidate.

This is Green co-candidate Ska Keller, who told journalists: “we are still to make a decision on who to endorse for EC Pres, we want to hear their take on our ideas”.

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