European Elections 2019: meanwhile, on a continent far away…

Welcome to Liberal Democrat Voice’s coverage of the results from the other 678 seats in the European Parliament. I’m your host, Mark Valladares, a member of the Party’s Federal International Relations Committee, and I’ll be highlighting some of the interesting results from across Europe. Stay tuned for the drama to come… I’ll be adding to the piece at the top, i.e. read upwards from the bottom…

01.00 We’re still awaiting final results from across most of Europe, given that they mostly voted today. But we can summarise thus. It’s been a good night for liberals, Greens and, unfortunately, the disruptive right. It’s been a bad night for the two monoliths of European politics, the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, who remain the largest groups, but will need to work a lot harder to build winning coalitions on policy issues going forward.

What does it mean for the Presidency of the European Commission? Perhaps the prospects of a compromise candidate from ALDE getting the nod have increased, with Margrethe Vestager looking like an interesting possible contender.

But we’ll be back in the morning with more news… Goodnight, everyone, sleep well…

00.07 Silvio Berlusconi has been elected to the European Parliament…

00.05 Into Monday morning now, thank heavens it’s a bank holiday and I don’t need to be in the office. Here’s the latest projection for the European Parliament as a whole…

23.10 Straying back to home ground for a moment, the strong showing of the Liberal Democrats has rather upset the predictions, with ALDE now expected to reach 108 MEPs…

22.42Final results in from Slovakia, where Progressive Slovakia are confirmed as the winners, gaining four of the fourteen Slovak seats. And good news from the Netherlands too, where it has been confirmed that Geert Wilders’s Party have lost their seat in the European Parliament.

22.38 Some good news from Hungary. Whilst FIDESZ have gained more than half the votes, the plucky liberal insurgents from Momentum have entered the European Parliament, gaining two seats.

22.16 It’s gone quiet. Some more interesting exit poll scores to fill that gap before the United Kingdom results start coming in…

In Ireland, the Greens have gone from 1.2% to 23%, seemingly at the expense of Sinn Fein, who are predicted to lose all of their seats, leaving them with one seat in Northern Ireland. Irony doesn’t cover that one.

21.42 More good news for opponents of the far-right from Denmark, where the Danish People’s Party have shed half of their 2014 vote.

The two ALDE member parties are Venstre and Radikale Venstre, both of whom have gained votes, and probably an extra seat each.

21.34 And we have our first actual result, from Finland…

Not much excitement there, with the right-wing True Finns making marginal progress, whilst the liberals of Keskusta lost votes to the Greens, whose rise from fifth to second mirrors the German exit poll data. The other ALDE member party, the Swedish People’s Party, polled their usual 6% or so, dominating the votes of the Swedish-speaking minority.

21.23 The big story tonight was supposed to be a surge from the far-right, but so far, what we’re seeing is significant improvements by the liberals and Greens, with both groups currently predicted to add thirty or more seats.

In Germany, the Alternativ fur Deutschland have made some progress, but not as much as had been expected, polling 12%, whilst an even more right-wing group, the National Democratic Party, are expected to have lost their sole seat. The big news there is the advance made by the Greens, doubling their share of the vote to 22%, and beating the Social Democrats into a distant third. From a liberal perspective, the Free Democrats have hung on with five seats, up two, and another group, the Free Voters, will gain a second seat.

20.57 The predicted turnout figure across the European Union is now 51%, although that disguises some real variations. In Malta, 72.6% of registered voters turned out – the lowest figure on record, compared to a 95% turnout at their last General Election. In Slovakia, turnout was up significantly, at 20%!

No luck for liberals in Malta, by the way, with the Partit Demokratiku gaining just 0.6% of the vote. However, in Slovakia, exit polls show the Progressive Slovakia coalition leading, having only come into existence in 2017.

20.51 And, whilst we’re looking at the potential new liberal forces, the Romanian exit polls show…

I met USR at a seminar they were holding in Timisoara, in late 2017, and was rather impressed. They’re anti-corruption, strongly internationalist, and I felt that they would make a far better fit than the existing Romanian member party. And given that the latter, ALDE Romania, have been part of a coalition government that has rather undermined the rule of law, a straight swap is only likely to be a good thing.

20.42 The exit polls in France may well be spun by the British media as a defeat for Macron, but they show a picture not unlike the last Presidential contest…

with Le Pen’s Rassemblement National slightly out-polling the Macron Coalition, but not by that much, and down on their 2014 performance. Interesting though how those two monoliths of recent French politics, the Republicans and the Socialists, have faded to virtual insignificance.

20.31 And how does that impact on the Parliament as a whole?

The two traditionally large groups, the European People’s Party and the Socialists and Democrats (who include Labour), are both down on 2014, whilst the new ALDE-based Group is up 34 seats and would be clearly the third force in the Parliament. Little difference elsewhere, as the far-right groups appear to be making little progress.

20.25 We’ve had our first prediction for the European Parliament as a whole, based on partial data from eleven countries…

20.20 And our first big news of the night is that the new ALDE Group in the European Parliament will include President Macron’s Renaissance Group, expected to return twenty or so MEPs, and a new Romanian Group, USR Plus, who are expected to gain eight or so seats.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.
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3 Comments

  • Graham Martin—Royle 26th May '19 - 10:26pm

    Just watching BBC reporting of the EU election results. To discuss, they have someone from labour, the tories and brexit, I.e. 3 pro brexit parties. LibDems appear on early results to be running in 2nd place but they don’t appear to have been invited, nobody from an anti brexit party has been it seems.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th May '19 - 3:34am

    Superb results!!!!!! Congratulations to victors, to each of us who have stuck with the party, through thick and thin, to Sir Vince, and colleagues in parliament, to friends here on LDV, we are back in business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I notice that the Spanish party Cuidadanos is still a member of ALDE. Cuidadanos is currently apparently planning to govern in Madrid Comunidad Autonoma and in the Ayuntamento de Madrid with the support of the neo-fascist Vox party. How is this compatible with a claim to be a liberal party?

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