In both France and Italy nationalist anti-EU parties topped the polls, with Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Matteo Salvini’s Lega both getting the most votes. Far-right parties also made big gains in Sweden and Spain, while eurosceptic populists won the most votes in Poland and Hungary. Green parties, standing on an environmentalist and sometimes anti-capitalist platforms, also surged across Europe.
Meanwhile the main centre-right and centre-left groups in the European Parliament, which back the EU, suffered significant losses.
For the first time, combined, they will be unable to control a Parliamentary majority.
With the Brexit Party making spectacular gains in the UK this will make the European parliament harder to control for the next EU Commissioner.
In France the National Rally, formerly Front National, pushed President Macron’s liberal party into second place.
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European elections: Populist parties made dramatic gains across Europe
Reacting to the news Ms Le Pen called for fresh national assembly elections.
She said President Macron “must assume the consequences since he put his personal credit in the balance by making this a referendum on his policies and his person.
“He has no choice but to dissolve the National Assembly and chose a more democratic electoral system that would be more representative of opinion.”
Vox, a Spanish anti-immigration party which only recently became a significant electoral force, took seats in the European Parliament for the first time.
Following the European election results, Pedro Sanchez’s office announced the Spanish Prime Minister will travel to Paris today to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to analyse the results of the European parliamentary elections, the PM’s office said.
Mr Sanchez’s Socialist party (PSOE) finished first in Spain in the European election.
European elections: Supporters of the far-right National Rally celebrate victory in France
Nationalists also won big in Italy, with Salvini’s Lega finishing first on 29 percent, comfortably ahead of the main centre-left party on 24 percent.
Mr Salvini’s party, which won just 6 percent in the 2014 European parliament elections, is currently the junior partner in Italy’s government, alongside the populist five-star movement.
Reacting to the news he commented: “It is not only Lega that is the first in Italy, Nigel Farage is first in Britain.
“It is the sign of a Europe that is changing, of a Europe tired of the powers of the elites and multinationals.”
In Sweden the far-right Swedish Democrats took 17 percent of the vote, an increase of 7 percent on their last European election performance.
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European elections: Matteo Salvini’s Lega made big gains in Italy
The populist parties which govern Poland and Hungary, which have been accused of authoritarian tendencies, topped the polls in their respective countries.
Poland’s ruling Eurosceptic and nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) has surged to victory in the European elections.
The results calculated by the state electoral commission on the basis of 99.3 percent of polling stations showed PiS heading for its best result ever in a general or European Union election with 45.6 percent of votes.
It won 31.8 percent in the EU ballot five years ago and 37.6 percent in the 2015 parliamentary election.
Meanwhile, Hungary’s ruling Fidesz has seized 52 percent of the vote.
Fidesz, led by Victor Orban, were recently suspended from the centre-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament which accused it of promoting “anti-EU rhetoric” and threatening the rule of law.
Speaking after the result Mr Orban said his party would “cooperate with everyone who wants to stop immigration”.
Meanwhile Green parties also made dramatic gains across the continent, coming second in Germany ahead of the centre-left social democrats.
They also came second in Finland and shocked observers by getting the third most votes in France.
European elections: German Green supporters celebrate making big gains
Ska Keller, the German deputy leader of the Green group in the European Parliament, welcomed the result on Twitter.
She commented: “Thanks so much for your trust in us greens.
“This is a mandate for change; for environmental protection, a social Europe and democracy”.
In the UK Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party stormed to a 32 point lead, ahead of the second placed Liberal Democrats on 20 percent.
The governing Conservatives look to have been pushed into fifth place on nine percent, below the Green Party.
Combined the two eurosceptic blocs in the European Parliament, the populist Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy and far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom Group, gained 33 seats.