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Far-right parties to make gains in European Parliament election

An official opening a ballot box in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: SAKIS MITROLIDIS

Germany’s Green party doubled its share of the vote in Sunday’s European Parliament election, leaping into second place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

The far-right Alternative for Germany showed gains to 10.5% as Ms. Merkel’s party shed nine percentage points from five years ago.

Britain, which voted on Thursday, is also expected to return a large number of anti-EU MEPs. These, however, may not hold their seats for long as the British negotiate to leave the Union.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s far-right party edged just ahead of the centrist alliance of President Emmanuel Macron in exit poll. Ms. Le Pen’s National Rally would get just one more seat than Mr. Macron’s En Marche, with 24 of France’s 74 seats in the European Parliament, the poll showed.

The 20% mark

Overall, indications bolstered hopes among officials that hostile-to-Europe, populist parties may fall short of their greatest ambition to form a solid bloc of 20% of the 751-seat chamber. That figure could, combined with milder eurosceptics, see 30% of seats held by lawmakers bent on thwarting mainstream leaders’ plans for closer EU integration.

In the Netherlands, an upstart anti-immigration party came only fourth with 11%, according to an exit poll. The centre-left staged an unexpected comeback, helped by former Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans leading its EU-wide campaign.

In Austria, the Freedom Party, which took a lead in the renaissance of the far right across the continent, took a hammering, a projection showed. However, in Hungary, the eurosceptic party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban was on track to beat pre-vote poll expectations, a survey found.

The anti-immigration League of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini could find itself the biggest single party in the EU legislature if it can top the 28 seats, which polls indicate have been won by Ms. Merkel’s coalition.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 11:51:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/far-right-parties-to-make-gains-in-european-parliament-election/article27257110.ece

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