Farage’s Brexit party becomes single biggest group; France’s Le Pen beats Macron
Anti-EU parties have made big gains in the Sunday’s European Election, securing outright victory in France, the United Kingdom and Italy. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Matteo Salvini’s League party declared victory in their respective countries.
Anti-establishment conservatives also registered big wins, coming out victorious in Poland and Hungary. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) won a crushing victory with 46 percent of the vote. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party scored one of the biggest victories of the night, winning support of at least 52 percent of the electorate. Sunday’s vote was a mandate for “stopping immigration all across Europe,” Prime Minister Orban told the cheering crowd in Budapest. He vowed to “protect Christian culture in Europe.”
Both conservative parties do not belong to Salvini’s anti-EU alliance, the European Alliance of People and Nations (EAPN), but have expressed desire to work with him on the issues of immigration control and national sovereignty.
Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), member of the Salvini-led alliance, got around 10 percent of the vote, a slight improvement from its 2014 EU election performance.
Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit Party did better than predicted by most polls, taking 32 per cent of the British vote. “The Brexit Party has become the biggest single individual party in the European Parliament,” the British newspaper Express confirmed.
UK’s Daily Telegraph reported the British results:
The Brexit Party has won nine of the 10 regions to declare its results in the European elections, claiming 28 of 64 seats in the European Parliament.
Nigel Farage’s party came top in the North East, North West, East of England, Wales, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber, the South West and South East.
This came largely at the expense of the Conservative Party. Theresa May’s party have lost a huge share of the vote across all regions, so far losing 15 MEP seats to a total of three.
Democracy won tonight.
— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) May 27, 2019
Le Pen’s National Rally (NR) finished ahead of President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-EU en Marche party. The French nationlists won around 23 percent of the vote, ahead of Macron’s party at around 22 percent. The once powerful Socialist party was totally crushed, coming in the fifth place with almost 6 percent of the vote.
The outcome came as a blow to President Macron, who had been trying to position himself as the true leader of the EU as Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel departs from the political scene.
The TV network France24 reported the French results:
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen came out on top in France’s European Elections with 23.2 percent of the vote, in a blow for French President Emmanuel Macron, who had personally waded into the campaign.
“Vote against Macron,” the far-right National Rally’s (NR) tracts said. The results of Sunday’s vote suggest a quarter of French voters listened.
Marine Le Pen’s NR won 23.3% of the vote, Macron’s centrist La République en Marche (the Republic on the Move) came in second place with 22.1%, and there was a surprise surge for the Green Party, Europe Écologie Les Verts, who scored 13.1%.
The centre-right Les Républicains won 8.4% — their worst ever showing in an election — and the French Socialists languished in fifth place at 6.6 %.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has declared that her National Rally beat President Emmanuel Macron’s party in #EuropeanElections2019. Macron has vowed to combat nationalists at the European Parliament. pic.twitter.com/jr1ZFhmQHw
— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) May 26, 2019
In Italy, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and his governing League party triumphed over their political rivals, doubling the vote compared to the 2018 national elections, while their left-wing coalition partner, the Five Star Movement (M5S), lost half of its voters.
“I am counting on having allies everywhere to save the EU,” Salvini declared last night. “We finally have to change after decades of bureaucrats and bankers’ rules.”
The European new website Euractiv covered the outcome of the vote in Italy:
After just one year in government, the balance of power between Italy’s two ruling parties has been turned around: Lega doubled its score from last year’s 17.35% to 33.6%, while the Five Star Movement crumbled from 32.68% to 16.70%.
“People have given us the mission to put the rights to work and to healthcare at the heart of the European debate,” Lega’s leader Matteo Salvini told the press around 1:00 am, in what was the first comment by an Italian politician after the EU election results were announced.
In the distant contest opposing him to the anti-system Five Star Movement, the far-right Interior minister came out as the indisputable winner, as voters rewarded his hardline economic and migration policies.
WATCH | @matteosalvinimi: “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. Tomorrow, we will have to redouble our efforts!” ???? #EP2019 pic.twitter.com/0xpCLvtx5Z
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) May 27, 2019
Mainstream establishment parties were the biggest losers of the night — including Chancellor Merkel’s Christian conservatives, President Macron’s centrist party and Prime Minister May’s British conservatives, while the left-wing and environmentalist green parties also made huge electoral gains.
With Sunday’s results, the number of anti-EU members will hit a record high in the EU parliament. Salvini’s bloc alone may control atleast 150 seats in the new 751-seat house. With backing from the UK’s Brexit party, as well as the Polish and Hungrian conservatives, the anti-EU forces may get at least one-thirds of strength in the house, enough to block EU’s unpopular policies. Orban’s Fidesz party may also join Salvini’s EAPN alliance in the new parliament, some European media reports indicate.
Video: Nigel Farage speaks on Brexit Party’s electoral success
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