Coming up

Don't miss




Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more


Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more


The French Maestro of Soul

Read more


US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more


Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more


Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more


'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more


French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more


'I love the Socialists'

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more


Historic gains for far-right in European elections

© Photo: AFP (Marine le Pen of FN (L) and UKIP's Nigel Farage (R))

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-27

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) came out on top in the European Parliament elections Sunday, but the night belonged to eurosceptic parties, chief among them France’s National Front (FN), who achieved big gains across the continent.

Eurosceptic and far-right parties won the vote in several of the EU’s 28 member states, including France, the UK and Denmark, and are set to take around 130 of the European Parliament’s 751 seats.

The centre-right EPP will have the most seats in the new parliament, with 211, ahead of the Socialists on 193, followed by the Liberals (74 seats), Greens (58) and the far-left GUE/NGL group (47).

Voter turnout stayed at 43 percent, the same as 2009’s record low.

EPP leader Jean-Claude Juncker claimed his party had the right to choose the next President of the European Commission, based on the election results. Although the head of the Commission is chosen by EU heads of state in the European Council, their choice must be validated by the European Parliament.


The far-right National Front, headed by Marine Le Pen, scored more votes than any other party in France, giving it more than 20 of the country’s 74 seats in the new parliament.

France’s Prime Minister Manual Valls called the FN’s victory a political “earthquake”.  He and President François Hollande are due to hold a crisis meeting on Monday morning.

The centre-right UMP won a projected 20 European Parliament seats, while it was a disastrous night for Hollande’s Socialists, who will send just 12 MEPs to the new parliament. Reporting from the ruling party's headquarters, FRANCE 24's Nicholas Rushworth said that the results were seen as "horrific".

European Parliament seat projections for France


Despite a sharp decline in support, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc came out on top in Germany with 35.3 percent of the vote, down from a 23-year-high of 41.5 percent in last year's federal election, but still a clear victory. The centre-left Social Democrats, her coalition partners, took 27.3 percent.

The anti-euro Alternative for Germany won seats for the first time, with 7 percent.


Along with France’s National Front, one of the election’s biggest stories was the success of the nationalist UKIP party in the UK, which is set to come out on top among British voters with Labour in second.

UKIP led all parties with 27.5 per cent of the vote. Labour was second with 25.4 per cent. The governing Conservatives collected 24 per cent of the vote.

A historic victory for Britain’s eurosceptic UKIP

With results declared in 10 of the UK’s 12 voting regions, UKIP had secured 23 EU parliamentary seats. The party won 13 seats at the last European election in 2009 but has no MPs in the national parliament at Westminster.

A victory for UKIP would be the first time in over a century that a British election has not been won by either of the two mainstream parties, Labour and Conservatives.

Speaking in the English port city of Southampton after his own re-election, Nigel Farage, UKIP's leader, hailed his party's success as historic.

"The people's army of UKIP have spoken tonight and delivered just about the most extraordinary result that has been seen in British politics for 100 years. We will go on next year to a general election with a targeting strategy and I promise you this: You haven't heard the last of us."

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives look set to be the country’s biggest losers, along with their Liberal Democrat coalition partners.


New Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party led emphatically in what was considered in Italy his "first electoral test" since he took power in February, FRANCE 24's Seema Gupta reported from Rome. The early results suggested Renzi’s party had collected 41.4 percent of the vote.

Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star movement – which tried to “tap into a frustration that a lot of Italians feel with the recession, unemployment, and corrupt politicians” – came in second, while former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party lagged in third place.


Spain’s two main political parties, the conservative Popular Party and the Socialist Party, lost major ground to smaller parties, with a particular showing for the new left-wing party Podemos, which was born out Spain’s grassroots “Indignant” movement.


In Greece, official projections put the leftist eurosceptic Syriza party first with 26.7 percent. The ruling conservative New Democracy was at 22.8 percent, reflecting popular anger at harsh spending cuts adopted in recent years to meet the terms of Athens's EU/IMF bailout programme.

The extreme right Golden Dawn party was third with 9.4 percent, despite the fact that its leader and several lawmakers are in jail, pending trial.


In the Netherlands, however, the right-wing eurosceptic Party for Freedom dropped a seat from five to four but still finished second overall. Its outspoken leader, Geert Wilders, said in a statement his party looked forward to working with Marine Le Pen.


The ruling Fidesz party swept to victory with more than 51 per cent of the vote on a turnout below 30 per cent. The extreme right Jobbik party, widely accused of racism and anti-Semitism, overtook the Socialists to finish second.


For the first time, the country’s anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party took the most votes in an election – but it did not win the most seats. Although considered to have close ties with the extreme right, the party has rejected any collaboration with France’s National Front, which it regards as anti-Semitic and homophobic.

With 95 percent of votes counted, the People’s Party had gained three seats for a total of four.

The main government party, the Social Democrats, retained their five seats to remain the biggest party.


In Austria the right-wing Freedom Party made big gains, coming in third with 20 percent of the vote.

See our liveblog below for coverage of the day's events as they unfolded.

If you are using a tablet or smartphone click here.



Date created : 2014-05-25

  • EU

    Eurosceptics in spotlight on EU 'Super Sunday' vote

    Read more

  • UK

    UK eurosceptics surge in local poll ahead of European results

    Read more


    Video: What you need to know about the EU elections

    Read more