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Election shifts the European Parliament further right

Far-right parties made big gains in the European Parliament in election results that rattled the traditional powers and made French President Emmanuel Macron call snap legislative elections.

Macron’s party suffered a heavy defeat from the far-right National Rally party, while in Germany support for Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats sank to a projected 14%, behind the extreme-right Alternative for Germany, which surged into second place.

Millions of Europeans voted for candidates to serve five-year terms in a new European Parliament, the legislative branch of the 27-member trade bloc. Provisional results from the voting that ended Sunday showed the Christian Democrats would have 189 seats, up 13, the Social Democrats 135, down 4 and the pro-business Renew group 83, down 19. The Greens slumped to 53, down 18.

Currently:

— France's Macron calls a snap election after heavy defeat

— Italy’s Meloni gets domestic and European boosts from win

— Far-right Alternative for Germany make gains

— Poland’s centrist premier Tusk is strengthened by EU election win

— Orbán’s party takes most votes, but challenger scores big win

— Complex coalition talks loom after Belgium's federal election

— Bulgaria’s center-right party leads in both national and European elections

— What happened in some of the key races

Here's the latest:

GERMANY'S FAR-RIGHT AFD PARTY EXCLUDES TOP CANDIDATE FROM NEW EU PARLIAMENT

BERLIN — The top candidate for Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany party, which finished second in the European election with 15.9% of the votes, will not be part of the future delegation to the European Parliament.

Maximilian Krah announced on X that the newly elected lawmakers from the party voted to exclude him at a meeting Monday.

“I think this is wrong and sends a devastating signal to our voters, especially our young voters," Krah said.

Krah was already banned from campaigning ahead of the European election after a series of scandals.

He was under scrutiny after authorities in Brussels searched his offices at the European Parliament in connection with an assistant who was arrested last month on suspicion of spying for China.

All AfD lawmakers were then expelled from the right-wing Identity and Democracy group in the European Parliament after Krah told an Italian newspaper that not all members of the Nazis’ elite SS unit were war criminals.

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS SNAP ELECTION IS MACRON'S ‘BET ON CONFIDENCE’ IN THE FRENCH PEOPLE

PARIS — France’s foreign minister said Monday that President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to call snap elections after the far right’s triumph in the European elections was not “a poker move” but “a bet on confidence in the French people.”

Stéphane Séjourné said Macron did not take lightly the decision to dissolve the lower house of parliament and call for early elections, which are to start with a first round on June 30 and a second round on July 7.

He said the president’s coalition partners are now discussing election plans internally while also seeking cooperation with “reasonable people” on the left and right. The aim of the moderate forces is to win, he said.

But it’s the French people who will decide “on the economic and political future of France and its role in world,” Séjourné said in an interview with public broadcaster France Info on Monday.

GREENS AND LEFT-WING PARTIES DO WELL IN NORDIC NATIONS

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Greens and left-leaning parties emerged as winners in the three Nordic EU members, underlying how environmental issues remain a focus of concern for many in that region.

Sweden, Denmark and Finland defied a trend seen across much of the EU in which far-right parties surged due to concerns over migration.

In Sweden, the far-right Sweden Democrats, who have been gaining support for years and became the second-largest party in 2022 national elections, came in fourth place on Sunday.

Christine Nissen, an analyst with the Copenhagen based think tank Europa, said Monday that security remains the top issue for voters in the Nordics, followed by climate and the green transition.

Many traditional parties in past years have adopted tough stances on migration.

In Denmark, pro-European Union parties prevailed, with the climate-friendly Socialist People’s Party making the largest gains. They were followed by the Social Democrats and the Liberals, which are both in the government.

In Finland, the governing conservative National Coalition Party garnered the most votes, nearly 25%. However, the Left Alliance made gains and the populist Finns Party lost its share compared to the last EU election, getting just 6%.

HEAD OF FRANCE'S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEFENDS MACRON'S DECISION TO DISSOLVE IT

PARIS — The president of France’s lower house of parliament says the president was not forced to dismiss the National Assembly but did so to show he was responsive to voters.

President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the legislature and called a snap election Sunday night after his party was handed a humbling defeat by the far-right in the European elections.

“There were other paths,” said Yaël Braun-Pivet, who has presided over the National Assembly since last the legislative elections in June 2022. But, Braun-Pivet, a member of Macron’s Renaissance party, said the president acted swiftly to “face reality” and to show that he has heard the voters’ message.

“We are told too often that we do not hear, that we are cut off from the people, and there, the president took a decision following a very clear vote by the French,” Braun-Pivet said in an interview with French public broadcaster on Monday.

AUSTRIA'S FAR-RIGHT PARTY CELEBRATES FIRST WIN IN A NATIONWIDE VOTE

VIENNA – Austria’s far-right Freedom Party is celebrating a narrow win in the European Parliament election as the country looks forward to a national vote expected in September.

The Freedom Party took 25.7% of the vote on Sunday, finishing in first place in a nationwide election for the first time. It was followed by Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s conservative Austrian People’s Party with 24.7% and the center-left opposition Social Democrats with 23.2%. The Greens, Nehammer’s junior coalition partners, took 10.7% of the vote.

Freedom Party leader Herbert Kickl said in a statement that “this election result means nothing less than that Austrians have made history today.” He said the party will continue to work to take the chancellor’s job later this year.

Nehammer acknowledged that there is “great dissatisfaction,” the Austria Press Agency reported. He vowed that his party will convince voters it takes their concerns seriously over the coming months by acting against irregular migration and overregulation.

ANTI-IMMIGRANT PARTY ALIGNED WITH HUNGARY'S ORBAN DOES WELL IN SLOVENIA

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – The right-wing opposition Slovenian Democratic Party has won the most votes in the EU election in Slovenia, dealing a blow to the ruling liberal Freedom Movement of Prime Minister Robert Golob.

The opposition SDS won 30.8%, or four out of Slovenia’s nine parliamentary seats, while Golob’s party won 22.1%, or two mandates, according to the election authorities. The remaining three seats went to smaller parties.

SDS leader Janez Jansa, a staunchly anti-immigrant ally of Hungary’s hard-line Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, urged the ruling coalition to dissolve parliament and call a snap election.

Golob, however, said he was happy with the result and that overall center-left parties won more votes than right-leaning groups.

MAINSTREAM CONSERVATIVES WIN IN GERMANY, WITH SECOND-PLACE FINISH FOR FAR RIGHT

BERLIN – Final results in Germany confirm a clear win for mainstream opposition conservatives, a second-place finish for the far-right Alternative for Germany party and a dismal showing by the three governing parties in the European Parliament election.

Official figures Monday showed the center-right Union bloc taking 30% of the vote. Alternative for Germany took 15.9%.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats won only 13.9% of the vote for their worst post-World War II showing yet in a nationwide election. Their two coalition partners, the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, took 11.9% and 5.2% respectively.

All were significantly below their results in Germany’s 2021 national election. The Greens suffered painful losses compared with the 2019 European election.

The new BSW party took 6.2% of the vote.

Germany has 96 of the new European Parliament’s 720 seats. Of those, 29 went to the Union, 15 to Alternative for Germany, 14 to the Social Democrats, 12 to the Greens, five to the Free Democrats and six to BSW. The rest went to a string of smaller parties.

WIN FOR DONALD TUSK'S CENTRIST PARTY IN POLAND AMID GROWTH OF FAR RIGHT

WARSAW, Poland — The centrist party of Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk won the most votes, according to official results, giving it its first electoral victory over a right-wing populist party in a decade.

Many people across Europe hailed Tusk’s return to power last year as a rare case of a democratic party prevailing over populist and authoritarian forces. While Sunday’s voting solidified Tusk’s position, the results published Monday also showed that his lead is small, and that support for the far right is rising.

His Civic Coalition took 37.1% of the votes in Sunday’s EU election. Law and Justice, the party led by Jarosław Kaczyński that held power from 2015 until last year, got 36.2%. That underlined the continued attraction of its nationalist and conservative worldview to many Polish voters, despite reports of corruption during its years in power.

Meanwhile, a far-right party, Confederation, had its best result ever, coming third with 12.1% — in line with an EU-wide surge of support for nationalist, anti-EU parties.

INITIAL PROJECTIONS INDICATE ITALIAN PREMIER GIORGIA MELONI'S PARTY HAS WON THE MOST VOTES

ROME — Initial projections based on 18% of votes counted in Italy indicate Premier Giorgia Meloni's far-right Brothers of Italy party has won the largest percentage of votes in the European parliamentary elections.

The projection released by public broadcaster RAI puts Brothers of Italy as the most popular party with 28.5% of the vote, while the center-left opposition Democratic Party (PD) was second with 23.7%.

The other main opposition party, the 5-Star Movement, won 10.5%, while Forza Italia, founded by late premier Silvio Berlusconi, was fourth with 10%, followed by the far-right League at 8.3%.

AP
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