EU elections live: Macron calls snap elections as far-right support surges in European elections - BBC News


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Revised by Barbara Tasch and Alexandra Fouché.

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President Of European Parliament Announces Pro-EU Center's Establishment WATCH

Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, informed the BBC that the constructive center which supports the European Union has remained stable. Nevertheless, Metsola pointed out that the election's outcome conveyed a message concerning environmental policies.

What's The Latest Projection Say?

As a journalist based out of Rome covering news in Europe, I am constantly on the hunt for the latest updates and stories. From political happenings and economic shifts, to cultural events and human interest features, my job is never dull. Being a Europe reporter requires a passion for travel and an eagerness to experience new cultures. It also involves staying on top of the ever-changing political and social landscape of the continent, as well as building strong relationships with sources across countries and languages. But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of my job is the ability to share stories that have the power to inform, educate, and inspire. From shedding light on injustices and inequalities, to highlighting groundbreaking innovations and advancements, I believe the stories we tell as journalists have the potential to shape the world we live in. As a Europe reporter, I am proud to be part of a field that values truth, accuracy, and integrity above all else. And although the news cycle never stops, I believe it is our responsibility as journalists to keep pushing forward and telling the stories that matter most.

The European People's Party (EPP), which is known for its centre-right political stance, has secured 191 seats in the European Parliament. As a result, it has reinforced its position as the biggest group in the parliament.

It was anticipated that the S&D bloc would be the runner-up, and this prediction has been fulfilled as they have obtained 135 seats.

The party called Liberal Renew has suffered a loss of 22 seats, while the Greens have also experienced a setback, losing 20 seats. This outcome is undoubtedly discouraging for both political factions.

Conservative and extremist groups ECR and ID have maintained their relative size, with 71 and 58 seats correspondingly.

At this time, there is no chance for the EPP, ECR, and ID parties to form a majority coalition. However, the current coalition between the EPP, S&D, and Renew parties would secure a majority.

It's not clear which factions the 95 self-governing MEPs will choose to back. Some of them are affiliated with Viktor Orban's right-wing Fidesz party, while others are part of the far-right German Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD).

Austria's Freedom Party Ahead In Far-right Vote Count

After counting the majority of ballots in Austria (and including an estimate of postal votes), the far-right Freedom Party emerged victorious, securing 25.5% of the vote.

The People's Party with conservative views is presently ranked second at 24.7%, followed by the Social Democrats at 23.3%. Other political parties include the Greens at 10.9%, Neos, known for their liberal stance, at 10.1%, the Communists at 2.9%, and the DNA at 2.7%.

On Monday, the final postal ballots will be tallied.

"Green Labour Alliance Dominates European Parliament As Largest Party In Netherlands"

I am writing from The Hague.

As per the ultimate prediction, GroenLinks (GreenLeft)-PvdA (Labour) has emerged as the biggest party in the Netherlands during the European elections.

The combined political party of GL-PvdA is expected to secure eight seats in the upcoming European Parliament elections, which is one less seat compared to their combined total of nine seats in 2019 when the parties ran separately.

The PVV party led by Geert Wilders has emerged as the clear winner by securing an increase of five seats to take their total tally to six.

This represents a decrease of one compared to the results of Ipsos I&O's exit survey on Thursday.

In the bar of the Dutch parliament, a little celebration happened after it was declared that the Volt party, which is pro-EU, would obtain two seats in the European Parliament. This is an increase from one seat, as indicated in the exit poll on Thursday. Volt didn't have any seats in the last European election.

Von Der Leyen's Win A Good Night For Europe's Centre-right

Ursula von der Leyen, who is widely recognized as a prominent figure in the EU, has been travelling across Europe to advocate for her political alliance, the European People's Party, which is centered around right-wing policies.

Celebrating the group's significant triumph - securing 189 seats out of a total of 720 in the parliament - she suggests that it is now the opportune moment to capitalise on "this robust majority" and forge positive relationships with other parties that also have a Pro-European stance.

"Starting from tomorrow, we will be contacting the major political groups," she asserts, mentioning possible allies such as the Socialists & Democrats and the Renew party of liberal values.

This implies that currently there is no possibility of collaborating with right-wing organizations that consist of particular far-right political parties in Europe. The voting result of the center-left group remains strong tonight, and even though Renew has experienced some loss, it still remains as the third-largest group.

According to von de Leyen, our societies are currently being disrupted by both external and internal factors, causing instability. These forces are attempting to undermine Europe, but von de Leyen is determined to prevent this from happening.

SPD And Greens Suffer From German Election; AfD Celebrates

Now, let's shift our focus to Germany, which saw one of the earliest significant outcomes of the night.

Katarina Barley, who is the primary candidate for SPD, appeared startled when she spoke to her party with the first projection results showing a severe drop of 14%. She expressed her shock at the outcome.

"It's such a bleak evening," she stated, "and I'm feeling extremely let down." Her facial expression echoed her sentiments.

Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany, will also be feeling down as he was not present alongside Barley during the event. This could possibly be because his party is now entering a crisis situation.

The Greens are open to self-criticism, and they are expected to receive approximately 12% of the vote. The party has a history of disagreement between those who prioritize practicality and those who prioritize idealism, and it appears this conflict is resurfacing as they enter the government.

The conservatives are feeling pretty good these days, especially since the CDU leader Freidrich Merz exclaimed "we've won!" to a crowd of happy party members. He thought it was a great day for his party, but not so much for the government.

One could argue that the far-right AfD is the champion of the recent election, as they performed even better than anticipated.

Their popularity in the polls has taken a hit in recent months due to a series of controversies, such as accusations of connections to Chinese espionage and receiving illicit funds from Russia.

However, at present, Alice Weidel, the leader of AfD, argues that the outcome of this election, initially expected to be approximately 16%, indicates that the party is prepared to win in Germany.

Belgian PM In Tears As She Resigns After 'difficult Evening'

Alexander De Croo, the current Prime Minister of Belgium, has decided to step down from his position due to unsatisfactory results in the recent elections.

With tears streaming down his face, he spoke of how the evening had been filled with immense challenges.

Belgian citizens had a lot at stake during the weekend as they participated in multiple elections. Apart from voting for the EU elections, they also cast their ballots for federal and regional polls.

In terms of national politics, the largest far-right Vlaams Belang party saw a rise in popularity, although it was not as significant as predicted.

However, it seems probable that De Croo's present coalition made up of seven parties will not be able to maintain its majority.

De Croo offered his congratulations to the N-VA, Vlaams Belang, and Vooruit parties for their respective achievements.

According to reports from Belgian media that are in the French language, his resignation is anticipated to become official on the 10th of June.

Centre Right Triumphs In Spain's Election, Dealing Blow To Socialists

The latest vote count in Spain reveals that the People’s Party (PP), which is a conservative party, has emerged as the winner with 34.2% of votes. The next leading party is the Socialist Workers’ Party, which is led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, with 30.2% votes. Almost all the votes have now been counted.

The party known for their far-right views, Vox, gained 9.6% of the votes. This helped them secure three new seats. Another party on the extreme right, Se Acabó La Fiesta, won their first MEPs by securing 4.6% of the vote.

In the recent election, the governing party's partner, Sumar alliance which is left-wing, managed to acquire 4.7% of the total votes. However, the opposing party, Podemos did not perform well and only managed to get a meager 3.3% of the votes, resulting in only two seats.

Italy Produces Unsurprising Outcome

A journalist stationed in Rome who reports on news and current events happening in Europe.

The outcome in Italy tonight was quite easily anticipated, especially following the surprising reports from France earlier this evening.

Giorgia Meloni, the Prime Minister of a right-wing coalition government in Italy since 2022, has emerged victorious. This is expected to result in over 20 European Parliament seats out of Italy's total of 76.

This indicates that within a span of five years, Meloni has successfully increased the number of seats of her far-right political faction, the Brothers of Italy (FdI), much more than its previous number.

However, a significant number of Italians have shown support for the opposition centre-left Democratic Party (PD). This percentage has remained above 20% of the vote, which is a considerable increase from the previous year. Many on the centre left are quite pleased with this outcome, as it exceeded their initial expectations.

Meloni appears to have a firm hold on the political scene in Italy at the moment. It's worth noting that she's the sole leader from the major European countries, like France, Germany, and Spain, who gained success in the most recent European elections.

It's quite peculiar that despite its past, Italy has become one of the most stable nations politically across Europe.

Meloni's Italian Party Leads In Euro Poll

A journalist is currently located in the city of Rome and providing up-to-date news coverage.

Finally, the Italian polling stations have shut down, resulting in the end of the ballot for the 2024 European elections.

According to the exit polls, the political party called Brothers of Italy (FdI), led by Giorgia Meloni, has obtained a vote percentage of 27-31%.

The Democratic Party (PD), which is an opposition group on the centre-left of the political spectrum, received between 21.5% to 25.5% of the overall vote.

The M5S obtained between 10 to 14 percent of the votes, while Forza Italia - an organization established by the deceased Silvio Berlusconi - secured the fourth position with a range of 8.5 to 10.5 percent of the tallied votes.

The League party, led by Matteo Salvini, suffered a significant drop from their 2019 results and only managed to secure 7.5-9.5% of the votes. This indicates a decline in their popularity amongst the public.

The Green/Left party received a 5 to 7 percent vote share.

Italy's Election Results: Exit Polls And First Projections Awaited

We provided a lot of new information and insights for a period of time. Thank you for staying with us.

In a little while, we will be getting updated information from the exit polls in Italy. Additionally, we can expect to see some initial results from various European Union member countries. At approximately 9:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time, we will also be given a projected seat count for the European Parliament.

The newest forecast for the EU Parliament will be available approximately at 23:00 GMT. Therefore, stick with us, as we will keep reporting the fresh developments from all over Europe.

Centrists And Greens React To Disappointing Election Results

Out of all the groups in the European Parliament, it is the liberal Renew group and the Greens who are poised to suffer the most significant financial setbacks.

The French Renaissance party, led by Emmanuel Macron, plays a significant role in the Renew group. Despite experiencing a decline in popularity, it is expected to maintain its position as the third largest faction in the Parliament.

Renew's work in Brussels will not be impacted by Macron's announcement tonight to dissolve parliament, according to their Vice President, Iskra Mihaylova.

In different words, she stated that the Renew group is essential for the formation of a pro-European majority and that they will be playing a pivotal role in it. Moreover, she pledged to uphold their principles and battle for the welfare and protection of European citizens, regardless of the increasing presence of right-wing ideologies.

At this moment, Philippe Lamberts, who is a member of the Greens, has made a request to other commonly known political groups, which include the conservatives, social democrats, and liberals, to not adopt the beliefs of far-right extremism.

He encourages the extension of the Green Deal to ensure that our planet remains livable. He urges other groups to refrain from reversing their course on strategies related to climate change.

Macron On Snap Election Decision: Watch Now!

We will now take a moment to reflect on the speech given by French President Emmanuel Macron to the people of France.

Observe how he clarifies the rationale for his choice to conduct impromptu parliamentary elections following indications from exit polls that his moderate coalition was on track to suffer a significant loss to the radical right in the European polls.

Slovak PM Fico Praises Liberal Opposition's Election Victory

The political party led by Prime Minister Robert Fico, Smer, which focuses on leftist and populist ideology, has expressed their congratulations to the liberal opposition group, Progressive Slovakia (PS), for their triumph in the European elections.

Unofficial polls conducted by political parties indicated that the PS received 28% of the votes, while Smer got 25%. Nonetheless, Smer declared that the vast majority of Slovaks voted for nationalistic and conservative parties, which is a strong message to Brussels.

According to Smer, the recent election results indicate that a majority of Slovak citizens have expressed their disapproval of the European Union's stance on providing weapons to Ukraine. Additionally, they have conveyed their rejection of the progressive concepts promoted by the EU's Green Deal as well as its negation of conventional principles.

Forecasts suggested that Progressive Slovakia would secure six seats out of the 15 available in Slovakia, while Smer would only manage to get five.

It is not yet certain where Smer will be placed as it does not belong to any particular grouping, unlike PS which is a part of Renew Europe.

In October, the party lost its status as a member of the Socialists and Democrats group due to its partnership with the far-right Slovak National Party. As a result, the party is now considered "non-inscrits" or unregistered.

Portugal's Centrist Parties Tied In Race

According to initial surveys taken after voting ended in Portugal, both the ruling Democratic Alliance (AD), which leans towards the right, and the leading opposition party, the Socialist Party (PS), have an equal chance of gaining between six and eight seats in the European elections.

The people of Portugal vote for a sum of 21 Members of the European Parliament.

André Ventura, the leader of Chega party, has labeled it as "radical", though its rivals have criticized it as being xenophobic and far right. The party appears likely to get its first MEP and maybe even three. It's uncertain if it will join the ID or ECR group in the European Parliament.

As per the exit polls, the Free-market Liberal Initiative (IL) might have secured a better position than the Green Party, possibly achieving 4th place. The IL could also have the opportunity to elect 1-3 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

However, the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and Left Bloc (BE) may lose one or both of the seats they previously obtained. On the other hand, the red-green Livre party has the potential to secure one seat.

Overall, 21 representatives for the European Parliament will be chosen by voters in Portugal. The number of individuals participating in this election increased slightly compared to five years ago, with a turnout of 36.5% compared to 31%.

EU Groups Respond To Rise Of Far-right

An editor for digital content in Europe is residing in Brussels.

We are currently gathering responses to the news from various countries within the European Union, consisting of 27 member states.

Let's start with Marc Botenga from the Left. Unfortunately, his colleagues haven't had a good night and it looks like they'll lose several seats. However, Marc has vowed to fight against the increasing popularity of the far-right in the European Parliament.

Botenga stated that it is imperative to eradicate the source of where the far right has originated from. It is crucial to address the pent-up frustration that has been accumulating for a prolonged period of time. The fight against this issue must take place beyond the confines of the parliamentary institutions, and should instead be tackled by individual countries on a grassroots level.

"Macron Believes Snap Elections Are Trustworthy"

Let's examine President Macron's speech more closely, which involved his sudden announcement to hold immediate parliamentary elections.

The decision at hand is weighty and significant; however, it primarily serves as a demonstration of confidence," he expressed. He has faith in "the French population's ability to make the optimal selection for both themselves and upcoming generations."

He stated that it was important to allow the citizens to express themselves and mentioned that France required a "decisive majority" to function peacefully and efficiently. He acknowledged that he had taken note of the French people's viewpoints and worries.

"I will not depart from them without responding," he included.

Surprise French Snap Election

The sudden announcement of a snap election has taken the country by surprise, and it poses a significant gamble for President Emmanuel Macron.

He had other options in the way he reacted. He could have continued without interruption and justified the significant success of the far-right in Europe as a fluke that would be corrected during more crucial elections.

He may have relied on the forthcoming Euro football championship and, especially, the Paris Olympics to divert people's attention away from politics for a few months.

That was surely what the Paris commentators believed was going to happen when his party was defeated.

However, it is reasonable to speculate that the president anticipated this outcome and strategized his reaction beforehand. Undoubtedly, the outcome was strikingly similar to the forecasts, thus providing him with ample opportunity to weigh his alternatives.

The reality is that he is in a difficult position. He doesn't have enough support in the National Assembly, which makes it very challenging to pass any bills. Moreover, the vast majority of the population is now strongly opposed to him, which means that any new laws he proposes - such as the forthcoming budget - could trigger severe backlash.

The choice he made was "clarity". His reasoning is that if the hard-right has the necessary votes, they should have the opportunity to govern.

The president is surely wishing for his Renaissance party to make a comeback during the elections on June 30th and July 7th. Though, it's possible that he may also be hoping for other parties to perform well. However, he must acknowledge that the Rassemblement National has better chances at winning another election - maybe not by a landslide victory like the one today, but enough to take over as the largest party in parliament.

There's a chance that we could end up with a Prime Minister named Le Pen or Bardella.

Le Pen Declares Readiness To Seize Power In France

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right party in France, has expressed her approval of President Emmanuel Macron's recent decision to hold a sudden and unexpected election.

At a gathering in Paris, the speaker exclaimed to an enthusiastic audience of advocates that this noteworthy election indicates that when individuals participate in the voting process, they emerge victorious.

She stated that if the French people place their trust in us during the forthcoming national elections, we will be prepared to assume command.

She stated that they are fully prepared to utilize their power, put a stop to the large influx of immigrants, give priority to economic purchasing power, and ultimately revive France.

Tusk Sees Poland As Europe's Hope

The leader of Poland, Donald Tusk, stated that his country is a shining example for Europe. This came after a preliminary poll showed that his party, the Civic Coalition, which supports the European Union and holds centrist political views, is likely to emerge victorious in the European Parliament election.

During KO's election night in Warsaw, the audience expressed their support by cheering and repeating the name "Donald Tusk" when the exit poll was made public.

Today, he expressed that we are shining a light of hope for Europe. Our ability to represent Poland's benefits in Europe is unmatched by anyone else.

The KO party, which supports the European Union, obtained 38.2% of the votes, whereas the primary opposing party, Law and Justice (PiS), acquired 33.9%.

Should the exit poll results be verified, Tusk will have put an end to PiS's winning streak, which has been ongoing for the past nine elections, including the most recent parliamentary election in October and the local elections in April. Without any coalition partners, PiS lost its grip on power during both of these elections.

The Confederation party, which is considered to be on the far-right side of the political spectrum but is relatively small in size, managed to secure 11.9% of the vote, thereby gaining a significant increase in its support base compared to the 4.55% it received in the previous year's elections.

The coalition led by Tusk had two less experienced partners called Third Way and the Left. Unfortunately, they ranked fourth and fifth in the election with vote shares of 8.2% and 6.6% in that order.

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