Source: The Guardian Unlimited
European politics were jolted as seldom before on Sunday when France’s extreme nationalists triumphed in the European parliament elections, which across the continent returned an unprecedented number of MEPs hostile or sceptical about the European Union in a huge vote of no confidence in Europe‘s political elite.
France’s Front National won the election there with a projected 25% of the vote, while the governing socialists of President François Hollande collapsed to 14%, according to exit polls.
In Britain the Nigel Farage-led insurrection against Westminster was also expected by all three main parties to deliver a victory for Ukip in the election, albeit with a lower lead than some opinion polls had been predicting in recent weeks. Turnout in Britain was 36%, higher than at the last European elections in 2009.
Four days of elections across 28 countries returned a record number of MEPs opposed to the EU project. Voters delivered a string of sensational outcomes, according to exit polls, with radical and nationalist anti-EU forces scoring major victories both on the far right and the hard left.
In Greece, Alexis Tsipras led the Syriza movement to a watershed victory for the left over the country’s two traditional ruling parties – currently governing in coalition – the New Democracy conservatives and the Pasok social democrats. The neo-fascists of Golden Dawn took about 10%.
Exit polls suggest the nationalist anti-immigrant Danish People’s party won by a similar margin in Denmark.