The EU Swings to the Right: European Parliament Election Results by Country
The June 4-7 European Parliament elections delivered a setback for the European left and gains for center-right and right-wing parties across the continent. SPIEGEL ONLINE gives an overview of the results by country.
The 2009 elections to the European Parliament were marked by historically low voter turnout and victories for center-right and right-wing parties. SPIEGEL ONLINE provides a country-by-country breakdown of the election results.
In Austria, the ruling Social Democrats (SPÖ) suffered a serious setback. The SPÖ fell to 23.8 percent, a drop of more than 9 percent, giving it its worst-ever result in a nationwide election. The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), which is in a grand coalition government with the SPÖ, came first with 29.7 percent, a drop of about three percentage points compared to 2004. A party founded by the euroskeptic journalist and politician Hans-Peter Martin gained 4 percent to win 17.9 percent of the vote, making it the third strongest party. The right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) won just over 13 percent, a gain of nearly seven percentage points, while the Greens slipped from over 12 percent in 2004 to just 9.5 percent. The Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), a right-wing populist party founded by the late Jörg Haider, got just 4.7 percent and failed to make the 5 percent hurdle.
In Belgium, the ruling Christian Democrats came out on top, winning 15 percent, ahead of the Liberal Democrats at 13 percent. The far-right Vlaams Belang or Flemish Interest Party was the obvious loser, falling from 14 to 10 percent, about the same level as the francophone Socialist Party (PS). The Green Party Ecolo, meanwhile, more than doubled its support to 8 percent.
The conservative opposition Democratic Rally (DISY), on the Greek half of Cyprus, had the strongest showing with 36 percent. (The Greek half of Cyprus is the only side that belongs to the EU.) The incumbent, left-leaning Progress Party of Working People (AKEL) received a shade less support at 35 percent.
In the Czech Republic, the conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS) succeeded in defending its position as the leading party. According to preliminary results, ODS garnered slightly more than 31 percent of the vote, followed by the center-left Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) with around 22 percent and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), which got 14 percent. In addition, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) cleared the 5 percent hurdle to enter the parliament with around 8 percent of the votes. Until new elections are held in October, the Czech Republic is to be led by a crossbench cabinet of experts led by Prime Minister Jan Fischer. The center-right government of ODS politician Mirek Topolanek fell in March following a vote of no confidence in parliament.
In Denmark, the right-wing populist, anti-immigrant Danish People's Party (DVP) led the election. The party increased its share of the vote from 6.8 percent in the last EU election to 15 percent. Since 2001, the party has been the largest in the populist minority government in Copenhagen and is also considered the driving force behind Denmark's tightening of its policies towards foreigners living in the country. The country's opposition Social Democrats suffered a sharp drop at the polling booth, falling from 32.6 percent to 21 percent. Nevertheless, the party still remains, by a slight margin, the country's biggest vote-getting party, just ahead of Prime Minster Lars Lokke Rasmussen's Liberal Party, which scored 20 percent. The Socialist People's Party (SF), the country's socialist and Green party, came in at 16 percent.
In Estonia, the opposition Center Party is out in front with 26 percent, followed by the Reform Party of the incumbent Prime Minister Andrus Ansip at 15 percent. The opposition conservative Res Publica party have 12 percent, while the Social Democrats, who are also members of the coalition government, are at around 9 percent.
In Finland, right-wing populists known for their anti-foreigner rhetoric gained massive ground. The True Finns party increased its share of the vote from 0.5 percent in the last European election in 2004 to 10 percent after joining forces in the election with the conservative Christian Democrats. The second biggest winner was the Green Party, which shares power in the Finnish government, scoring 12 percent in the election. The liberal Center Party of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen scored around 20 percent and his conservative coalition partner, the National Coalition Party, got more than 22 percent, while the Social Democrats came in at 18 percent.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling conservative UMP party won an easy victory in France, getting 28 percent of the vote. The Socialist Party (PS), a sister party to Germany's Social Democrats, earned only 17 percent -- slightly more than Daniel Cohn-Bendit's Greens, who won 16 percent.
In Greece, according to preliminary results, the socialist PASOK party came in first, winning 36.7 percent of the vote. The conservative ruling party, New Democracy, only managed about 32 percent. The Greek communist KKE party, which won around 8 percent of the vote, will also be represented in the new European Parliament, as will the ultra-conservative LAOS party (around 7 percent), the left-wing Syriza (around 5 percent) and -- for the first time -- the Greek Greens (around 3.5 percent).
In Hungary, the conservative opposition won a landslide victory. According to preliminary results, the Fidesz Party of former Prime Minister Viktor Orban won around 56 percent. The ruling Socialists received only about 17 percent, putting it only slightly ahead of the right-wing Jobbik party, which won about 15 percent.
In Ireland, the incumbent conservative Fianna Fail party of Prime Minister Brian Cowen won only 24 percent, a loss of about 6 percentage points, which means it is no longer the strongest Irish political force in Brussels. Opposition party Fine Gael managed 29 percent. Observers see the results as a condemnation of the Cowen government's domestic policies; the financial crisis has hit Ireland hard. The head of the Libertas party, Declan Ganley, who wants to build momentum for a euroskeptic movement across the entire EU, won just over 5 percent, leaving Libertas in sixth place. The businessman has said he would end his campaign against the Lisbon Treaty if it were to fail at the polls. A referendum planned in Ireland for the fall to ratify the Lisbon Treaty now has a better chance of success.
- Part 1: European Parliament Election Results by Country
- Part 2: Italy - United Kingdom
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2009
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH
Begin quote gallery: Click on the arrow
Begin quote gallery: Click on the arrow