Europe’s major centre-left and centre-right lost dozens of seats and their combined majority, while populist parties made gains in the European Parliament. In France, Marine Le Pen’s far-right, anti-immigrant National Rally party edged out President Emmanuel Macron, who has made EU integration the heart of his presidency. In Italy, Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant, populist League came in first at around the 30 per cent mark, up some 24 per cent on five years ago.
In the UK Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was set for a big win, reflecting frustration at the fact Britain is still in the EU, two months after Brexit was supposed to happen. The Green Party made significant gains in Germany, becoming the main party on the left, while the governing Christian Democrats lost some ground. Far-right populists, the Alternative for Germany, got about 11 per cent, down from 12.6 per cent in national elections of 2017. Turnout across the EU rose to its highest for
20 years - 50.5% across all 28 member states.