Where was turnout the highest and lowest at the EU elections?

In Sunday's election, both had their worst showings yet in a nationwide vote, with the Social Democrats sinking to third place behind the resurgent Greens.

The French far-right appeared set to deliver a humbling defeat for President Emmanuel Macron in European elections after projections and early results suggested major losses for the centre-left and right across the continent.

Matteo Salvini, Italian deputy prime minister, leader of the anti-immigration League and potential builder of a far-right alliance across Europe, said his 34% of the Italian national vote was a mandate to rip up euro zone budget austerity rules.

Though Le Pen's party won by less than 1%, with 23% of the vote, she dubbed it a "victory for the people" on Twitter. The fallout from the continentwide vote spread well beyond the European Union headquarters in Brussels.

Turnout across the European Union, excluding Britain, was estimated at 51 percent, the highest in 20 years.

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party won seats right throughout the United Kingdom, at the expense of Labour and the Conservatives.

"We have to create an alternative, and to do so, you have to get in the game".

At the EU level, provisional results published at 00:00 GMT on Monday showed the Socialists, Greens, liberals and conservatives with 506 of the 751 seats in the parliament that helps pass laws for more than 500 million Europeans.

Far-right and nationalist parties made considerable, but not massive, gains. "So I think Nigel Farage right now is set up to be quite competitive to be prime minister of England in the fall of this year".

"In countries like Poland and Hungary, right-wing governments that are popular for all sorts of reasons do well".

It's not even certain that they can all come together as a single bloc: France's National Rally, for example, is seen by some other far-right parties in the European Union as too pro-Russian and encumbered by a history of anti-Semitism.

Le Pen's party came in slightly down on its 2014 result.

With the elections over, European leaders are jockeying over the top jobs in the EU's headquarters in Brussels.

If the SPD loses Bremen, with the highest jobless level of any German state, to the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), pressure will mount on party leader Andrea Nahles to stand down or break with the federal coalition. "By the end of this election night, it will be clear that not the populists and nationalists have won the most seats, but our pro-European group", Mr Verhofstad said of a bloc of about 100 politicians he was seeking to build.

In Britain, the pro-EU Green Party finished fourth, ahead of the governing Conservative Party, after its ecological message combined well with its demand for a second referendum to try and keep Britain in the bloc. But the socialists refused to back him, pitching one of their own - Dutch liberal Frans Timmermans - to European Union leaders.

"Never before in British politics has a new party, launched just six weeks ago, topped the polls in a national election", Farage said after his election as a member of the European Parliament.

Nicola Zingaretti, PD's new leader, said he was "very satisfied" with the party's performance.

The Greens and Liberals have made gains, as well as the right-wing nationalist and populist groups.

German chancellor Angela Merkel's party is part of the ruling block in the European Parliament.

EPP (European Peope's Party) and S&D (Socialists & Democrats) remain the two largest parties in the new parliament, although their majority has shrunk.

There will have to be even more horse-trading and the establishment parties will not have such a cozy time. Power will thus be less concentrated, as EPP and S&D will now need the support of the Liberals and/or the Greens to reach a majority.

The possible shake-up was long feared to be the first step of a chain reaction that SPD might quit Germany's grand coalition in the lower house of the parliament Bundestag, consisting of SPD and its governing partner CDU/CSU, forcing Merkel to dissolve her government and start an earlier federal election.

In a telephone call yestertday, Macron told Merkel that the "Spitzenkanditaten" are legitimate, though the selection of the new president must reflect the results of Sunday vote, the source said. Already split into three alliances in the parliament itself, horse-trading is likely to bring out the differences in their agendas as much as their similarities, say analysts.

With a more fragmented parliament and more haggling to be done, the populists may find that cohesion is beyond them.

  • Leroy Wright