the Spanish conservative party has narrowly beaten the ruling socialist party in the European Parliament elections, according to exit polls. In terms of percentage of the vote, the two leading parties have almost exchanged places since the last EU elections in 2004 when the socialists won 43.46% and the conservatives won 41.21% of the vote.
This time the conservative PP (People’s Party) won 43% against 40.5% for the PSOE (Socialist Party). THis means that the conservatives will send 24 MEPs to the EU parliament and the socialists will send 22.
A coalition of extreme right wing nationalist parties came third, winning 5% of the votes and 2 seats in the parliament.
Voter turnout was estimated at aproximately 46%.
Portugal neck and neck
At the finishing post of the Portuguese EU elections, the socialists and the conservatives finished neck and neck.
The socialist national government, led by prime minister José Socrates (of the PP – People’s Party) polled practically the same votes as the opposition PSD (Social Democrats).
The PP won 28% (down 33%) against the PSD who polled 29% (down 34%).
Voter turnout reflected a general dissatisfaction with all the parties however, at around 39% of the electorate.
Four months before the country’s national elections in October, this result represents a bad loss for the national party who polled 44.5% in the 2004 EU elections.