It seems the historic low turnout for the European elections has been to the benefit of the bloc’s far-right parties.
In the Netherlands, the anti-Islamic and anti-European party of Geert Wilders is on more than 16 percent of the vote, putting him in second place behind the Christian Democrats of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. The ongoing outcry over deputies’ expenses looks to have contributed to Britain’s controversial BNP winning its first ever seat in the European Parliament, that of Yorkshire and Humberside. while in Austria, the main far-right FPO or Freedom party gained just over 13 percent, double its result from 2004. However this is still far off the 17 percent predicted by the polls and even further off the percentage polled in the General Election last September. Despite only having five seats in Finland’s national parliament, huge gains for the anti-immigration and anti-EU True Finns Party have also given it one seat in Europe, out of the 13 attributed to the country. Coming in in third position, Hungary’s far-right Jobbik Party will make it’s debut in the EU parliament with three MEPs after coming in in third position on 15 percent of the ballot. While in Romania the far-right PRM party’s seven percent grants it two seats in the EU parliament. However experts say despite the rise of the radical groups, all will depend on whether they can to on to form a stable group in the parliament that can have an impact.