Reversing nine years of national election defeats Spain’s Conservative party has beaten the ruling Socialist party in the European Parliamentary elections.
It is the Popular party’s best-ever score in European elections, feeding off Spain’s deep economic crisis, where unemployment is the highest in Europe. This time the conservative PP won 42.2% against 38.5% for the PSOE Socialist Party. This means that the Conservatives will send 23 MEPs to the EU parliament and the Socialists will send 21. 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 44.3%, the lowest since 1987, but slightly higher than forecast. 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.