It was a quiet day at the office for staff at some polling stations across the EU. From an early stage it became clear that predictions of a low turnout would be confirmed. The percentage varied from country to country but the overall figure set a new low. It also continued a downward trend that has been running since the first European election in 1979.
Analysts say voters still see the European elections as less relevant than national ballots. Brussels acknowledges it’s a big worry. Margot Wallström is Vice President of the European Commission: “Well, I think there is still lots of analysis to do of course, as a follow up of that result which is very disappointing. I think, what we have seen so far is that the debate is still mainly domestic and very much in many member states also the media reporting is mainly domestic. So of course if all the failures are the fault of Brussels and the successes are national, if for four years and 10 months of the mandate you don’t speak very much of European issues but only for the last two months you expect to be able to mobilise voters, I think it will be very, very difficult.”