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EU elections: Meet the winners and losers in Brussels and across Europe

EU election results
EU election results Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Cynthia KroetJack Schickler
Published on Updated
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Hundreds of millions of Europeans have voted to select 720 Members of the European Parliament, and rising support for the far right prompted Emmanuel Macron to call shock early elections in France.

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With final tallying under way for European parliamentary elections, it's clear who the winners and losers are across the EU's 27 member states.

Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni has cemented her role as a key Brussels power broker with an estimated 28% of the vote. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron performed so badly he was pushed todissolve parliament andcall snap elections.

The winners: 

  • France's far-right National Rally won, handing Macron a stinging defeat
  • The right-wing EPP group has remained the biggest group in the Parliament, gaining 13 seats compared to 2019
  • Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni secured her role as kingmaker in the elections

The losers:

  • The Greens in Austria and Germany performed a lot worse than expected
  • The liberal Renew group lost 20 seats compared to 2019 across different member states
  • The Social Democrats in Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz's party finished joint second with the far-right AfD, behind the EPP.

First estimate

A first estimate of election results produced by the European Parliament suggested the Green and liberal Renew parties would each lose around 20 MEPs, denting the pro-European majority needed to back top officials and support EU laws.

A projection released just after midnight - and produced after all polls closed - showed the Green party taking just 53 MEPs, compared to 72 in March 2024.

Renew, spearheaded by Macron, fell from 102 seats to 83, the figures suggested. This led the French president to take the surprising move of dissolving the country's National Assembly.

That collapse in support for Macron's pro-business liberals accompanied rising support for parties considered more extreme on the political spectrum, even if some of those have not yet been allocated to political groups in the European Parliament.

In France, projections suggest the far-right National Rally (RN) party, has secured a whopping 31.5% of the votes — more than twice the number gained by Macron.

"France needs a clear majority to operate in calm and and concord," France's leader wrote on X. "I've understood your message, your preoccupations, and I won't leave them without a response."

The far-right FPÖ also topped the poll in Austria, doubling its number of MEPs to six after gaining 25.7% of votes, according to the European Parliament projection.

In Germany, the Christian-Democrat CDU and CSU party was projected to get more than 30% of the vote, similar to its 29% in 2019.

In the latest forecast, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) came in third with 14.2%, up from 11% in 2019, and just behind the Social Democrats of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

Exit polls suggest Meloni's Brothers of Italy, which belongs to the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists grouping, has performed much better than the centre-left Democratic Party opposition, whose support is estimated at 23.7%.

Forza Italia and Lega, two other parties in Meloni's governing coalition, don't appear to have fared so well, with 10.5 and 8% respectively.

Those rightward trends are confirmed in Spain, where Vox is expected to increase its representation by two to three MEPs, while newcomers "The Party Is Over", also identified as far-right populist, will gain their first ever two or three MEPs, exit polls suggest.

After four days of voting, the projections for the new legislative chamber are still not final. 

Netherlands already confirmed swing to the right

In countries such as the Netherlands, voting took place on Thursday — and the latest projections suggest Geert Wilders' right-wing PVV party will scoop six seats.

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That swing was not as extreme as some had expected, enabling the GreenLeft-Labour alliance, which is forecast by the exit poll to take eight Dutch seats in the European Parliament, to claim victory.

The elections, the world's largest multi-state democratic exercise, determine which 720 Members of the European Parliament get to deliberate on EU legislation over the next five years.

It takes place after a turbulent period dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine — plus a soaring cost of living that came to dominate voter concerns.

Tasks ahead

Among MEPs' first tasks will be to approve the candidate to lead the European Commission, with incumbent president Ursula von der Leyen hoping to secure a second term. 

No single party has a majority in the European Parliament, and votes are often decided issue-by-issue by finding a coalition that commands the required majority.

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The chamber has always been dominated by its two large groups, the centre-right European People's Party and centre-left Socialists.

The two lost their combined majority in the 2019 elections, since when they've had to form informal alliances with parties such as the Greens and Liberals — and projections suggest they're unlikely to regain it in 2024. 

MEPs will also get to amend or oppose new legislative proposals — leaving the fate of the EU Green Deal, an ambitious set of laws to cut carbon emissions, in the balance. 

Each country is allocated a set number of MEPs in line with population, ranging from 96 for Germany, to just six each in Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg. 

For the first time since direct elections began in 1979, the count won't include the UK — whose 73 MEPs left after Brexit day in February 2020.

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