EP: Far-right makes gains in France, socialists in Spain

PARIS (AA): France’s far-right National Rally party made important gains in Sunday’s European Parliament (EP) elections, according to unofficial results. Le Pen’s party secured 23.3% of the votes with 22-24 seats in parliament while President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling Republic on the Move (LREM) party gained 22.1% with 21-23 seats, according to exit poll by the Ipsos survey agency.

The environmentalist EELV party came to third place by capturing 12.7% of the votes with 12-13 seats while the conservative Les Republicans (LR) party gained 8.3% of the votes with 8-9 seats. It was followed by the Socialist Party (PS) and the left-wing La France Insoumise (Unbowed France) Party(LFI) which took 6-7 seats. Turnout, estimated to be at 50.5%, was nearly 9 points higher than the previous European Parliament elections in 2014.

Ipsos is an independent market research company founded in 1975 with headquarters in Paris. The unofficial results in Spain show the Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) made major gains with 18 of the country’s 54 seats in EP, coming top in polls while the conservative People’s Party secured 11-12 seats, according to local media. The far-right Vox gained 4-5 seats, while the center-right party Ciudadanos won 8-9 seats.

Left-wing alliance UnidasPodemos won 7 seats in the European assembly. The Junts per Catalunya party and pro-independence Republican Catalan Left (ERC) party in Catalonia secured 4-5 seats in the election. CarlesPuigdemont, the Catalan separatist leader who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium and the leader of the other main separatist party and former vice president, OriolJunqueras won seats in the EU parliament.

In Portuguese, the main opposition Socialist Party (PS) is leading the polls with more than 30% of the vote, according to unofficial results. The EP is composed of a total of 751 seats. The EP elections are held every five years, 2014 elections drew merely 42% of the voters. Operating as the legislative body of the union, EP, along with the European Union Council, confirms and approves the union’s laws and budget respectively.