'Massive' gains for the rightwing in Austria, Greece, France
The popular right-wing have gained massively in Austria and Greece, and in France Marine Le Pen's Front National will gain at least 20 seats. The non-mainstream right of the European Parliament will hold up to 83 seats, according to an exit poll analysis published by Bell Pottinger, a Brussels public relations firm.
Reuters reports that a top French politician characterized Le Pen's victory as an "earthquake":
Without waiting for the final result, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls went on television to call the breakthrough by the anti-immigration, anti-euro party in one of the EU's founding nations "an earthquake" for France and Europe.
The centre-right parties which form the European People’s Party (EPP) at the European Parliament look like coming out the biggest party in the assembly, with the Social Democrats group lagging behind.
The EPP is the group with which the British Conservative MEPs sat until 2009, when David Cameron removed his party because of the relentless drive of the EPP for more powers for EU institutions.
In Greece, the far-left anti-EU Syriza Party has topped the polls with 26.7 per cent of the vote, leaving Greece’s centre-right ruling government party, New Democracy, second with 22.8 per cent.
Gold Dawn, the Greek anti-EU party called neo-Nazi by its critics, is showing at 9.3 per cent, while the socialist PASOK party, once the dominant party in Greece, is trailing at 8 per cent.
In Finland, the centre-right National Coalition has come top with 22.7 per cent, giving them four seats. The Social Democratic Party is a 13.6 per cent and two seats, Centre Party 21.0 per cent and three seats, and the eurosceptic Finns Party is at 12.8 per cent, which should give them two seats. Greens and the Left Alliance will get one seat each.