Centrist bloc to lose majority in EU vote as Greens and euroskeptics gain

STRASBOURG, FRANCE – JANUARY 15: The flags of the member states of the european union are blowing in the wind in front of The European Parliament (EP) on January 15, 2019 in Strasbourg, France.

Thomas Trutschel | Photothek | Getty Images

The EU Parliament will be much more fragmented over the next five years with the established centrist bloc failing to gain a majority at this week’s election, early election results and projections show.

The initial results suggested a strong showing for Liberal and Green parties, with euroskeptic groups in France and the U.K. holding the gains they saw in 2014. Italy’s anti-immigration Lega party was also expected to make large gains, according to exit polls.

It means that pro-EU parties will hold on to two-thirds of the seats at the EU Parliament, though nationalist opponents have also seen solid gains.

Turnout rises

One of its biggest challenges is voter turnout, however, early indications show that figure has hit 50.5% this year. That’s up from 43% in the 2014 election.

The European parliamentary election is the second-largest democratic exercise in the world, with citizens across 28 nations voting for their new representatives.

This year’s vote was particularly relevant due to the surge of anti-EU and nationalist parties across the region.

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.

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