17th Apr 2021

Centre-left losing ground in initial EU polls

Exit polls released in some EU countries show centre-left parties losing ground and the current ruling centre-right European People's Party maintain its lead as predicted.

In Germany, the country with 99 seats - the most in European Parliament, the centre-right Christian Democrats party of Chancellor Angela Merkel won the elections together with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, at around 38.5 percent, while the Social-Democrats scored 21 percent, according to exit polls released by the national broadcaster ARD.

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  • The EU's centre-left MEPs seem not to have boosted their ranks in the elections (Photo: European Parliament)

The Greens and Liberals both scored around 11 percent, while the far left Die Linke has a reported 7.15 percentage points.

In France, the Socialists lost some ten percentage points compared to 2004, scoring 17.5 percent, while the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) won by 28.3 percent, up twelve points when compared to the last elections. The poll published by TNS Sofres showed the Greens doubling their score to 14.8 percent and Libertas win 5 percent. The liberal Modem party (former UDF) went down four percent to 8.7 points, while the right-wing National Front scored 6.5 percent, down three points.

The Social Democrats (SPO) registered a crushing defeat in Austria, where the SPO, currently the senior partner in a governing coalition with the Austrian People's Party (OVP), is set to lose three of its seven seats in the European Parliament. The centre-right OVP kept its current six seats. Exit polls released at 5:00 p.m. by public broadcaster ORF show the OVP are to win the elections with 29.6 percent, while the SPO scored only 23.7 percent, down ten points from the last elections, held in 2004.

In the Czech republic, the opposition Czech Social Democratic Party (CCSD) was set to come in second at around 25 percent, while the ruling centre-right Civic Democratic Party (ODS) was set to win with about 30 percentage points, according to early exit polls. They were followed by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) at 13 percent and the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU-CSL) at around six points.

Romanian early exit polls fluctuated during the day, showing the Social-Democrats in the lead with around three to four percent at noon, but then with their ruling coalition partners on the centre-right catching up in the afternoon.

Figures at 6:00 p.m (5:00 p.m. Brussels time) showed the centre-left PSD ahead at 31 percent, followed by the centre-right PDL at 30.5 percentage points. The Liberals ranked third at 17 percent, followed by the Hungarian Party (7.5) and the far-right Great Romania Party (seven percent). The daughter of Romanian President Traian Basescu, Elena, an independent, was set to win four percent points, enough to enter the EU parliament. Romania will have 33 seats in the new legislature.

In Bulgaria, with 17 seats in the chamber, the opposition centre-right Gerb party is also set to win the elections with 25.8 percent. Voters seemed to punish the ruling Socialist Party, which only received 21 percent, according to exit polls. The Turkish minority party scored 13.8 percent, while the far-right Ataka party registered 10.9 percent. The liberal NDSV party, whose list was led by EU commissioner Meglena Kuneva, also scored enough (7 percent) to get a seat in the parliament. The right-wing "Blue coalition" also scored 7.4 percentage points.

Centre-left victories

The Socialists did win however in Greece – where the opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) scored 37.7 percent against the ruling centre-right New Democracy, who lagged seven percent behind. The far-right Laos Party also boosted its ranks, now on 6.4 percent. Greece will have 24 seats in the new EU parliament, with the Socialists predicted to boost their ranks to nine seats, while ND will lose four seats.

Slovakia's ruling party centre-left party Smer also won the elections with 31.05 percent of the votes, adding two lawmakers to the three who already represent the party, SITA news agency said on Sunday, citing preliminary results. Smer's junior coalition partner, the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS) known for its inflammatory rhetoric against the Roma and Hungarians, won its first-ever seat with 5.39 percent.

The Social-Democrats in Denmark are set to win 22.7 percent of the vote, according to an exit poll published by TV2, down ten percentage points compared to 2004. They would take four out of the country's 13 seats, followed by the liberal Venstre – 20 percent and three seats and the centre-right Conservative People's party at 12.8 percent getting one seat. The two winning parties are the hard-right Danish People's Party scoring 15,1% of the votes and the Socialist People's Party taking 15%. Both parties are critical towards the EU and would get two seats each, up from now one each.

In Malta, the Labour Party affiliated with the European Socialists (PES) was also headed to a landslide victory, with 57 percent, followed by the centre-right Nationalist Party at 40 percent.

Exit polls in France, Italy and the UK were set to be released later during the night and are expected to show the centre-right in the lead in all three countries.

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