Twelve European Union member states in Central and Eastern Europe voted in European Parliament elections between May 23 and May 25, with three more holding domestic elections as well. A summary of the results across the region, as announced so far, follows (for the preliminary results in Bulgaria, see The Sofia Globe report here).
* In Poland, the largest country in the CEE area that will send 51 MEPs to Brussels, conservative opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) led with 32.4 per cent of the vote, ahead of ruling Civic Platform (PO) on 31.3 per cent, with 91 per cent of the votes counted, the Warsaw Voice reported. Initially, exit polls showed PO (EPP) narrowly ahead of PiS (ECR).
Leftist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) won 9.6 per cent and agrarian junior coalition partner Polish People’s Party (PSL) got 7.2 per cent, with the newcomer Euroskeptic party New Right (KNP) getting 7.1 per cent.
If the final results remain roughly unchanged, PO and PiS will win 19 seats each, with SLD taking five, while PSL and KND would win four seats apiece.
* Romania, the second largest country in CEE, saw a decisive victory for the ruling Social-Democrats (PES), who received 37.4 per cent of the votes, with 96.2 per cent of the ballots counted. The opposition National-Liberal party (currently ALDE but plans to switch to EPP), which left the government coalition earlier this year, was second with 14.9 per cent. Three other centre-right parties, all affiliated with EPP, won seats – the Democrat-Liberals with 12.2 per cent, the ethnic Hungarian UDMR with 6.5 per cent and the Popular Movement with 6.2 per cent.
Surprisingly, independent candidate Mircea Diaconu, formerly of the National-Liberal party, won 6.9 per cent of the vote and will take one of Romania’s 32 MEP seats. The Social-Democrats are set to win 17 seats, with the National-Liberals and Democrat-Lieberal receiving five each, while UDMR and the Popular Movement will win two apiece.
Romania also held by-elections to fill eight vacancies in its bicameral parliament, with the Social-Democrats set to win all three senate seats (including one for tennis great Ilie Nastase) and four of five seats in the lower house. The other seat in the lower house was set to go to the National-Liberals.
* In Greece, the election was one of the most closely scrutinised, for a number of reasons, Held at the same time with local elections, it offered a mid-term test of the ruling coalition popularity, but also as a measuring stick for two parties with name recognition across the continent (albeit for different reasons) – the left-wing Syriza and controversial far-right party Golden Dawn.
Syriza (GUE/NGL) won the European Parliament election with 26.5 per cent, ahead of the centre-right New Democracy (EPP) on 22.7 per cent, with almost all the votes counted, daily Kathimerini reported. Golden Dawn was third with 9.3 per cent and the coalition around centre-left Pasok (PES) won eight per cent. Centrist newcomer River won 6.6 per cent and the communist KKE had six per cent.
Syriza is set to receive six of Greece’s 21 MEP seats – with Bulgarian national Kostadinka Kouneva, a trade union organiser, among the party’s future representatives in Brussels. New Democracy is set to get five seats, followed by Golden Dawn with three, while Pasok, River and KKE will get two seats each. The nationalist Independent Greeks party, which won 3.4 per cent, will get one seat.
In local elections, Syriza’s candidate won the second round in Attica, the country’s largest region, as well as the Ionian Islands, but New Democracy won more district governorships overall, Kathimerini reported.
* In Hungary, where 21 MEP seats were at stake, ruling party Fidesz (EPP) won in a landslide, with 51.5 per cent of the vote, according to estimates by the country’s electoral authority. Controversial far-right party Jobbik was second with 14.7 per cent and socialists MSZP (PES) had 10.9 per cent, narrowly edging ahead of the splinter Democratic Coalition, headed by former socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, which won 9.8 per cent.
Fidesz is set to win 12 MEP seats, with Jobbik receiving three, while MSZP and the Democratic Coalition would each get two seats. Two Green parties, LMP and E14–PM, were set to win a seat each.
* In the Czech Republic, another country with 21 seats in the European Parliament, the centre-right Ano 2011, which is part of the ruling coalition, won 16.1 per cent of the votes, followed closely by opposition centre-right party Top 09 (EPP) on 16 per cent. The ruling ČSSD (PES) was third with 14.2 per cent and the communist KSČM (GUE/NGL) won 11 per cent, ahead of the centre-right KDU-ČSL (EPP). Centre-right opposition ODS (ECR) avoided being wiped out and scored 7.7 per cent.
Initial projections gave Ano 2011, Top 09 and ČSSD four seats each, with KSČM and KDU-ČSL getting three apiece. ODS are set to win two seats and the Euroskeptic SSO will get a seat after winning 5.4 per cent of the vote.
* Slovakia set a new record for low turnout in European Parliament elections, with only 13 per cent of eligible voters casting their ballots, the Slovak Spectator reported. Ruling party Smer (PES) won 24.1 per cent of the votes and is set to win four of Slovakia’s 13 MEP seats. However, four centre-right parties affiliated with the EPP are set to send a combined six MEPs to Brussels – KDH (13.2 per cent and two seats), SDKÚ (7.8 per cent and two seats), SMK (6.5 per cent and one seat) and Most-Híd (5.8 per cent and one seat).
Other parties winning a seat apiece are conservative OĽaNO with 7.5 per cent, the Nova-KDS-OKS coalition with 6.8 per cent and SaS (ALDE) with 6.7 per cent.
* In Croatia, the EU’s newest member state, the centre-right coalition around HDZ won 41.4 per cent of the vote, ahead of the ruling coalition that includes centre-right SDP (PES) and centrist HNS (ALDE) on 30 per cent, the country’s electoral authorities said.
HDZ and HSS (both EPP) will receive four and one seat, respectively, while their coalition partner HSP-AS (ECR) will have one seat. SDP will get three seats and HNS will have one. Orah (Greens) received 9.4 per cent of the votes and will get one of Croatia’s 11 seats as well.
* In Lithuania, where another 11 seats in the European Parliament were at stake, the ruling LSDP (PES) leads with 19 per cent of the votes, according to preliminary results made public by the electoral commission. Euroskeptic Law and Justice Party (EFD) was second with 16.2 per cent, ahead of the Labour Party (ALDE) on 15.2 per cent and centre-right TS-LKD (EPP) on 14.2 per cent.
LSDP, Law and Justice, Labour and TS-LKD are set to win two seats each, with three other parties winning a seat apiece – LRLS (ALDE), LLRA (ECR) and LVŽS.
The country also held the second round of presidential elections, with former European Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite, known as a harsh critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin, winning re-election with 58 per cent of the vote.
* In Latvia, the leading party in the ruling coalition, Unity (EPP), won 46.2 per cent of the votes, according to The Baltic Times. The conservative National Alliance (ECR) received 14.3 per cent, edging the Harmony party (PES) on 13 per cent. The agrarian ZZS (Greens) won 8.3 pe3r cent and the Russian minority party LKS (Greens) won 6.4 per cent.
Unity is set to win four of Latvia’s eight MEP seats, with the National Alliance, Harmony, ZZS and LKS getting one seat each.
* In Slovenia, the centre-right opposition parties won a convincing victory, with SDS taking 24.9 per cent of the vote and the People’s Party and New Slovenia coalition (NSi-SLS) second on 16.5 per cent, public broadcaster RTV said. New party Verjamem was third with 10.5 per cent, ahead of two parties from the ruling coalition – pensioners party Desus with 8.2 per cent and the Social-Democrats (PES) with 8.1 per cent.
SDS and NSi-SLS (both EPP) will get three and two seats, respectively, while Verjamem, Desus and the Social-Democrats were set to win a seat each.
* In Estonia, the ruling Reform Party (ALDE) won 24.3 per cent of the vote, ahead of the Centre Party (ALDE) on 22.3 per cent. The centre-right IRL party (EPP) is third with 13.9 per cent, followed by the Social-Democrats (PES) on 13.6 per cent, while independent candidate Indrek Tarand (Greens) received 13.2 per cent.
The Reform Party is set to get two of Estonia’s six MEP seats, while the Centre Party, IRL and Social-Democrats will receive one apiece and Tarand will retain his MEP seat.