This article will explore how the European far-right parties performed in the European Parliamentary Election 2019 that took place from May 23-26. The numbers are based on the
With approximately 75 of 705 seats that will make up the European Parliament after Brexit, the EAPN will be the fourth biggest EU parliamentary group.
With 17,2% of the national votes, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) did rather well, despite the scandal around former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, which led to the end of the coalition government of chancellor Sebastian Kurz just days before the elections. The FPÖ will have three seats in the European Parliament and sit with the newly founded EAPN.
The Belgian Vlaams Belang ("Flemish Interest") did also very well, with 11,45% of the national votes. It will have three seats in the European Parliament and join the EAPN. According to research by the German website Politometer, with a total of € 707 737, Vlaams Belang was the second biggest spender when it comes to Facebook ads.2
The regional division in Belgium into Flanders and Wallonia, is also mirrored by a political divide. In Wallonia, the far-right is practically non-existent, while it is over-represented in Flanders.
With 3,6% of the national votes, the Bulgarian far-right Volya (Воля) party could not get any seat in the European Parliament, but still pledged support to Salvini's EAPN.
The Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy party (Svoboda a přímá demokracie) won 9,14% of the votes, and two seats in the European Parliament. The party has also agreed to join Salvini's EAPN.
The Danish far-right Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party) received 10,76% of the national votes, equaling to one seat in the European Parliament, which it pledged to the EAPN.
The Conservative People's Party of Estonia EKRE (Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond) did perform very well, with 12,7% of the votes. Marine Le Pen of France's National Rally had supported the party in the run-up to the elections. On a picture she can be seen with the Estonian EKRE politician Ruuben Kaalep giving the white supremacist "ok" sign.3
The far-right Finns Party received 13,8% of the national votes, and will dispatch its two MEP to the EAPN. The Finns Party had until the recent elections been in a governing coalition with the Centre Party and the National Coalition Party. This was the first time that a right-wing populist party, had participated in a Finnish government.
France's Rassemblement National ("National Rally") outperformed Macron's La République en Marche in the elections, with 23,31% of the national votes, equaling to 22 seats. Since Marine Le Pen's party decided to join Salvini's new parliamentary group EAPN, National Rally's former group, Europe of Nations and Freedom, will dissolve.
Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) could win 11% of the national votes, and thus 11 seats in the European Parliament. It has pledged to support the EAPN, and AfD's Jörg Meuthen will be the leader of the new parliamentary group.
Hungary's Fidesz party is currently having an absolute majority in the Hungarian Parliament, and could gain 55,3% of the national votes. After it has been suspended by the European People's Party group earlier in 2019, it will have to look for a new group affiliation. The country's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, ruled out a participation of Fidesz in the EAPN on the base of Marine Le Pen being "a red line."4
Italy's Lega under Matteo Salvini did gather 34,33% of the votes, and is with 28 seats the strongest force in the EAPN.
The Latvian Nationalist, who in the run-up to the European parliamentary elections had pledged their support for Salvini, could only gather 0,67% of the national votes, and thus not seats in the European Parliament.
The Netherlands' established far-right Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders, lost most of its voter base to a new far-right party, the Forum for Democracy.
Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) party could gather 45,38% of the votes, equaling to 26 seats in the European Parliament. The party plans to stay in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) parliamentary group.
The Slovakian "We are Family" received 3,32% of the votes. It has pledged support to the EAPN but could not gather enough votes for an MEP.
The Slovenian National Party (Slovenska Nacionalna Stranka) had also pledged support for the EAPN, but with 4,01% of the votes could not get a seat.
The far-right Spanish Vox party received 6,2% of the national votes, equivalent to 3 seats. So far it has not made a statement, which parliamentary group it would join.
In the UK, the biggest winner was the Eurosceptic Brexit Party around Nigel Farage, with 30,75% of the votes, equaling to 29 seats in the European Parliament. Although the party is scheduled to leave the European Parliament on the delayed Brexit date in October 2019, it will try to maintain its affiliated parliamentary group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy.5
- 1. "2019 European election results," European Parliament, https://election-results.eu/.
- 2. Gerald Gartner, "Wahlkampf auf Facebook: Rechte europaweit voran," Politometer, https://www.addendum.org/politometer/kategorie/verwaltung/facebook-werbeausgaben-europaweit/.
- 3. "Marine Le Pen asks EKRE MP to delete 'selfie' from social media page," Eesti Rahvusringhääling, May 15, 2019, https://news.err.ee/939742/marine-le-pen-asks-ekre-mp-to-delete-selfie-from-social-media-page.
- 4. Carmen Paun, "Hungary’s Fidesz dismisses cooperation with Salvini in the European Parliament," Politico, May 20, 2019, https://www.politico.eu/article/hungary-fidesz-dismisses-matteo-salvini-alliance-european-parliament/.
- 5. Jennifer Rankin, "Brexit party in talks to join far-right group in EU parliament," The Guardian, May 29, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/29/brexit-party-said-talks-to-join-far-right-group-in-eu-parliament?CMP=share_btn_tw.