Across Europe, elections are being held for the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Parliament is a continent-wide body with representation from each EU country.
It appears to be a big day for right-wing parties and radical parties in general.
In France, the National Front (FN), the anti-EU party of Marine Le Pen, appears to have won about 25% of the vote, handily defeating all other parties.
Ominously, for the future of the EU, the party performed particularly strongly among the youth.
The AP reported that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the result was “more than a news alert…It is a shock, an earthquake.”
Meanwhile, the anti-EU UKIP was on top of Britain’s polls late Sunday. With its anti-immigrant, heavily nationalistic views, many view UKIP as Britain’s counterpart to the FN. Party leader Nigel Farage recently said
he thought people would be concerned if a group of Romanians moved in next door. Farage, too, had boasted UKIP’s showing would prove “an earthquake.”
Ultimately, the votes mean more for those two countries, as parts of their populations continue to drift right-ward. For the EU at large, not much will change, the FT’s Tony Barber argues.
The protest vote is not nearly big enough to be labelled a comprehensive rejection of the EU, its political values and its economic crisis management over the five years since the last European elections. Eurosceptics, broadly defined, are projected to win about 130 of the EU legislature’s 751 seats. Given that the EU has just gone through the biggest financial shock and recession of its 56-year history, the damage could have been greater.
Indeed, Euroskeptics will only hold an estimated 130 of the 751 European Parliament seats.
At any rate, it’s clear the first EU-wide vote since the Eurozone crisis ended, the level of anger towards the mainstream remains quite high.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.