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EU election: Far-right wins big amid wider eurosceptic and anti-austerity victory

Socialist party Syriza comes first in Greek vote and calls for an early general election

Europe's electorate delivered millions of new votes to eurosceptic and anti-austerity parties on Sunday.

However, right-wing parties succeeded in hijacking huge numbers of those votes with populist xenophobic policies, sending the Establishment pro-European parties into a flat spin across the European Union.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) scored its first victory in European Parliament elections. FN won around 25 per cent of the vote, according to exit polls, easily beating the centre-right UMP on 20 per cent.

In Denmark, the right-wing Danish People’s Party topped the polls, although its leaders have ruled out an alliance with the National Front.

The governing right-wing Fidesz party in Hungary took nearly 52 per cent of the vote and 12 seats in the European Parliament.

And in Belgium, Flemish separatists secured four of 21 EU parliamentary seats, more than any other party.

But there was better news from Greece, where the anti-austerity Syriza party topped the polls with more than 27 per cent of the vote.

And in Spain the ruling conservative Popular Party and the compromised Socialist Party lost major ground to smaller parties, mainly on the left. The Catalan independence party also performed well.

In the Irish Republic, Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan became the first European candidate to be elected on Sunday. Fourteen MEPs will be elected in the republic, although the final results may not be known until later today.

Several extreme-right fascist parties suffered in the polls, losing votes to populist rightwingers.

Hungary’s Jobbik party made no progress, taking 14.7 per cent of the vote, down a fraction from its 2009 total.

Turnout was generally low across the entire European Union with polls routinely below 50 per cent and, in eastern Europe, predicted to be around 20 per cent.


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