The significant European Parliament elections (9-11 June 2024) marked a notable shift to the right, with populist and far-right parties securing up to 25% of the seats. The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) remains the largest group, while the influence of the Socialists and Liberals has diminished. Major gains for the far-right were observed in France and Germany, significantly impacting national politics, with Macron calling for a general election. Ursula von der Leyen is expected to seek a second term as Commission President, but forming a stable pro-European majority will be challenging. The election results indicate a stronger pro-business agenda but also increased challenges for multinationals navigating the new political landscape.

Voters across Europe went to polls this month to make their voices heard in the 2024 European Parliament elections. Elections for the European Parliament, the world’s only directly elected transnational governing body, are held every five years and are managed by national governments. This month, 720 members of parliament were elected, 15 more than in the previous elections.

The number of lawmakers elected from each European Union country is based on degressive proportionality. This means that members of parliament from larger countries represent more people than lawmakers from smaller countries. Germany, for instance, elected 96 members of parliament this month while Malta elected six.

The aftershocks of the June elections are still reverberating across the continent after some of Europe’s most prominent leaders suffered setbacks. Meanwhile, right-wing and far-right parties made significant gains, though failed to achieve the results polls had predicted, with two important exceptions.

In France, for instance, a coalition including President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance Party garnered just 14.6% of the vote. The far-right Rassemblement National, which campaigned on an anti-immigration ticket, won 31.3% of the vote. The results prompted Macron to immediately dissolve the French Parliament and call a snap election.

There were setbacks for centrist parties in Germany, too. Chancellor Olaf Scholz saw his Social Democratic Party forced into third place behind the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party. Overall, right-leaning parties in Germany took more than 45% of the vote.

“It often makes most sense to understand the European Parliament elections as 27 national referendums on government policy in the EU member states,” said Andrew Caruana Galizia, Head of Europe and Eurasia at the World Economic Forum. “This time was no different, with the real shocks emerging at the national level in Europe’s two largest economies.”

Meanwhile, in Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni saw her right-wing Brothers of Italy party consolidate its position with 28.7% of the vote.

The outcome underscores the evolving political landscape across Europe, where national dynamics heavily influence the composition of the European Parliament. These elections not only reflect a growing shift towards right-wing ideologies but also highlight the challenges faced by traditional centrist parties in maintaining their influence amidst changing voter sentiments.

You can check the European election results for all EU countries here: https://www.politico.eu/europe-poll-of-polls/european-parliament-election/