Far right ekes gains in EU elections, rocks France

What happened

Far-right parties gained seats in European Parliament elections held in 27 countries, Green parties lost ground and the main center-right and center-left parties won the most votes, according to exit polls and preliminary results released Sunday.

The far right saw its biggest gains in Germany, where the scandal-plagued Alternative for Germany (AfD) party edged past Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats to take second place, and France, where Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party crushed Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business Renew party so badly, Macron dissolved Parliament and called surprise snap elections.

“For all the drama in Berlin and especially Paris, the projections of a broader hard-right takeover of the EU” failed to materialize, The Economist said. And in many countries the far right “performed short of expectations.” Still, since the last elections in 2019, the “once-fringe hard-right parties have entered the political mainstream in Europe,” The Washington Post said.

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