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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 17:48 UK

European election results: Voters react

Readers have been reacting to the results in the European parliamentary elections, where centre-right parties have emerged victorious at the expense of the left.

Far-right and anti-immigration parties also made gains, as turnout plunged to its lowest level in 30 years.

Below is a selection of readers' comments from across the continent.

UK
A couple watch European election results come in in Brussels
The centre-right coalition looks set to continue to hold power

This election was never fought on the relevant issues.

There was never any debate on the issues relating to Europe or the European Parliament, it was all about MPs' expenses and the continuing failure of New Labour.

We didn't get a single MEP or party canvassing in our area, no-one knocked on our door or held rallies in the area so no-one knew what they were voting for.

In the end, most people were voting against the government, even though it had nothing to do with the European elections.
Ben Platt, Liverpool, UK

I voted BNP and am so happy with the absolutely superb result.

The funniest thing is seeing the stupid faces of the other parties and newsreaders who just can't get their head around the fact that this was not just a protest vote but a vote from people who are fed up with being treated like outsiders in their own country.

Well done to [BNP leader] Nick Griffin and [Yorkshire and Humber elected MEP] Andrew Brons. This vote is proof of how real British people feel and shows the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives that the BNP is on the rise.
J P Wood, Hampshire, UK

I voted UKIP because they believe in withdrawal from the EU
George Miller, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK

My concern is that certain members of the population have chosen to stand up to Labour by voting for the BNP.

I understand that there really was not a lot of choice but come on, the BNP?

I thought that the people of this country were a proud and fair nation that simply was fed up with fat cat politicians. Replacing them with racists is not the answer.
Saccol, Norwich, United Kingdom

I voted UKIP because they believe in withdrawal from the EU. I voted for them in 1999 and 2004 for the same reason.

Though it is obvious that UKIP will never govern, I hope that they took enough votes from the Conservatives to make them think twice about selling us out on the EU question any more. We must have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty whatever the Irish do.

Actually, I would settle for any sort of EU referendum so the people of this country can overwhelmingly say "NO"!

George Miller, Basingstoke, Hampshire

NETHERLANDS

Being a Dutchman, I find the Freedom Party (PVV) results worrying.

However, another thing that can be seen from these elections is that voters clearly preferred clarity about Europe above moderate politics.

The strongly anti-European PVV and the two staunchly pro-European parties won, whereas the traditional centre parties with their we-are-for-Europe-but-also-against-it-because-we-want-it-but-not-too-much-and-not-too-little standpoint lost.
Andre Engels, Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

It was inevitable that the PVV and Geert Wilders would get a high percentage of the votes as he is the one person who speaks for the people.
Dianne, The Netherlands

The political parties in power have not taken this election seriously enough. Let this be their wake-up call
Bert Hidding, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I personally think that the proposed policies by Wilders are divisive and intolerant and offer no solutions to social and economic troubles in the Netherlands or in Europe.

On the other hand, Wilders' popularity indicates the unease of the lower middle class with immigration, crime rates among some minorities and job losses due to the economic crisis.

These people have used their democratic right to send a protest signal to The Hague and Brussels.

The political parties in power (Christian democrats, social democrats) have not taken this election seriously enough and have not clearly indicated where they want to take the country with respect to the EU.

Let this be their wake-up call.
Bert Hidding, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This is a good result that reflects what many people are thinking.

I think many people have been pushed into this choice because multiculturalism has been force-fed to the people at the cost of their own native culture.

And it's only going to get worse
Ben Soden, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

AUSTRIA

The mainstream parties have been punished for not openly discussing the issues the majority worry about
Christiane Tanko, Austria

The mainstream parties have been punished for not openly discussing the issues the majority of the population in their nations worry about.

It's a shame a racist party like the BNP got two seats. But to mix them up with Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands and the FPO in Austria is unfair on those parties.

The mainstream media now have to be open-minded towards these parties that they would rather sweep under the rug.

Christiane Tanko, Austria

HUNGARY

Krisztina Morvai from Hungary's far-right Jobbik party celebrates the party's gains with supporters
Hungary's far-right Jobbik party won three seats in Europe

I received my ballot paper over a month ago, but didn't realise how crucial the vote was.

I have come to realise that my vote, that could have gone to another minority party, may have kept out members of the radical right-wing party Jobbik.

As it turned out, they won three seats. The campaigns here have never been focused on the policies but on who's more popular.
Chris, Budapest, Hungary

GERMANY

The decreasing turnout shows that no mainstream party represents the views of the majority of the electorate.

People want to see real immigration controls, no federal EU and some even want and end to the EU itself.

Some have opted to vote for the far-right, as these are the only parties who offer such a stance. But most don't vote at all.

If those in power continue to ignore the electorate, what choices do the electorate have?
JG, Germany

The EU has flaws, but if its people take so little interest to vote then why do they complain about the lack of influence they have over European lawmaking?

If our national politicians do not participate in Europe, we will descend into insignificance.

I, for one, would welcome a United States of Europe. What is everyone so scared of?
Alex, Berlin, Germany

FRANCE

People forget so quickly and are now voting on short-term policies
Peter Rowan, France

This is really a Mickey Mouse election and parliament. How can we give any legitimacy to it when SIX Europeans out of 10 have decided not to vote!

The reason for such a low turn-out is simple: since the Lisbon Treaty is going to be ratified through national parliaments, without the people's say, there is no reason at all to participate.

At least six out of 10 understand politics.
Xavier, France

People forget so quickly and are now voting on short-term policies.

Lest we forget our past and the same policies of the far right in the 1920s and 1930s. Remember, Hitler was voted for in an election and look what happened there.

Even though the European Union has got things wrong, it has also got a lot of things right, such as freedom of movement for workers, as there are a lot of UK people working across Europe.

To the people who do not like foreigners in the UK, travel a bit and open your eyes.
Peter Rowan, France

SPAIN

I can't believe the heirs of the fascist dictatorship in Spain have won. I can't believe people have stopped believing in social democracy.

Now when we need a united Europe that can make decisions as one to get us out of this mess, Spaniards voted for those who got us in this social disaster.

Only socialists and their policies believe in Europe, and work for people's rights. Can anyone explain to me how a nationalist party can work for Europe and Europeans?

I am extremely upset.
Maria, Malaga, Spain

SWEDEN

The biggest democratic difficulties for the European Union are the low popular interest in the EU, the already low and consistently decreasing turnout in elections to the European Parliament, the divide between politicians and the general population on European integration, the complicated and technocratic nature of EU decision-making processes, and the activism of the European Court of Justice.
Lyndon Berchy, Nykroppa, Sweden

DENMARK

Hopefully a new parliament will do more to connect with the European electorate. There is little point in having a parliament that fails to represent the electorate after all.

But some sort of checks-and-balances is a must, and this also applies to the EU. The MEPs are at least accountable, which the Commission is not.
Erling Nielsen, Denmark

ROMANIA

I have voted, but I cast an invalid vote in protest. My protest is not against the EU, but it is a protest against Romanian politicians and the fact that we are not allowed to vote for individual representatives but party lists where one good person is accompanied by 10 non-values.

My invalid vote signifies my distrust in those put forward to represent my country.

I believe the EU deserves something better than a bunch of ex-TV-stars, radical nationalists and ex-models that my country offers now. Andrei Dascalu, Cluj, Romania

ITALY

I wonder what realistically the centre-right can do now.

They don't have any new policies and the most worrying thing is that their ideas are as old as them.

Principally here in Italy, you can always see the same people trying to stay in power as long as they can and the young politicians are worse, as they are completely without any ideas either.

That is why I can expect nothing after these election results.
Neri Francesco, Nicotera, Italy



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MEP Seats

  Votes MEPs
Party % +/- % Total +/-
EPP 33.4 -1.4 264 -18
Socialists 23.2 -4.1 183 -26
Liberal 11.0 +1.6 84 +5
Green 7.4 +1.3 50 +9
Left 5.3 -0.6 34 -2
UEN 3.4 +1.6 28 +2
Ind/Dem 2.7 -1.8 21 -15
No Group 13.6 +3.4 72 +3.4
0 of 27 countries declared.

UK Total MEP Seats

Party Votes MEPs
% +/- % Total +/-
CON 27.7 1.0 *26 1
UKIP 16.5 0.3 13 1
LAB 15.7 -6.9 13 -5
LD 13.7 -1.2 11 1
GRN 8.6 2.4 2 0
BNP 6.2 1.3 2 2
SNP 2.1 0.7 2 0
PC 0.8 -0.1 1 0
OTH 8.5 2.4 0 0
SF 1 0
DUP 1 0
72 of 72 seats declared. Vote share figures exclude Northern Ireland as it has a separate electoral system to the rest of the UK
* Includes UCUNF MEP elected in Northern Ireland
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BACKGROUND
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VIDEO ON DEMAND
Pol Nyup Rasmussen, Graham Watson, Wilfried Martens Bloc presidents on election results

Tristana Moore How people voted across Europe

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski Polish success for ruling party

France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde French vote boosts Sarkozy's UMP

Steve Rosenberg Berlin voters celebrate at party





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