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French Populist Party Of Le Pen Leading; Establishment Parties Losing Ground In European Elections; Trump To Meet With Emperor And Abe During State Visit; WH Denies Trump Siding With Kim Jong-Un Over Biden; Centrists Losing Ground In Europe; Merkel's Party Leading In European Elections. Aired 6-6:45p ET

Aired May 26, 2019 - 18:00   ET



[18:00:33] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to the program, I'm Michael Holmes.

Results now coming in from the European parliamentary elections a crucial vote that could decide the direction of Europe for the next five years. Turnout across the continent high, in fact, the highest in decades and what we are seeing is a triumph of the fridge, if we can put it that way. Meaning, the grand coalition of the Centre right and Centre left groups appears to have lost its majority.

Now, Hala Gorani closely following all of the results. She is live from Brussels where it is just after midnight easy day for you Hala or changing of the god perhaps?

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Lots of very interesting lines coming from here, Michael. Marginal parties will be less marginal. Those are the words. That is the admission from the E.U. commission president as the far left and right chip away at the middle.

In Paris it's party time for Marine Le Pen's French populist. The (INAUDIBLE) picking up seats and according to projections, besting President Emmanuel Macron's party who's would really, really put a personal stake in this campaign.

A similar upset in Greece, Prime Minister Alex Tsipras has called for snap elections after his party's poor showing. The opposition conservative party New Democracy coming in first at 34 percent.

We're still waiting for Italy's numbers, but far right nationalist leader is Matteo Salvini is feeling pretty good, pretty good about his chances. He tweeted just one sentence "first party in Italy, thank you."

Here are the overall results, which are updated of course throughout the evening. The Green Party is doing well and is on track to becoming the fourth largest party in the E.U. Parliament. And European People's Party or the Christian Democrats, these are establishment parties here we're talking about in dark blue, has the most seats but it has receded since 2014. This chart is still in flux and the Europe-wide results will be expected in a few minutes.

Now, we have reporters fanned out across Europe covering the story every step of the way for you. Melissa Bell is in Paris with the look at how the European elections played out in France.

First, let's get the big picture from Erin McLaughlin in Brussels.

Erin, talk to us about the very latest projections. We're going to put up that graphics to show our viewers where the party stands so far.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONENT: Well, Hala, the final projection for the evening is being announced as I speak.

What I can tell you at this point is we have a definitive figure for voter turnout, that figure being 50.5 percent voter turnout. And that's seen as significant, it's an 8 percentage point jump from voter turnout in 2014. And it's a big deal, it's something that E.U. officials watch very closely. They were very concerned going into this about voter apathy because turnout has declined pretty much every election since 1979.

So the fact that for the first time, it's up ticking this year, is seen as a good thing by E.U. officials, the music to many ears, Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE list basically saying today Europe is back.

So, we'll get to more figures as we get these final projections. We're going to be watching very closely as to how this so-called grand collision is doing, the grand coalition is comprised of the centre- right and centre-left parties. It's how legislation has gotten through in previous years but that looks like it's set to change. It looks like they are set to lose their majority, but again, we are just getting those final projection numbers as I'm speaking.

GORANI: All right, but certainly the trend that is emerging here across Europe is that the marginal parties once potentially you could call some of them fringe parties are actually doing very well and the establishment centrist parties, the centre-right and the centre-left losing ground, retaining their majority of their ally themselves with the Macron list, but, still losing ground. The voters across this continent are telling the leaders in Brussels that they are dissatisfied.

[18:05:00] Thanks, Erin. We'll get back to you in a moment. The games to the far-right and Euroskeptics will now be enough to dominate parliament and that's important but they will have increased power to complicate things.

Camino Mortera-Martinez -- I'm sorry, Melissa Bell before we get to Camino. Melissa Bell in Paris, we heard from Marine Le Pen, she's having a good night after that bruising night a couple of years ago during the presidential election in France.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And she really made this campaign for her party all about Emmanuel Macron. This was to be a sort of referendum on his policies, a possibility and this is what she was counting on. That all the anger we seen expressed in the streets of France would come out in her favor tonight.

And the latest figures we're seeing, these are partial beneficial results, 25 percent for her party, 21 for Emmanuel Macron. Now that is a huge defeat for a president. You'll remember who came on, on that very pro-European anti-populist ticket, it had seen in France two years ago and the populist way stopped here.

Tonight Marine Le Pen had shown that here in France it still has some legs and cheese, the one whose come out on top.

And I just want to go back to the point you're making about the fringe parties coming out. We've been talking a lot this evening, Hala, about that, main headline from Paris tonight clearly. But there is another important thing that we've seen tonight, which is that after Marine Le Pen party, Emanuel Macron's party, the Greens has scored 12 percent here in France tonight and that is a first, it is a historic high for the party. We simply hadn't seen that happen here before reflecting the popularity that they found in this poll in Germany as well tonight, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Melissa Bell, thanks very much.

Camino Mortera-Martinez is a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, she joins me now.

OK. So, the big headline for you tonight, what is it?

CAMINO MORTERA-MARTINEZ, SR. RESEARCH FELLOW, CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN REFORM: The populist are not as popular as we thought they would be.

GORANI: And because you're saying that the numbers are perhaps even though they may be making gains, they're not making the gains we'd expected.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Right, I think that's a, I was very popular slogan for centric liberal parties like Macron and his allies to actually cry wolf and say, you know, the populist are coming after us and we need to go vote. Actually we see the turnout increasing very much for these elections.

It's also being a very good news, whether you need to talk about populist in Europe and all that. But I'm not really sure that that was going to be the case and I think the results confirm that the populist are not going to make the big gains and especially they are not going to be there to complicate, you know, decision making as much as some fears.

GORANI: But in France Macron was very invested in this campaign, the one he named to head the list, the former minister in his government wasn't doing very well campaigning. He stepped in. And yet, it appears as though according to the projections his party will come out second behind Le Pen.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Right. To me, what is interesting is that according to the projections, so the party of Marine Le Pen is doing worse than they did in 2014.

GORANI: Right.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: And we should remember that they actually won the European elections in 2014 and they also came to the second tour of the elections in 2017. Macron three years ago didn't have a party.

So, for me, it's extraordinary that he himself has managed to get here. Obviously, his big mistake is to have campaign in France in a purely European platform and then have campaign in Europe with a pro- France platform. That, I think, was his big mistake in this campaign.

GORANI: So, the Brexit Party in the U.K. and we -- the two of us were looking at the number of seats they had five years ago, which was 24. So if the projection sticks and they are at 24, they've really not made any gains there. It's a new party but it's an old sentiment. I mean, it's basically a rebranded U.K. So, this would also fit into what you're saying.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Right, it does. And to me, it also goes into the idea of holding this European Parliament election in the U.K. has been in my particular view a big mistake. Because it was always going to be a Brexit by proxy election hence having a big gains for the Brexit Party, the new U.K. And big loses for mainstream more moderate parties like say, obviously the conservatives are going to get wiped out, so we are not going to see pro in not even --

GORANI: They weren't really campaigning.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Right. So -- indeed, I mean, that's part of the tendency I was talking about.

GORANI: I don't want to get into the weeds of the numbers, but even though the populist as you said have not made the expected gains that they fell short of that. The establishment parties have lost considerable ground tonight.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: But it actually depends on what we consider establishment parties, though, because obviously what we call the grand coalition of the socialist and the conservatives had indeed lose seats. However, the liberals and Macron together with them have gone up. And then we obviously have the Greens, can we call the Greens the mainstream party as if they have been for a long time for example in Germany, I don't know.

[18:10:00] But it's not the major, you know, symbols that we expected and in any case mainstream parties together say conservative, liberals, socialist and even with the support of ALDE can do something together, can form coalitions.

GORANI: Will they form a coalition? Because this is where all the complications emerge, which is you have national agendas and you have European agendas, they don't always intersect.

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Right. And for example my own country is Spain.


MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Citizens (ph) which is the liberal party is not going to support a socialist government whereas in the European Parliament, say, Timmermans, who is the socialist candidate is much closer to the liberals than his to whoever the conservatives.

Say, coalitions are going to be an interesting thing to watch for and I believe that is going to take some months to get there.

GORANI: Some months. All right, we'll be watching them as well.

Camino Mortera-Martinez, thanks very much for joining us.


GORANI: Let's remind our viewers in total 28 countries are choosing 751 Parliament members.

Oh, and Camino, after the U.K. leaves it will be 701 or something? I'm not sure.


GORANI: Much lower number, right?

MORTERA-MARTINEZ: Fifty-four, yes. Fifty-four less.

GORANI: Fifty-four less, all right. Their choice will shape the European Union for the next five years and represent more than 500 million Europeans.

So, some of those Europeans might not be part of the E.U. much longer as we just discussed with Camino. That is if Britain Brexit Party and its leader Nigel Farage have any say in the matter.

Farage is watching the E.U. election results closely at a vote tallying location in South Hampton. When asked about the outcome of the election he had this to say.


NIGEL FARAGE, BREXIT PARTY LEADER: Thus both of the parties have suffered very heavily tonight. In the latest case, you know, the losing votes won and losing votes to believe them.


FARAGE: I hope they both do terribly (ph).


GORANI: Welcome Andrew Duff, yes, I have your details here. President of the Spinelli Group and ex-MVP between '99 and 2015, you spent 15 years on that.

ANDREW DUFF, EUROPEAN FEDERALIST: I did. GORANI: What do you make of tonight's results?

DUFF: Well, I think the greatest thing is that the turnout has begun to climb again. You know we had that graph which is very depressing decline of interest in the whole business of the European Parliament for all these years. It's a signal that the public now beginning to take the emerging policy that we have here importantly and asking us to here to do more than we have done in the past.

GORANI: So is this you think in the aftermath of Brexit of all these populous parties doing well? Perhaps, you have people voting because they're seeing this as some sort of test, mini referendum on the E.U.?

DUFF: I think the crisis always --


DUFF: -- propels the integration process forward. But I also think that it's the incursion of important issues like climate and security on to the agenda which everyone really appreciates can't be cracked inside their own little countries.


DUFF: All these problems transcend the capacity of the other countries to tackle.

GORANI: And when you mention climate, it is interesting because the Greens have done --

DUFF: Yes.

GORANI: -- very well.

DUFF: Pretty good.

GORANI: Now the Greens are a very established party and they usually do well during European elections, but they did even better than some expected. I wonder why.

DUFF: And -- well, I mean, I think that in the past they have always been --

GORANI: At least in Germany.

DUFF: Yes. I think in the past they have always been the sort of a bit quirking, you know --


DUFF: -- a bit on the edge. They've now become more royal (ph) and that helps.

GORANI: Well the fact that our planet is burning, it has helped their agenda, right?

DUFF: That's right.

GORANI: And then we have some major climate problems that no one can deny anymore.

DUFF: Yes.


DUFF: But also the security issues. I mean, migration, Putin, Trump, all these things --


DUFF: -- have inspired the public to be more interested in the things that go on here than they have in the past.


DUFF: And because the other thing which we have to understand is that there's been a generational change.


DUFF: Lots of younger were coming up. Who have been broad more, they've been educated abroad, they understand the thing much better.

GORANI: So my question is the voters of your -- presenting a message to the established leaders here, the politicians not unlike yourself who spent many, many years over many elections, you know, taking their seats here. They are saying "we're not happy with what is going on in Brussels."

And do you think the politicians here will change anything in response to this?

DUFF: Oh, yes. I mean --

GORANI: And if so, what?

DUFF: I mean, the Parliament has become an increasingly important player in all this. It isn't only the election of the president to the commission, all of that, which is important.

[18:15:04] But it's the programs that the groups can agree on that will drive things all forward. And we have a (INAUDIBLE) of leaders here now in this parliament who had experience, who will be able to agree on a progressive if I call it a federalist program, which will strengthen the E.U.

GORANI: A federalist is what's got some people worried, right? The fact that more power is concentrated in Brussels than they're comfortable with.

DUFF: Of course. One has got to explain the project.

GORANI: Right, yes. DUFF: Very clear to people. But it's also obvious that people feel frustrated that in the past. We promised here a lot more than we have been able to deliver. And in order to increase our capacity to act effectively and democratically, then we need all assets and the instruments and the powers that are required across the spectrum of policy from climate to foreign affairs.

GORANI: Thank you, Andrew Duff. Really appreciate your time. In fact, we have some breaking news Viktor Orban's anti immigration populist Fidesz Party in Hungary wins big in the European election. Listen to this percentage 52.14 percent.

DUFF: Well, he's played that unscrupulous. He's played an unscrupulous campaign exploiting the fear of migration.

GORANI: It's worked for him.

DUFF: It worked.

GORANI: Thank you very much Andrew Duff.

DUFF: Thank you.

GORANI: Michael Holmes back at CNN World Headquarters has more on the day's other big stories, Michael?

HOLMES: All right, Hala, thanks very much. We'll check in with you a bit later. We'll take a break. When we come back, the U.S. president just hours away from becoming the first foreign leader to meet with Japan's new emperor. The latest on his state visit. We'll have a live report from Tokyo.

Plus, how the Greens Party is responding to the election results. A live interview with one of the party's key leaders coming up.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. It is just after 7:00 a.m. in Tokyo where U.S President Donald Trump is gearing up to his third day of that state visit to Japan. Mr. Trump set to take part in royal events with the emperor before sitting down the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The two leaders have a less formal meeting on Sunday playing around of gold and attending a sumo wresting match and dining at a barbecue restaurant.

Right now, let's take you out to Tokyo where our Pamela Brown is tracking the developments. A historic day for Japan. What is this trip a key to the president and the Japanese prime minister, free us to today on what's happening and what's ahead?

[18:20:12] PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, The White House says this trip really is about ceremony more than substance strengthening the bond between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe. Of course, the two countries have an important alliance when it comes to trade and defense.

And so officials have tried to down play that any concrete deliverables will be coming out of this trip. Indeed, President Trump himself tweeted I think just yesterday that they really won't get serious about trying to reach a by lateral trade deal until after the parliament elections hear in Japan which is in July.

And so, this is all about pageantry. The president later this morning here in Tokyo will be meeting with the newly crowned emperor. He'll be the first foreign leader to do so and it's a high honor in Japan. They will be meeting at Imperial Palace. After that he'll have bilateral talks with the prime minister. We do expect the press conference after that and then of course tonight there's a state banquet.

And so certainly there is a lot of pageantry here in Tokyo for President Trump but analysts say that no matter who the U.S. president was that Prime Minister Abe would extent the same honor because of the important U.S.-Japan alliance, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, it's a very important for Shinzo Abe, too. He has elections coming up later in the year so for him, he's sort of seen as somebody that has worked out how to appeal to the president through flattery. Is that something you've come across?

BROWN: Absolutely. Shinzo Abe has been on this (INAUDIBLE) with President Trump since right after his election. He was the first foreign leader to fly to Washington D.C. to meet with President Trump. And so the question is, is that embrace of President Trump really paying off for Shinzo Abe that the two have spoken more than 40 times. Shinzo Abe has spoken to President Trump more than any other foreign leader.

So while there hasn't been a big payoff for Japan in terms of the, you know, the TPP, the president pulled out of that, the president's position on North Korea trying to have diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, some could argue that Shinzo Abe's efforts are actually paying off for him because so far he has been able to stave off the auto tariffs, of course the administration extended deadline by six months.

And so that appears to be what the strategy is here to try to stave off the tariffs and also Abe may be trying to convince the president just how important the threat is, how big the threat is for Japan when it comes to North Korea, that the short range missiles should be a big concern as you know the president tweeted yesterday just before a meeting with Abe downplaying the threat from those short-range missiles.

And so, President Trump has not indicated the two leader haves spoken about that but it's certainly unnerving for people here in Japan, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, indeed for Japan. Short-range missiles aren't all that short range. They are within reach. Pam, good to see you. Thanks for that. Pamela Brown there in Tokyo. Let's talk more about all of this and get her perspectives on Mr. Trump's trip and his latest tweets. We'll go deeper on that with CNN National Security Analyst, Samantha Vinograd, always good to see you and let's start with that tweet about the North Korean missile test.

And then let's put it up for people and especially with the timing of this visit, playing down those test which greatly concern Japan. What does a tweet tell you especially since, you know, Donald Trump seems to be the only one who's not concerned.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it actually tells me that Donald Trump is not concerned about the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans that also happen to be stationed in Japan. U.S. forces Japan host 54,000 military personnel not to mention their families and civilians, as well.

So when Donald Trump is so nonchalant about these short-range missiles, he's really discounting the fact that so man Americans in addition of course to our Japanese and South Korean allies are in striking range of Kim Jong-un.

On a larger scale what President Trump is signaling is that Kim has a get out of jail free card no matter what he does just as long as he doesn't test intermediate range missiles or nuclear weapons. The problem is, though, Michael, that North Korea has a history here.

In 2006, North Korea was upset with the pace of negotiation with the United States and other parties. North Korea started with short-range weapons and very soon thereafter in a matter of weeks escalated to longer range missiles. So the question is how inpatient is Kim Jong- un getting? We know that Donald Trump is not inpatient. How impatient is Kim Jong-in getting and is he going to stay true to North Korean form and up the ante here with more sophisticated longer range weapons over the course of the summer?

HOLMES: It's going to get harder to play that down.

[18:25:00] And, you know, Japan pointing that these launches violate U.N. resolutions. But, you have a situation where the president sort of has no qualms about not enforcing a U.N. resolution and if you don't enforce it, what's the point and what's the message to Shinzo Abe and others?

VINOGRAD: Well, the law and order president as he likes to paint himself here is not concerned with international law if it really messes up a personal objective that he has. President Trump has been no fan of international law across the board. He is OK in this instance with Kim Jong-un breaking U.N. Council Resolution 1965, that's why for example we have not heard President Trump use the phrase ballistic missile because that would break UNSCR 1965. He has talked about raw launching ballistic missiles of course but North Korea separate.

So the message is that international law doesn't really matter to President Trump. He's OK pushing it to the side as just like he's OK reneging on international agreements that the United States signs. At this point, President Trump is only OK upholding laws as long as they work for him and that's a really slippery slope as more despites (ph) think of nice things to say to him, what other international laws are going to be broken just if Donald Trump stays happy with how foreign leaders are talking about him.

HOLMES: Yes. That sort of leads us to the second part of the tweet. Let's pull the tweet up again so people could read along. Because the second part of that tweet, talking about Kim Jong-un saying that Donald Trump also smiled when he called swamp man Joe Biden a low I.Q. individual and perhaps worst, that sending me the signal.

I think I try to imagine how Republicans react Barack Obama sided with the (INAUDIBLE) demeaning U.S. political opponent and former vice president and that is really extraordinary stuff.

VINOGRAD: It is extraordinary because, not only because it really forbodes President Trump opening the door to foreign election interference across the board. We know that members of his team have said it's OK for the Trump campaign to accept information from Russia, that's a campaign contribution.

And we have Kim Jong-un very clearly pursuing PSYOPs or psychological operations against the president. He flatters him while he calls, you know, John Bolton human scum but flatters President Trump. And now he's criticizing President Trump's enemies just like by the way Vladimir Putin does. Vladimir Putin often talks about Democrats as a reason why thinks are awry between the United States and Russia.

So what is Kim is doing here is trying to manipulate President Trump into what doing what he wants which is likely sanctions relief. And I think we also have to acknowledge the fact that Donald Trump is probably Kim Jong-un's preferred candidate for 2020.

Donald Trump is pretty good for Kim Jong-un right now. Kim Jong-un is allowed to continue to proliferate missiles and to proliferate friends and Donald Trump says that he's not disturbed for all of those reasons, I think we can expect North Korea and Kim Jong-un to continue to criticize Trump's enemies while talking up the strength of the love affair that Kim has with the president.

HOLMES: As you point out, let's see what happens if short-range missiles become intermediate. Samantha Vinograd, always great to have you on. Thanks.

VINOGRAD: Good to see you.

HOLMES: All right. Let's talk now exit polls showing Chancellor Angela Merkel's party leading the European vote in Germany but another party making big gains. When we come back, we'll talk more about these European elections with Hala Gorani.


[18:31:01] HOLMES: Welcome back on now an update on what could be a very bad night for European centrist. Early vote total from the European parliamentary election showing right wing parties leading in France, Italy and Hungary and making gains in Sweden.

Exit polls showing parties on the right and the left both making gains across Europe, jeopardizing centrist control of the European parliament. The European election results also having an impact on national politics in some E.U. member countries after a disappointing performance by his ruling collision Greece's prime minister called snap elections.

And the far-right leader Marine Le Pen in France is calling on the French President Emmanuel Macron to dissolve the National Assembly based on results there.

Our Hala Gorani following all of this in Brussels for us, bring us up to date, Hala.

GORANI: All right, well, Michael, as you mentioned, there are centrist parties losing ground if you taken into account, Emmanuel Macron's party. It appears as thought they will maintain some sort of control of the European Parliament, Europeskeptics have made gains but not enough to take any kind of control. It's debatable whether or not they can significantly disrupt proceedings in the European parliament but certainly that is one of the trends.

Another trend is that the environmentalist party, the greens in Europe across many countries did well including in Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union is ahead in the exit polls and official results are expected soon.

Our senior international correspondent Atika Shubert is following the outcome from Berlin.

So, as we mentioned, the Greens doing pretty well in Germany and Angela Merkel's party, what are the expectations here?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, even though they won the total most amount of votes, they really have lost quite a few votes. In fact, they lost about 7 percentage points. The only party that did worse than them were Social Democrats that lost by 12 percentage points. So what we're really seeing here is that voters are abandoning those centre-left and centre-right parties and going to the fringes.

Now in the national election we saw last time, they went to the far right alternative for Germany party, the AFD. But in this election, they only gained a little bit. They did not meet the 12 percent they were hoping for instead they kind of hit the ceiling of 10 percent.

The real gains as you point out were the Greens. They have come out to more than 20 percent according to the most recent exit polls and that seems to have been driven by a sort of youth surge. You know, we've seen these climate change protests around the world but here in Germany they had a tremendous impact and really went out of their way to mobilize the vote according to the ZDF national broadcaster about more than 30 percent of voters under 30 voted for the Greens. So it does seem to be a bit of youth quake happening in this vote, Hala? GORANI: All right. And now, you mentioned and we were talking about

Angela Merkel's party, the establishment parties. I mean, I wonder what lesson they will learn as a result of this election because it's not just in Germany, of course, it's across Europe but there are domestic lessons here they can learn going forward for future elections. What did the people of Germany tell their establishment politicians?

SHUBERT: Oh, absolutely. I think what's clear is climate change is the number one issue for voters certainly in this election and that immigration while an important issue was not the number one issue. In fact, it was number four according to a poll by the national broadcaster here.

And what the centre-left and the centre-right had really been campaigning on were very domestic national issues. Social security, employment, health issues and yes, they are important but for a lot of the voters, they were saying, listen, we're more concerned about the trends national issues like climate change, like immigration and we want to see European parliament that deals with it together with other countries, not just on a national domestic level. And that's real message coming across certainly to the centrist parties here in Germany.

[18:35:16] GORANI: OK. Atika Shubert, thanks very much. The pro- environment Greens Party as Atika was just mentioning, there as made considerable gains in the election. Its leaders were cheering earlier as that news became clear.

Well, it's a party where grown men dress as polar bears and celebrate. They certainly had a good night. And although it's a bit of a lighthearted statement, I just made there, the seriousness of the climate issue, certainly mobilize people. There is absolutely no doubt about that because the Greens surged in Germany but have also done well in France. Party leaders say they do the gains as a sign of Europe's desire for climate protection and unity on this topic.


SVEN GIEGOLD, GREEN PARTY E.U. CANDIDATE (through translator): The people in Germany, the people in Europe, have voted for climate protection and for European solidarity. And that is the signal that is being sent this evening.


GORANI: Erin McLaughlin joins me now. Erin, what are the some of these latest projection numbers that are -- that were -- that are being revealed?

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, well all eyes tonight on the grand coalition which is comprised of the centre-right and the centre-left having lost its majority for the very first time. You know, I was just listening to Margrethe Vestager, she's the commissioner for competition within the European Commission. And she's also seen as a potentially contender for that top spot for the ALDE list which also now a well include Emmanuel Macron's party.

Anyway, she was saying quote, "I think it's obvious. I've worked with breaking monopolies", as her work in the European commission. She says, "This is what I've been doing for five years right now and this is also what voters have been doing today. The monopoly of power is broken".

And that is, in some respects very much reflected in the figures. The EPP, which is the centre-right party, down 38 seats. The S&D, the centre-left party, down 33.

Collectively, the grand coalition down 71 seats in its place. We've seen gains in the ALDE, Macron grouping up 39 seats. The Greens which is seen as pro-European, strong policies on climate change, also pro- humane migration policies, that grouping up 15 seats but we've also seen gains by the Euroskeptics.

We have figures here for the EFDD that includes the Brexit Party there in the United Kingdom as well as the AFD Party in Germany. They're up 11 seats. So some gains for the Euroskeptics, gains for the Greens, gains for ALDE Macron grouping, and big losses for that grand coalition which will make the workings, the inner workings of the parliament very interesting going forward.

GORANI: Yes certainly. Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much. Let's return to Michael Holmes who has other major stories happening around the world.

HOLMES: All right, Hala, thanks so much. Now, still to come on the program, flooding, tornados, high winds, more severe weather hitting the U.S. State of Oklahoma. We'll have an update on the damage there when we come back. You're watching "CNN Today".


[18:40:56] HOLMES: Welcome back everyone. A powerful earthquake in Northern Peru has killed at least one person, injured many others. Magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck early on Sunday morning damaging businesses, homes, and roads. Peru's president visiting some of the hardest hit areas to personally survey the damage.

The quake could be felt as far away as the capital Lima as well as in Venezuela and Ecuador. At least 11 people injured in Peru. Another seven injured in Ecuador.

In Oklahoma in the U.S. an EF3 tornado touched down late Saturday in the city of El Reno. The twister tore through the town destroying a hotel and mobile home community. Oklahoma's chief medical examiner reports six fatalities attributed to flooding and severe weather in general.

Hospitals in the state also report 92 people hurt. The state of emergency remains in effect for all 77 counties there.

All right, let's bring you up to date on what could be a very bad night for European centrists. Early vote totals from the European parliament reelections showing right-wing parties leading in France, Italy and Hungary making gains also in Sweden exit polling, showing parties on the right and the left, by the way, both making gains across Europe, jeopardizing centrist control of the European parliament.

The European election results also having an impact on national politics in some E.U. member countries after disappointing performance by his ruling collision, Greece's prime minister calling snap elections.

And the far-right leader Marine Le Pen is calling on French President Emmanuel Macron to dissolve the National Assembly after her party did well.

And that will do it for this hour of "CNN Today". Thanks for watching everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. Hala Gorani will join me again next hour from Brussels. World Sport up next with Patrick Snell. I'm sure he's got plenty. In fact, what have you got?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: We have a French winner of the Indy 500.

HOLMES: Oh yes, that's right.

SNELL: Telling it's story drinking the milk and all that.

HOLMES: Wonderful.

SNELL: Yes, first in (INAUDIBLE)