European elections results 2019

By Bianca Britton and Helen Regan, CNN

Updated 10:52 a.m. ET, May 28, 2019
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5:54 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

Italy's far-right League party leads in exit poll

Far-right party of Italy's hardline Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini League has come out on top in Italy's European parliamentary elections, according to an exit poll published by CNN affiliate Rai.

In April he launched what amounted to a "Make Europe Great Again" campaign, in an attempt to unite far-right political parties across the continent ahead of the elections.

The group hopes to form a majority bloc in the European Parliament.

Salvini's press office shared the following photo after exit polls were announced, with the deputy PM holding a piece of paper that reads: "First party in Italy thank you"

Matteo Salvini holds up a piece of paper that thanks voters.
Matteo Salvini holds up a piece of paper that thanks voters. Matteo Salvini Press Office 

5:49 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

Nigel Farage feeling optimistic

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage arriving at the Civic Center Southampton, Southern England.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage arriving at the Civic Center Southampton, Southern England. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Nigel Farage -- Brexit Party leader and campaigner -- has showed up in Southampton on England's south coast in a particularly buoyant mood.

"It looks good," he said ahead of UK exit poll figures. "I have no idea, I am not making predictions."

He added that hoped both Labor and the Conservatives -- the two main parties in the UK -- "do terribly."

5:50 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

Grand coalition loses majority, projections suggest

The "grand coalition" of the center-right European People's Party (EPP) and center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) has lost its majority. In total, it's lost around 76 seats, which will have a significant impact in parliament proceedings, given the S&D and EPP have helped pushed most legislation through.

Instead, smaller parties have seen surges, with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) gaining 32 seats -- which could make the group kingmaker for the next five years. We're also seeing gains for the Greens, which will put climate change at the forefront of its policies, as well as gains for euroskeptic groups, too.

5:23 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

POLLS CLOSE: Projections and results to follow

Polls across Europe have closed and over the coming hours the true picture of these elections will emerge. As things stands, it looks as though Europe has received a mixed message. The center-left and center-right parties that currently dominate European politics appear to have lost enough seats that their coalition has fallen apart. Pro-Europe Greens, Liberals and anti-EU nationalists have all picked up seats, making a clear path forward for Europe unclear.

5:18 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

Greek PM calls snap election

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a snap election after disappointing results from his party in the European Elections.

His Syriza party was estimated to have received just 23.94% of votes in the elections, trailing behind its main opposition party New Democracy, which received 33.28%.

4:21 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

The election that was never meant to happen

From CNN's Luke McGee

One of the more interesting outcomes of tonight's results will be how the UK has voted. The country was supposed to have left the EU on March 29 and not participate in these elections. But two Brexit extensions later, the UK is still a member state and has been forced to put forward candidates.

The Brexit divisions mean that these elections will be seen as a temperature test of where the nation currently stands on Brexit -- and as with all things Brexit, it's likely to be as confusing as ever. Both the governing Conservatives and opposition Labour party are expected to suffer defeats, while the two parties widely-tipped to finish first and second represent the polar opposite, extreme ends of the Brexit debate.

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party -- predicted to finish in first place -- has one policy: to leave the EU without a deal. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats -- who have a decent shot at finishing second -- support remaining in the EU.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage arriving at a polling station to vote in the European Parliament elections on May 23.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage arriving at a polling station to vote in the European Parliament elections on May 23. BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Tonight's results will be seized upon by supporters and campaigners on both sides, who will selectively use the results to force the hand of the main parties into adopting their respective policies on Brexit. Given the unsettled status of British politics – made all the more chaotic following Theresa May's decision to stand down next month, triggering a leadership contest in her party and a fresh push from Labour for a general election – the Brexit fight is set to get far more heated in the coming weeks.

4:52 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

A breakdown of the political groupings in parliament

Parliament isn't organized by political parties but by political affiliations -- otherwise known as groupings. Currently there are eight political groupings in the European Parliament.

European Deputies vote during the plenary session, at the European Parliament's Hemicycle 24 May 2007 in Strasbourg.
European Deputies vote during the plenary session, at the European Parliament's Hemicycle 24 May 2007 in Strasbourg. GERARD CERLES/AFP/Getty Images

Here's a brief break down of what each political group stands for:

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D): Forms part of the 'Grand Coalition' and is the second largest party. It's a traditional center-left bloc which is predominately pro-EU.

European People's Party (EPP): Also forms part of the Grand Coalition and is the traditional center-right party. Also Pro-EU.

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE): Mostly made up of liberal-centrists who are Pro-EU.

Greens / European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA): Made up of Europe's green and regionalist parties.

Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF): Far-right parties and hard euroskeptics.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR): Right-wing parties who often campaign to reform the EU.

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD): Populist and euroskeptic.

European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL): Left-wing, which comprises of socialist and communist MEPs.

Non-Aligned: MEPs who choose not to align themselves to any groups.

Others: New MEPs who do not belong to any political groupings yet.

3:31 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

A third of young Germans vote for the Greens

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt

According to Germany's state broadcaster ZDF, a third of young Germans voted for the Greens.

23-year-old climate activist Luisa Neubauer, who led the Fridays for Future school strikes, called this election a "climate election."

"The election results speak for itself. We young people didn’t just bring the climate crisis [to] the streets -- we brought it to the ballot boxes," Neubauer told CNN.

"This is the future speaking up -- it turns out that voters don’t trust parties other than the Green Party to tackle the climate crisis."

German environmentalist Luisa Neubauer delivers a speech during the annual general meeting of German energy giant RWE in Essen, western Germany on May 3.
German environmentalist Luisa Neubauer delivers a speech during the annual general meeting of German energy giant RWE in Essen, western Germany on May 3. INA FASSBENDER/AFP/Getty Images

3:16 p.m. ET, May 26, 2019

Emmanuel Macron has reasons to be cheerful

From CNN's Luke McGee

French president Emmanuel Macron voting on May 26.
French president Emmanuel Macron voting on May 26. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron finished second to the far-right populist candidate Marine Le Pen, but he needn't spend too much time licking his wounds. Macron's pact with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) is currently projected to take 102 seats in the parliament. Based on the rest of the seat projections, this could make the group kingmaker for the next five years. 

ALDE officials are watching these results like a hawk. A senior ALDE official told CNN on Sunday that 100 was the magic number, should they be "able to bully the others." The same source said that results in the UK would be particularly important, as there has been a recent poll surge for the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats, who sit within the ALDE group.