European elections results 2019
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
The European Parliament has published a projection of what the European Parliament may look like from 2019 until 2024. It projects that the Grand Coalition -- the two largest centrist groups the European People's Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) -- have lost a total of 81 seats to smaller parties.
While the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Renaissance (ALDE&R) -- which includes French President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche party -- has picked up 33 seats.
The Greens have been predicted to have picked up 19 seats, while the Euroskeptic political group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) -- which comprises of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage -- has gained 14 seats.
Note: This is based on what Parliament previously looked like, which means seats and political groups could change.
Following the announcement that the National Rally was set to finish on top in France, its president Marine Le Pen appeared triumphant in a speech, calling for President Emmanuel Macon to dissolve parliament.
"He has no other choice to dissolve the National Assembly and choosing a voting system that is more democratic and finally representative of the real opinion of the country," Le Pen said.
Jordan Bardella, who's the leader of the National Rally, also spoke shortly after the estimates were announced -- calling it a "popular burst against the established power that suffers a real failure today."
“It’s a lesson in humility for the president. Tonight, it's is him, and his policies, that are rejected,” Bardella said, referring to Macron. “It shows the EU must radically change its economic, social and migration policies.”