German centre-right wins European election, far-right AfD stands second

by IANS |

Berlin, June 10 (IANS/DPA) Germany's centre-right CDU/CSU alliance has won the European Parliament elections, with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) coming in second, the national electoral authority confirmed early Monday after all votes were counted.

The preliminary results were in line with earlier projections.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition suffered at the polls, with his Social Democrats (SPD) and his primary coalition partners domestically, the Greens, both trailing the AfD.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), who are in opposition domestically, combined garnered 30 per cent, translating to 29 seats. That is the same seat tally as in the current outgoing European Parliament.

The anti-immigrant, eurosceptic AfD made significant gains, receiving 15.9 per cent of the vote, up from 11 per cent in the 2019 European elections, giving them 15 seats.

That put the far-right party ahead of Scholz's SPD, which posted 13.9 per cent (14 seats) in what was the worst showing in a democratic nationwide election in more than a century for the centre-left party, which has historically been one of the dominant parties in German politics.

The Greens slipped to 11.9 per cent (12 seats), significantly down on their 2019 result of 20.5 per cent, while junior coalition partner FDP, known for its business-friendly stance, received 5.2 per cent (five seats).

The newly founded populist party Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) hit 6.2 per cent for six seats, while the far-left The Left party tumbled to just 2.7 per cent or three seats.

In the AfD strongholds of eastern Germany, the party led the field.

A record-high 64.8 per cent of those eligible to vote in Germany did so, the highest turnout in an EU vote since reunification, Federal Returning Officer Ruth Brand said as provisional official results for the country were announced.

As in many other EU countries, observers had expected a significant boost in support for right-wing parties in the European Parliament elections in Germany. Some opinion polls had put support for the AfD at more than 20 per cent a few months ago, but those figures fell significantly in the wake of several recent scandals involving the party.

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