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‘We’re Ready For It’: Conservatives Set To Secure Wins In Europe After Massive EU Elections

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Conservatives are set to secure wins throughout Europe in the union-wide elections that ended on Sunday, according to initial projections cited by multiple reports.

All 27 members of the European Union (EU) held parliamentary elections from Thursday to Sunday. Right-wing parties and politicians are poised to take a considerable number of seats in elections, taking back some power from the majority centrist parties and highlighting a political shift toward conservative policies across Europe, according to The New York Times. (RELATED: ‘On The Edge Of What Is Bearable’: Why Are European Farmers Protesting?)

“The world around us is in turmoil. Forces from the outside and from the inside are trying to destabilise our societies, and they are trying to weaken Europe. We will never let that happen,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said on Sunday, according to The Guardian. “These election results show that the majority of Europeans want a strong Europe.”

(Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)

European Commission President and EPP lead candidate Ursula von der Leyen (R) leaves the stage after delivering a speech next to President of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber (2R) during an EPP election evening after the vote for the European Parliament election in Brussels on June 9, 2024. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Initial projections from exit polling indicate that conservative parties performed fairly well across the union and will represent a larger share of the 720-seat assembly, according to initial projections from the NYT. The centrist parties are likely to retain the majority at over 400 seats but still were left reeling from the projected losses, which were worse than in last year’s elections.

Right-wing parties shined particularly in France and Germany, according to the NYT. French President Emmanuel Macron’s party, the liberal-leaning Renaissance party, suffered a stunning defeat to the  National Rally party in the elections, prompting Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and call for snap elections, per initial projections.

Marine Le Pen, head of the National Rally party, said she was “ready to turn the country around” after the victory over the weekend, per the Associated Press.

“We’re ready for it. After the legislative elections of 2022, which designated the National Rally Party as the main parliamentary opponent, these European elections confirm our movement as the major force for change in France,” she told a crowd of supporters in Paris, according to the AP.

(Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

RN militants celebrate after French President announced he is calling for new general elections on June 30 during an evening gathering of French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) on the final day of the European Parliament election, at the Pavillon Chesnaie du Roy in Paris, on June 9, 2024. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

In Germany, the right-wing party trounced German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ left-wing Social Democrat party, which was expected to win only 14% of the vote — less than the 15.8% the party secured in 2019 and lesser still their standing in Germany’s most recent national election in 2021, according to initial projections cited by the AP. The environmentalist-focused Green Party did even worse, gaining only 12% of the vote compared to 20% five years ago.

Right-wing parties also emerged as the dominant force in Belgium’s general elections on Sunday. The right-wing New Flemish Alliance (NV-A) maintained its leading position, securing an expected 22% of the votes, the AP reported, citing preliminary results from the Interior Ministry.

NV-A’s victory contradicts predictions from polls indicating that the nationalist Vlaams Belang party would win, having brought in an expected 17.5%, the AP reported. The Socialist Voruit party only received approximately 10.5% of the votes.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo resigned after the defeat of his own party, the Flemish Liberals and Democrats, according to The Guardian.

The new momentum for conservative parties in Europe underscores voters’ concerns for the union, according to The Washington Post. Issues like climate change were less of a concern to voters than in previous years, while immigration and the economy remained primary issues.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include preliminary results from Belgium. Zineb Williams contributed to this report.

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