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Results eagerly awaited

Mark Mardell | 17:45 UK time, Sunday, 7 June 2009

BRUSSELS

The European Parliament is already buzzing with activity. All along the main walkway - or passerelle, as we call it here - the main party groupings have quite literally set out their stalls. TV stations have set up mini studios, some rather grand and gleaming, others little more than a stool and camera.

It's obvious that in Britain the big question is the impact of the result on Brown. But each country will have its own story to tell. What to look out for?

As always, turnout will be the first story, simply because we know about it before any firm results.

What are the results of the centre-right parties of government in the biggest countries - France, Germany, Poland and Italy?

Will the socialists make gains? And if they don't in mid-economic crisis what does that say about them?

Will the smaller parties of the hard left and right make gains?

Hopefully some answers as the evening progresses.

Comments

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  • 1. At 6:09pm on 07 Jun 2009, -StuartC- wrote:

    What's certain, at least in Britain, is that these elections will be won overwhelmingly by the 'less EU' parties of varying degrees. The Tories, UKIP, Greens, Libertas, NO2EU etc - they all think, at least, that the transfer of powers to the EU has gone too far and that radical reform is needed. They all oppose the Lisbon Treaty and support a referendum.

    The question for Gordon Brown - at this sensitive time for faith our political leaders, when we are desperate for evidence that our leaders are listening - is whether he will go to the next EU summit later this month and despite this clear message 'carry on regardless'.

    Carry on conspiring with others to push Ireland into voting twice on exactly the same rejected treaty. Carry on agreeing to further centralisations of decision-making in remote EU institutions.

    If he is listening to the public verdict - and his own personal future as Prime Minister now depends absolutely on showing that he is - he must rescind our ratification of the Lisbon Treaty while he still can, and start the process of getting powers back to Parliament.

    Our government, parliament and political system simply will not stand another incident of a clear public verdict being ignored. Brown's fate is in his own hands.

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  • 2. At 6:14pm on 07 Jun 2009, KennethM wrote:

    The big question for Britain is surely 'how do we get ourselves out of the eu quango quagmire?'

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  • 3. At 6:38pm on 07 Jun 2009, SotonBlogger wrote:


    Surely the real question facing Britain as it has for decades now is do we wholeheartedly embrace the institution that has held communism and facism at bay for 50 years or not ?

    This is flavoured this time by the question as to whether or not we shame our grandparents legacy by embracing the far-right int the form of English Democrats, UKIP, BNP etc or not.

    The question of whether the result embarrasses Brown or not is somewhat trivial froth within the polictical entertainment circus that passes for political debate in this country these days.

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  • 4. At 6:39pm on 07 Jun 2009, Frankfurt_Dude wrote:

    The German results are in: Christian Conservatives 38%, Social Democrats 21%, Liberal Democrats 11%, Greens 12% and Socialists 7%.

    The Austrian results are in: Conservatives 30%, Social Democrats 24%, Independent list of Mr. Martin 18%, Right wing FPÖ 13%, Greens 9,5%

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  • 5. At 7:00pm on 07 Jun 2009, -StuartC- wrote:

    SotonBlogger @ 3 ... heard of NATO at all? What was the EU fifty years ago that it could allegedly keep communism at bay?

    If fascism is once again rising in Europe, the EU's dumbing down of political debate through the centralisation of decision-making is the cause. When people feel their votes make no difference - because governments of all parties end up following the EU plan - then they will inevitably turn to the more dangerous fringe to see their votes have effect. It's a process as plain as the nose on your face, and those in denial because they look at the EU through rose-tinted spectacles are, sorry to say, part of the problem too.

    The good news is there is still time to stop it - by returning powers from the EU to the national and local institutions through which democracy is conducted more effectively. But we must do it before people get so desperate that some lunatic is given real power.

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  • 6. At 7:05pm on 07 Jun 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    These EU results are a farce, since in many countries less than 20% did vote.
    Those MEPs who got elected on a less than 20% people voting are the prime example of 'EU democracy' and hypocrisy.

    proEU payrolls can add up the numbers, but the truth is that the majority of countries got unrepresentative and unelected MEPs.

    EU project failed. People said 'NO'

    These means that 80% of people have choosen the way without the elites, while the elites are continuing their way without the people.. both going in different directions.

    This is good, to show the irrelevance of EU, monopolizing a project intended for and by the power obssessed elites.

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  • 7. At 7:08pm on 07 Jun 2009, bright-eyedlondondan wrote:

    Is there a reason that the German and Austrian press are allowed to announce their exit polls already but we in the UK are embargoed until 9pm?

    Or have the Germans and Austrians been a bit naughty?

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  • 8. At 7:12pm on 07 Jun 2009, SotonBlogger wrote:


    @5

    I agree NATO was relevant in keeping the militaty forces of the warsaw pact at bay. The EC/EU has been instrumental and promoting the resolution of issues within western europe by peaceful means for the last 50 years. It has also proved a stablising force keeping communists out of power in Italy/Spain and to some extent France when there was a real danger they could have fallen.

    It is not the EU that has centralised power but rather the national governments. If the EU parliament was given real balls and power to formulate and enact legislation then the peoples of Europe could hold the EU executive to account via the ballot box.

    The Council of Ministers is the problem, not the EU parliament and not the EU bureaucracy.

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  • 9. At 7:21pm on 07 Jun 2009, frenchderek wrote:

    Here in France the turnout has been below 40% according to estimates. Every party promoted change - but none of it really worthwhile. The Greens and friends did have a couple of good ideas (eg reforming the CAP) but none of them had really looked hard at the democratic deficit.

    If Brussels is getting itself into a state of excitement, Mark, then that just shows the extent of their disconnect with the citizens of the EU.

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  • 10. At 7:39pm on 07 Jun 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    3. At 6:38pm on 07 Jun 2009, SotonBlogger wrote:


    "Surely the real question facing Britain as it has for decades now is do we wholeheartedly embrace the institution that has held communism and facism at bay for 50 years or not ?"

    That's NATO!

    The "EU" is some variation of Communism or Fascism.

    The Lisbon Treaty is like the Nazi invasion of Austria or Czechoslovakia or the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia but achieved in stealth and using Quislings like Heath.

    The tanks are to follow in the form of the European Army.

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  • 11. At 8:13pm on 07 Jun 2009, Skip_NC wrote:

    Just looked on the Green/EFA website and I see that they are reporting results from six countries and it's only a little after 8pm UK time. Why the embargo and why are so many countries ignoring it? Some countries are obviously a little too eager!

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  • 12. At 8:21pm on 07 Jun 2009, Mathiasen wrote:

    The temporary result in Denmark is that turnout is higher this time, and that the EU scepticism now has another face; First of all the nationalist right wing is taking care of this, and that could be called a European normalization in Denmark. At the same time it means that the support of EU has been growing.

    As far as I can see at this moment it seems to be the same tendency in Sweden. But the picture is dominated by the success of the Pirate party, first of all concerned with the question of digital information, Internet and copyrights. It has had a good election.

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  • 13. At 8:33pm on 07 Jun 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    People dont want these same unelected pro-EU politicans.

    The EU system is a Big Brother club and their new pro-EU choosen candidates, people are tired and want change.

    And dont be that stupid as to copy-cut the Obama deception.

    If you dont vote you get heard more. If you dont vote you get what you want. This is true.

    Dont speak to the ones who doesnt care to hear what you have to say since they already know, and know only lying :)
    Dont vote for the ones that doesnt care about what you vote since they already have the answer, and answer is only 'YES'

    if you voted, now you know you did a mistake.

    every crisis in EU today is because of politicans irresponsibility and everybody was sleeping in their jobs.. and that they dont know nothing more than create regulations, such as polluter pays, and this pays and that pays and no body pays.. and all are debts..

    they cannot create jobs, because jobs are not created by people who the only best thing they know is just talk all day and make EUseless regulations.

    they all lazy people who just are grabbed to EU to get money by talking with themselves and for themselves.

    EUelites say that they know better, that they are best for the job, and people want them there,

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  • 14. At 8:34pm on 07 Jun 2009, seanmarkschneider wrote:

    SuffolkBoy2

    HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU! No one has ever been killed in the name of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty is a treaty agreed by democratic states. Your comments show how perverse your sense of reality is. You should be ashamed of yourself!

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  • 15. At 8:37pm on 07 Jun 2009, -StuartC- wrote:

    SotonBlogger @ 8

    I would say that a post-war Europe of democracies was instrumental in resolving issues by peaceful means, though beyond methods of resolution I'm not sure I can in any case think of such issues within western Europe that had the capacity to lead back to war. So it's hard to say exactly who or what should be credited with preventing that. It's even less easy to imagine the EU's forerunners had much of an influence, and I fear this claim is just a re-writing of history in the EU's favour.

    The real threat of war in that period came from the east, and NATO is to thank for confronting that.

    The problem is that the EU's development over the last fifty years has been instrumental in steadily eroding that democratic legacy to the extent that fascism has been rising in tandem - not coincidentally. Now to near critical levels.

    You're right to a large extent that governments are to blame for centralising powers in the EU, rather than the EU itself. But it is also not unknown for the vaguely worded treaties, or acts of the activist European Court of Justice, to result in extensions of the EU's powers beyond the intention of governments.

    The EU parliament cannot effectively be a democratic voice for the peoples of Europe because the peoples of Europe are not a demos. That is such an important element of stable democracy that it's actually half of the word. That reality cannot be ignored in the hope of utopian euro dreams, without risking instability. It is why it's so often the case that those who argue for more powers for the EU in the cause of peace are risking it, not promoting it.

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  • 16. At 8:46pm on 07 Jun 2009, uksimona wrote:

    I predict a disaster for freedom of movement, freedom itself, minorities, and quite frankly a right wing and racist europe just like hitler wanted and finally got with people's content. shame on us.

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  • 17. At 9:01pm on 07 Jun 2009, karolina001 wrote:

    The only thing left now would be, since we got Communists in power in EUSSR,
    Bring on Hitler Reloaded and get done with the system :)

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  • 18. At 9:48pm on 07 Jun 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    StuartC, the real threat of war came from the East and NATO confronted that. I know it's impossible to convince both ex Western Europe and the USA that NATO was fighting self-invented shadow tracing own tail. Europeans always think they are worthy to attack and Americans always think they are due to save the world. Stalin didn't take an inch extra of what was pre-agreed in much advance, sealed and stamped; USSR population always thought along we grabatised way too much, un-diogestable and un-needed foreign people; and exclusively for the reasons of some strategic Stalin's thinking that ordinary mortals are not able to comprehend. Anyway afte Stalin died in 1953 may I remind we were interested in the USA, competing with the USA, and no other country existed for us in the world. Well, China, on par in concerns and troubles.
    In short, post 1953 there has never been a thought thought by any one, for whatever reason - to "want" Western Europe. What would we do with you, have you thought? You'd demoralise poor Soviet population at once on encounter, by your capitalistic wonders. Mix up or any encounter - totally and absolutely out of the question. Who you were scared of, and why - ask your political leaders and Americans. Invented yourselves an enemy out of nowhere.

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  • 19. At 10:03pm on 07 Jun 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 20. At 10:09pm on 07 Jun 2009, Mathiasen wrote:

    It would be a great idea if the moderators of this blog would block all contributions with no relevance to the article and the results of the EU election.

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  • 21. At 10:15pm on 07 Jun 2009, Mathiasen wrote:

    The turnout in Sweden has raised from 37% to 44% according to national Swedish television.

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  • 22. At 10:33pm on 07 Jun 2009, Mathiasen wrote:

    The turnout in Denmark seems to end on appr. 59%.

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  • 23. At 10:40pm on 07 Jun 2009, Mathiasen wrote:

    Turnout in Germany is 43% - the same as in 2004. The right side has appr. 7% more votes than the left.

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