Far-Right Surges in EU Parliament
Key 'Euroskeptic' groups make big gains
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 26, 2014 6:16 AM CDT
Nigel Farage, leader of Britain's UK Independence Party (UKIP) smiles on stage as he hears election results.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – Europe's parliamentary elections have resulted in big gains for those opposed to European Union power, including far-right parties in France, the UK, and Greece, the BBC reports. "The people have spoken loud and clear," said the leader of France's National Front, Marine Le Pen. "They no longer want to be led by those outside our borders … They want to be protected from globalization and take back the reins of their destiny." The party won just three seats in 2009; this time, it's poised to take 25, the most of any French party. French president Francois Hollande's party won just 14% of the vote compared to the National Front's 25%.

"This is a bad day for the European Union, when the party with such an openly racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic program gets 25% or 24% of the vote in France," says current European Parliament president Martin Schulz. In Britain, the "Euroskeptic" UK Independence Party won 27% of the vote, winning a national vote for the first time and knocking the two main parties, Labour and Conservative, into second and third place. In Greece, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn scored three seats, the New York Times reports. Overall, those on the center-right and center-left will stay in charge of the European Parliament, the Times notes. Still, the leading center-right bloc, the European People's Party, has lost about 60 seats, the BBC reports. Voting turnout was 43.1%.