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German centre-right European election winners, far-right AfD second

The coalition of Germany's centre-right CDU/CSU emerged victorious in the European Parliament elections, as confirmed by the national electoral authority in the early hours of Monday after tallying all ballots. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) secured the second position.

Published June 10,2024
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%, 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% of the vote, up from 11% in the 2019 European elections, giving them 15 seats.

That put the far-right party ahead of Scholz's SPD, which posted 13.9% (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% (12 seats), significantly down on their 2019 result of 20.5%, while junior coalition partner FDP, which is known for their business-friendly stance, received 5.2% (five seats).

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

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

A record-high 64.8% of those eligible to vote in Germany did so, the highest turnout in a 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% a few months ago, but those figures fell significantly in the wake of a number of recent scandals involving the party.