Sat, 15 June 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Europe goes to the polls in final day of elections

Update : 09 Jun 2024, 15:43

Continent-wide elections for the European Parliament were set to see their last day of voting on Sunday. Voters in Germany are called to the polls on Sunday.

It is an election that could see up to 360 million people across the 27 EU member states cast their ballots over four days.

Voting has been taking place since Thursday, with the Netherlands kicking off proceedings. Ireland followed on Friday, with Czechs voting across two days.

Saturday was polling day for Latvia, Malta and Slovakia and the first of two for Italy and Estonia, with the remaining member states holding their polls on Sunday.

Italy's firebrand Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was polling well ahead of her rivals ahead of the final day of voting and could be poised to act as kingmaker for the next European Commission president if her Brothers of Italy (FdI) makes major gains.

Incumbent European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been openly courting Meloni in the hope of winning the confirmatory votes of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, a pan-European soft-eurosceptic bloc that Meloni now leads and whose ranks FdI candidates aim to join if elected to the European Parliament.

As the EU's third-most populous country, Italy can send a total of 76 delegates to the 720-seat European Parliament, meaning anyone who wins big there would be in a powerful position at EU level.

According to a "poll of polls" compiled by the news website Politico, the conservative FdI is in first place with 27%, six points ahead of the centre-left Democratic Party.

If forecasters' predictions are correct, far-right parties will do better this time around than ever before, potentially affecting everything from EU policy on migration and climate.

According to polls, right-wing parties are likely to perform strongly in countries including Austria, France and Italy.

In Germany, where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been polling strongly in recent months, the mainstream conservative CDU/CSU block of former chancellor Angela Merkel looks set to come out on top in the European elections, followed Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats, the Greens and the AfD.

The first forecast for the distribution of seats in the new European Parliament is expected to be announced on Sunday between 8:15 pm and 8:30 pm (1815-1830 GMT).

The first preliminary results from some EU states are expected after 11:00 pm. 

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