Brexit Party booms, Conservatives crash, Labour limps.
6 out of 10 voters don’t even care
Firstly, the Brexit Party’s victory is a truly remarkable achievement. The party was founded just four months ago and its election launch was six weeks ago.
To have won the EU Parliamentary elections in the UK is therefore quite astonishing, and this is quite rightly sending shockwaves through the political establishment.
Less than 4 out of 10 voters in the UK voted
Only 5 out of 10 voters across the EU28 as a whole voted
What does this say about the EU and its Parliament?
The average turnout for EU elections in the UK this century is 36.4%. The turnout on Thursday 23 May 2019 was just 0.3% above the average — and this is in the middle of Brexit when interest might be expected to be much higher.
The average turnout across the whole EU was 50.95%. In other words, just under 5 in 10 EU voters did not feel that EU Parliamentary elections merited their time.
Whilst the EU itself is busy trumpeting the fact that the turnout was significantly higher than in 2014, it must be remembered that in some EU countries people are required by law to vote. This explains the 89% turnout in Belgium, for example.
The moves in voting behavior across the EU are significant as indicators and there have certainly been some interesting outcomes. Mme Le Pen beating President Macron in France is a good example of this.
Nevertheless — and despite the impending months of political navel-gazing and coalition-making which will obsess EU politicians — the simple fact is that most people just don’t care that much about the EU Parliament.
A final, interesting note
Viktor Orban has been vilified by the EU establishment for years. Last night he won 52.3% of the votes in Hungary — an absolute majority.
If that’s populism we’ll have some of that, please.
[Sources. EU Parliament ]