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#EUelections2019 results about to start arriving. This prediction by party family and country makes a good baseline:
Polls have closed in Germany. Exit poll suggests result there could be towards bottom end of expectations range for centre-left SPD and hard-right AfD, slightly better than expected for Greens.
Noteworthy, if German exit poll accurate:
- AfD result only 3 points up on 2014, before migration crisis
- First ever Germany-wide election where Greens bigger than SPD
- Early indication that the big story of #EP2019 will be not "populists triumph" but pan-spectrum fragmentation
Germany's public broadcaster ZDF puts #EP2019 turnout at 60%. Up from 48% in 2014! Remarkable increase and part of pan-EU trend of increased participation.
Greek exit poll: big gains for centre-right New Democracy suggesting Kyriakos Mitsotakis on track to oust Alexis Tsipras at national election later this year (tho possibly not before Tsipras appoints Syriza figure to next European Commission).
Polls about to close in France. Great thread by m'colleague @PedderSophie on what #EP2019 means there:
"European democracy lives!" says EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber of #EP2019 turnout rise.

His real campaign begins tonight: pressuring heads of government to stick with lead-candidate system for picking Commission president rather than binning it.

welt.de/politik/deutsc…
#EP2019 in EU27 heading for 51% turnout, highest since '94

Possible reasons:
- Europeanisation of some debates eg migration, climate
- Trump, Brexit & sense can't take EU for granted
- better EU & civil society get-out-the-vote ops
- anti-EU→EU-reformist shift by eurosceptics
Le Pen: down on 2014
FPÖ: down on 2014
AfD: little higher than pre-surge 2014 result
Wilders: massive fall
Baudet: underperforms

Predictably, #EP2019 proving more complicated than "march of the populists" narrative.
Often the real populist impact is measured less in electoral results than in how mainstream parties react.

Take Denmark, where support for right-populist DPP has collapsed but social democrats (nowadays DPP-lite on migration & identity) have come 1st.
European Parliament seats projection:

EPP 173
S&D 147
ALDE 102
Greens 71
ECR 58
ENF 57
EFDD 56
GUE/NGL 42
NI/OTHERS 45

- EPP-S&D "grand coalition" loses its majority
- Greens become 4th largest group
- hard right ECR+ENF+EFDD = 22%
- mainstream(-ish) EPP+S&D+ALDE+Gs = 65%
Ska Keller, lead candidate of (buoyant) Greens and possible kingmakers in choice of new Commission president, describes group's gains as "a mandate for change, for real climate protection". Suggests big environmental commitments will be price of Green support.
Gains for Pedro Sánchez's centre-left PSOE in Spain. Boosts Josep Borrell, Spanish foreign minister and PSOE lead candidate earmarked for big job in next European Commission.
Exit poll from Poland: good result for illiberal Law and Justice (PiS) but contest between PiS and newly consolidated opposition very much on ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections.
Striking divide between what one might call Danubian Europe and Atlantic Europe.

EPP leads in central & eastern countries but now largely marginalised in a bow of western maritime states from Italy via Iberia and France to Benelux, Denmark & Sweden.

Italian exit poll grim for populist 5 Star Movement, on- or slightly below-polling for right-populist Lega and better than expected for centre-left PD.

A sharp increase for Lega - which will be one of the biggest national parties in the new parliament.

Manfred Weber, EPP lead candidate for Commission president, has presided over a loss of seats - but EPP remains largest party. So his approach is:

1 reaffirm logic of largest party's candidate getting the job
2 dare the Council to call Parliament's bluff

Margrethe Vestager responds to results, says era of 2 party politics over and "new coalitions can be built by those who want change". "I've worked with breaking monopolies" she jokes and name-checks Greens. Big hint at possible new majority backing her for Commission president.
Important for next 5 years that Council and Parliament can work together, says Vestager.

Translation: If Weber & allies force Spitzenkandidat system on an unwilling Council it won't end well; better to pick a compromise candidate.
Vestager says broad coalition possible - eg on rule of law, freedom of press, climate, fight against tax dodging. Fairly clear she's going for:

1) backing of Council versus Spitzenkandidat purists
2) wide coalition taking in socialists, greens, liberals and *some* EPP MEPs
Latest Parliament projection:

EPP 180
S&D 152
ALDE 105
Greens 67
ECR 61
ENF 57
EFDD 54
GUE/NGL 38
Others 37

Fragmentation, not a populist surge, the big story of the night.

My first take on the results:
economist.com/charlemagnes-n…
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