Sunday, June 16 2024

European elections 2024: Abstention and rise of the far right in Europe

European elections

The results of the 2024 European elections have been completed and confirmed the concerns of politicians and pollsters with abstention "winning" the elections, with huge percentages. In Greece, there were more abstainers than participants! While abstention was also high in other European countries such as Croatia with abstention reaching 79.5%, in the Netherlands and Cyprus, where abstention approached 50%. Another characteristic phenomenon of this year's European elections was the rise of the far right across Europe.

Eva Metis Koutoumanou

More specifically, in Greece, only 3.9 million citizens participated out of a total of 9.6 million registered voters.

It is recalled that the previous negative record was recorded in the 2009 European elections, with abstention reaching 47.5% at the time (5.3 million participants out of a total of 10 million registered).

In the previous European elections (May 2019) abstention stood at 41.3% (5.9 million participants out of a total of 10 million registered).

The lowest rate of abstention was recorded in 1981, in the first European elections held in the country, with only 21.3% of registered voters choosing to abstain.

According to estimates, one of the reasons for the dramatically low turnout in yesterday's polls was the "fatigue" from the successive elections that have taken place in the country over the last year and a half (double parliamentary elections, local government and European elections).

Another reason, which may have contributed to the decline in turnout, was the large gap between the first party and the others, which gave some the feeling that the result had been decided.

Finally, the low turnout is also a result of the multi-year crisis of representation that characterizes the political system.

An "alarm" for the low electoral turnout had rung since the previous parliamentary elections, in June 2023, with abstention reaching 46.2% at the time  (5.2 million participants out of 9.8 million registered). By contrast, in the May 2023 parliamentary elections, abstention was much lower and stood at 38.2%.

Abstinence by region in Greece
The highest abstention rates were recorded in Florina with 75%, in Kefalonia with 72%, in Laconia with 70%, in the Dodecanese with 68%, in Evritania, Arcadia, Lesvos with 67%, in Corfu with 66%, in Rodopi, Serres, Xanthi, Drama, Zakynthos with 65%, in Messinia with 64% and in Ilia with 63%. On the contrary, relatively low abstention rates were recorded in Athens,  Thessaloniki and Crete.

Record abstention was also recorded in other European countries. In Croatia abstention jumped to an unthinkable 79.5%, in the Netherlands abstention reached 53% and in Cyprus 49.5%.

evroekloges 2024

In Greece, with 100% of the votes incorporated, the results of the European elections are as follows:

New Democracy 28.31% and 7 seatsSYRIZA 14.92% and 4 seatsPASOK - Movement for Change 12.79% and 3 seatsGreek Solution 9.30% and 2 seatsKKE 9.25% and 2 seatsNiki 4.37% and 1 seatPlefsi Eleftherias 3.40% and 1 seatVoice of Reason 3.04% and 1 seatMeRA25 2.54%New Left 2.45%Democrats 1.45%
Patriots 1.41%World 1.08%

The 21 Greek MEPs elected are:

From New Democracy:
Giorgos AftiasEvangelos MeimarakisEliza VozembergFredis BelerisEleonora MeletiManolis KefalogiannisDimitris Tsiodras

Kostas ArvanitisNikos FarantouriNikos PappasElena Kountoura

From PASOK - Movement for Change:
 Nikos PapandreouYiannis ManiatisSakis Arnaoutoglou

From the Greek Solution:
 Manolis (Frangoulis) FrangosGalato Alexandraki

From KKE:
Lefteris Nikolaou AlavanosKostas Papadakis

From Niki:
Nikos Anadiotis

From Plefsi Eleftherias:
Maria Zacharia

From the Voice of Reason:
 Afroditi Latinopoulou

In Europe

The European People's Party came out strengthened with 184 seats, while at the time of the count it looked like it would even reach 191.

Again, the centre-right emerged as the leader of the ballot box, with the Social Democrats on a par with 2019. The far-right also won. While the big losers were the Greens.

Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron received a resounding "slap" in 2 of Europe's 4 major powers, while in Spain Sanchez also loses sovereignty.

meloni lepen

In France, Le Pen's landslide victory brought early elections, and Scholz is also under pressure after his defeat in Germany. On the contrary, Giorgia Meloni in Italy managed to strengthen her position after the election result of the European elections.

Rise of national and far-right parties in Greece

Of the trend of strengthening the far right across Europe, Greece is no exception. The parties that belong to the right of New Democracy and mainly of the extreme right in Greece gathered a percentage approaching 18.5%. Including smaller parties, this figure is close to 20%.
velopoulos latinopoulou natsios

The Greek Solution of Kyriakos Velopoulos seemed the most enhanced, mainly in Northern Greece, but it also gained new potential opponents as, apart from the Niki of Dimitris Natsios, who managed to enter the European Parliament, opposite Kyriakos Velopoulos is now placed the  Voice of Reason of Afroditi Latinopoulou, which showed that it has potential.

Specifically, the Greek Solution with 9.30% and 2 seats doubled its percentages, Niki with 4.36% and 1 seat increased its forces and the Voice of Reason with 3.04% (marginally above the required 3%) won the last seat for our country in the new European Parliament.