Accessibility links

Europeans Wrapping Up Parliament Elections


Europeans voted in the last day of European Union parliamentary elections Sunday, with conservative and far-right parties expected to score over the left. Conservatives are expected to control the largest number of seats after election that saw a record low voter turnout.

The vote is taking place amid the larger backdrop of the economic crisis, and experts predict this dour atmosphere will generally favor conservative parties across the 27-member European Union. Eight EU countries finished voting in the first three days of the elections, with the rest casting their ballots on Sunday.

Britain's Conservative Party is expected to score major gains against Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor Party. Conservatives in Poland are also expected to fare well in the vote, as is Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Freedom People's Party in Italy.

In France, too, President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative Union for a Popular Movement party is expected to emerge the winner in the E.U. parliament polls. But here and elsewhere in Europe, the larger sentiment is indifference.

In the Paris suburb of Le Perreux, residents like Lucille Svay and her husband Chan Phal said they had not voted for their EU parliament representatives.

Svay said she likes the idea of a European Union, because individual European countries are too small to wield much clout in world affairs. But she says politicians generally fail to live up to their promises, and the European Union overall seems unable to agree on anything.

Opinion polls show the Svays are not alone. Fewer than half the European electorate is expected to cast ballots. Many criticize the European Union for not doing enough to tackle the economic crisis, and for either meddling too much or too little in their daily lives.

But Ludivine Kedziora, 29, is an EU supporter.

Kedziora says the European Union has granted lots of subsidies to her home region in northern France. This election, she voted for a leftist party because she believes it will do a better job than conservatives to help people cope with the economic crisis.

But analysts predict that far-right parties, many of them running on anti-immigration platforms, will score gains in this vote.

XS
SM
MD
LG