The Latest: French parties to have same number of EU seats
BRUSSELS – The Latest on European elections (all times local):
The parties of France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist President Emmanuel Macron will have the same number of seats in the European Parliament — for now.
Official overall results Monday from France’s European voting show the parties were so close that they will both have 23 seats in the European Union legislature.
However Le Pen’s nationalist, anti-immigration National Rally party is set to gain one seat when Britain leaves the EU and the Parliament reapportions its seats. Macron’s pro-EU Republic on the Move party would stay at 23 seats.
Le Pen’s party had 5.3 million votes overall, compared to 5.1 million for Macron’s party, according to results from the Interior Ministry.
France’s Greens party will have 13 seats after placing a surprisingly strong third, followed by eight seats for the conservative Republicans and six seats each for the far-left Defiant France and the Socialist group.
The traditional centrist leaders of Europe have been assailed from the nationalist, anti-immigration far-right and the environmental activist left in polarized, continentwide elections that will force pro-European moderates into forging new alliances.
The main issue uniting those occupying Europe’s center ground is their refusal to work with far-right groups whose ranks are made up of nationalist parties led by the likes of Matteo Salvini in Italy and Marine Le Pen in France, whose parties celebrated landmark triumphs from four days of voting for the 751-seat European Parliament.
Manfred Weber is leader of the center-right EPP, which lost 36 seats but remains the largest group in the legislature. He says that “from now on those who want to have a strong European Union have to join forces.”
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