Sunday brings four days of European Elections to an end
The new makeup at the European Parliament should become clear some time after midnight Sunday. Polls have closed in most countries at the time of writing, but are still open in some cases. Voting in Italy ends at 11 p.m. local time (midnight in Estonia); the results thus cannot be published before that time.
While people will have to wait a few hours in Estonia, in some other member states, a much greater deal of patience may have been required.
E.U. elections took place in the Netherlands on Thursday, 23 May, the following day in Ireland and the Czech Republic, and in Latvia, Malta and Slovakia on Saturday. The remaining countries all went to the polls on Sunday, including the U.K., likely to be partaking in its last European elections.
Whereas voting in Estonia is optional (E.U. citizens registered and resident can also vote), it is mandatory in Belgium (which was holding no less than three levels of elections Sunday), Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Luxembourg, ERR's online Estonian news reports.
Estonian legislation itself states that the election results cannot be published until all polls are closed. In Latvia, the results have already been announced (see below).
While no exit polls are available for the E.U. elections in Estonia, most opinion polls in Estonia have called the results as two MEPs apiece for Reform and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), one for Centre, and one for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE). This means that Isamaa are likely to miss out, along with Estonia 200, Estonian Greens, Richness of Life and the United Left Party, as well as the five independents who ran.
As for the other two Baltic States, also voting Sunday, according to Latvian public broadcaster LSM, center-right new Unity got 26 percent of the vote, followed by the social democratic Harmony on 18 percent, the right-wing/populist National Alliance on 16 percent and the liberal Development/For! On 12 per cent. Latvia sends eight MEPs to Strasbourg.
In Lithuania, which has 11 MEPs, the European elections coincided with the second round of the presidential elections, seeing conservative Homeland Union party's Ingrida Šimonyte facing off agaiunst Gitanas Nauseda, an independent.
Both presidential candidates are pro-Europe, and many commentators have pointed to the country's increased prosperity and security in the E.U. as reasons for its relatively low levels of euroscepticism and populism, compared with many other countries in the union.
The official website of the European Parliament elections and election results is here.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte