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WorldEU elections shift to Ireland as populist forces gather elsewhere

05:25  24 may  2019
05:25  24 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

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DUBLIN, Ireland – Phased EU -wide elections take place in Ireland on Friday, May 24, after a campaign dominated by concerns over neighboring Britain's messy bid to leave the bloc, and as euroskeptic forces elsewhere in Europe hope to create a political earthquake.

(AFP) - Phased EU -wide elections take place in Ireland on Friday after a campaign dominated by concerns over neighbouring Britain's messy bid to leave the bloc, and as eurosceptic forces elsewhere in Europe hope to create a political earthquake.

EU elections shift to Ireland as populist forces gather elsewhere© JOEL SAGET A trompe l'oeil shows two workers painting the European Union flag on the side of a building in Paris

Phased EU-wide elections take place in Ireland on Friday after a campaign dominated by concerns over neighbouring Britain's messy bid to leave the bloc, and as eurosceptic forces elsewhere in Europe hope to create a political earthquake.

EU elections shift to Ireland as populist forces gather elsewhere© Oli SCARFF Britain voted in EU elections on Thursday with Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party facing a wipeout by a new eurosceptic Brexit Party

Citizens in Ireland, where support for the European Union has risen because of Brexit, start voting at 7:00 am (0600 GMT).

'No to Nationalism': Huge rallies in Germany before EU vote

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DUBLIN - Phased EU -wide elections take place in Ireland on Friday after a campaign dominated by concerns over neighbouring Britain's messy bid to leave the bloc, and as eurosceptic forces elsewhere in Europe hope to create a political earthquake.

Phased EU -wide elections take place in Ireland on Friday after a campaign dominated by concerns over neighbouring Britain's messy bid to leave the bloc, and as eurosceptic forces elsewhere in Europe hope to create a political earthquake.

EU elections shift to Ireland as populist forces gather elsewhere
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Also on Friday the Czech Republic will kick off its two-day voting process, a day after residents cast their votes in Britain and also in the Netherlands where the Labour party scored a surprise victory to win most seats in the elections.

In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May is on the brink of resigning having not fulfilled her promise to lead the country out of the EU by March 29.

The Brexit Party, which was only set up this year by veteran eurosceptic Nigel Farage, is expected to score a resounding victory in Britain's vote.

The anticipated success of the Brexit Party, polling at around 35 percent, is emblematic of rising anti-establishment forces across Europe.

European Elections Will Gauge the Power of Populism

European Elections Will Gauge the Power of Populism For weeks, Europe’s far-right populists have been dashing across the Continent, joining arms and presenting themselves as a united front that will batter the political establishment and score a big breakthrough in this week’s elections for the European Parliament. Their latest group hug came in Milan on Saturday evening, where Italy’s firebrand, Matteo Salvini, preened with France’s far right icon, Marine Le Pen, and nearly a dozen other populist leaders. They bashed the European Union, migrants and Islam and promised the dawn of a new, nationalist era.

DUBLIN, Ireland – Phased EU -wide elections take place in Ireland on Friday, May 24, after a campaign dominated by concerns over neighboring Britain's messy bid to leave the bloc, and as euroskeptic forces elsewhere in Europe hope to create a political earthquake.

Britain voted in EU elections on Thursday with Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party facing a wipeout by a new eurosceptic Brexit Party. MEP hopefuls also pledged to dampen the economic shock predicted to radiate into Ireland as a result of its largest trading partner leaving the bloc.

Around the continent, where most EU member states vote on Sunday, pro-European leaders are scrambling to mobilise their supporters to resist the populist surge, with opinion polls showing nationalist parties in the lead in France, Italy and Hungary, among others.

EU elections shift to Ireland as populist forces gather elsewhere© Juliette VILROBE Map of Europe with the dates of the European Parliament elections in May 2019

They fear a good showing for the eurosceptics will disrupt Brussels' decision-making and threaten reform efforts for closer integration.

- 'It's been disgraceful' -

The elections for the European Parliament held in Britain Thursday were a surreal spectacle for a country that voted almost three years ago to leave the EU.

May had promised that Britain would not take part in this year's polls, but failure to get parliamentary approval for her Brexit deal left the country with no choice.

Her Conservative party's predicted wipeout has left her teetering on the edge, with her resignation expected imminently.

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Elsewhere in Europe , other eurosceptic forces are hoping for a strong showing. MEP hopefuls also pledged to dampen the economic shock predicted to radiate into Ireland as a result of its Britain voted in EU elections on Thursday with Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party facing a

Elsewhere in Europe , other eurosceptic forces are hoping for a strong showing. Most mainstream parties in Ireland have campaigned heavily on cementing its place in the European project. MEP hopefuls also pledged to dampen the economic shock predicted to radiate into Ireland as a result of

"It's been disgraceful the way the government has gone on," said Brexit Party voter Chris Fetherstone, 73, in the northern England town of Middlesbrough.

EU elections shift to Ireland as populist forces gather elsewhere© PAUL FAITH The latest Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament found 61 percent of respondents calling their country's EU membership a good thing -- the highest level since the early 1990s

"What Theresa May has said, about leaving, she's never meant it."

Artist Gordon Dickson, 47, expressed the opposite as he voted in Glasgow.

"I wanted to make sure that my voice about saying Scotland should be remaining part of the European Union was heard and heard really clearly," he said.

- Nationalist surge -

More than 400 million European voters are eligible to elect 751 members of the European Parliament, with the first results to be announced late Sunday once voting in all 28 member states has been completed.

Matteo Salvini of Italy's anti-immigrant League and Marine Le Pen of France's far-right National Rally (RN) want their Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group to become the third largest in Brussels. The League has topped opinion polls in Italy.

Five key figures in the European elections

Five key figures in the European elections As the clock counts down to the European Parliament elections that start Thursday, here are five key figures in the battle, from arch-eurosceptic Nigel Farage to French President Emmanuel Macron. © Tolga Akmen Nicknamed "Mr Brexit", veteran eurosceptic Nigel Farage (pictured May 21, 2019) has been an MEP since 1999 Farage, veteran eurosceptic Nicknamed "Mr Brexit" by his friend Donald Trump, veteran eurosceptic Nigel Farage, 55, has been an MEP since 1999, first for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), then as an independent and latterly for his new Brexit Party.

Nationalism has always been a feature across Europe 's political spectrum but there has been a recent boom in voter support for right-wing and populist parties. It is visible from Germany, where the AfD has become the biggest opposition party in the Bundestag, to Spain, where Vox has become the third

With the European Union gearing up for legislative elections in 2019, the battle between EU supporters and opponents is shaping up to But just as the EU ship was steadying itself, Italy acted as a buffet by producing a populist government composed of parties far from the European mainstream.

For her part Le Pen wants to strike a blow to Emmanuel Macron's faltering French presidency by overtaking his centrist, pro-European party Republic on the Move (LREM).

Polls give her RN party a slight edge, with around 23 percent support.

"Everything has changed," Le Pen told AFP.

"In the space of a few months, a whole range of political forces have risen up in spectacular fashion."

However, in the Netherlands leftists notched up an unexpected victory to take the most seats on Thursday, beating the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and an upstart populist group, an exit poll said.

- Pro-EU resistance -

The strong showing by eurosceptics is not expected to sweep the whole bloc, with voters from Spain to the former Soviet Baltic states indicating solid backing for the EU.

In Germany, surveys show Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party -- a heavyweight in the EU-wide centre-right EPP group -- in first place, with the Greens second.

In Ireland, the Brexit crisis has been the key issue due to the future its border with the British-ruled province of Northern Ireland, a key sticking point in negotiations between London and Brussels.

Most mainstream parties in Ireland have campaigned heavily on cementing its place in the European project.

MEP hopefuls also pledged to dampen the economic shock predicted to radiate into Ireland as a result of its largest trading partner leaving the bloc.

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European Parliament Elections: 5 Biggest Takeaways.
The most prominent takeaways from the results of the elections for the European Parliament are fragmentation and polarization. Credit Cards Are Now Offering 0% Interest Until 2020 Find out more on Finder Ad Finder.com.au Fragmentation, because traditional mainstream parties of the center-right and center-left lost seats to smaller, more passionate parties like the Greens and a variety of populist groups. And polarization, because populists and euroskeptic parties increased their share of seats to 25 percent, up from about 20 percent five years ago.

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