In May, 400 million people were called upon to vote for a new European Parliament. This week, the newly recomposed parliament is set to take up its work. This map shows how the 78,818 regions voted. The colors on the map reflect the party group that received the most votes in each region.
Parties can never be assigned to a single category with absolute accuracy because there is often overlap in the different political currents. Moreover, depending on the country in question, there are very different ideas about what contemporary left-wing or conservative politics looks like. The ongoing discussion within the European People's Party (EPP), the group of European center-right parties, over whether Hungary's Fidesz party still represents the same values as the other parties in the group is but one prominent example of such a debate. Our classification of parties into a particular family is based on the classification which the parties themselves have made in Brussels. They have joined together in the form of party groups and factions in the European Parliament, and they are categorized accordingly here.
The categories can be found in the bar at the top of the map. They're arranged according to the strength of the factions. It begins with the strongest faction, the party family of the conservative Christian Democrats, and ends with the group to which Germany's far-left Left Party belongs.
For the purposes of this map and to improve clarity, we have given then shorter names to describe their political orientation more succinctly than their often unwieldy real names do. The European Conservatives and Reformers party group, for example, has been named here as "Conservative."
If you click on a party category, the Continent will then take on the appropriate color. The more intense the shade, the greater the number of people who voted in that region for a party in that category.
It is sometimes the case that politicians from a single party join different party groups in Brussels. Germany's Die Partei (The Party) is one such example. One of the party's two parliamentarians is joining the Greens' party group, while the other plans to remain independent. We have sought to take such splits into account in our presentation. There are also small parties in Brussels that don't form or join party groups or factions. In Germany, for example, this is the case with two small parties, Volt and the Pirate Party. Both have joined the Greens' party group in European Parliament and are classified accordingly here.
1) Three Party Groups on the Right
At times, parties with similar ideological foundations are unable or unwilling to create a party alliance in Brussels. Europe's far-right, populist and national-conservative parties have traditionally had trouble joining forces with each other. The current legislative period will feature three party groups on the right that will be working independently from each other in European Parliament.
The "National conservatives" are dominated by the Poland's Law and Justice (PIS) party and Britain's Torries. The European Conservatives and Reformers is the official name they have chosen for their group.
In the "Eurosceptics," it's Italy's Five-Star Movement and Britain's Brexit Party that set the tone. But the group hasn't managed to gather enough supporters to form an official faction (as of July 2). It remains to be seen whether they will succeed or whether their members of parliament will join other groups.
The "Far right" unites the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and France's Rassemblement National. They call their faction in the European Parliament the Identity and Democracy group.
2) Urban-Rural Differences
In some countries, the distribution of colors clearly indicates where the major cities are located. A striking example is France. In the large cities of Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, Toulouse and Lille, President Emmanuel Macron's economically liberal La République en Marche party is usually the strongest force. But the situation looks very different in rural France, where the far-right Rassemblement National holds dominance.
Similar differences in voting behavior between the cities and rural areas can be found in many EU countries, including the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Germany.
3) Only Half of Europe Is Green
In addition to the right-wing or right-wing populist parties, the Greens also emerged victorious from the European Parliament Elections. They performed better than in 2014 – in Germany, especially, but also in other countries in Northern and Western Europe.
But a closer look at the map also shows that the movement doesn't have strong appeal across all of Europe. Environmentalist parties are still struggling to find their footing in Southern and Eastern Europe. They're not even represented at all in some countries. This map is coloured according to the election results of The Greens/European Free Alliance group. It is essentially supported by two European parties, the European Green Party (EGP) and the regionalist European Free Alliance (EFA). The EFA also includes, for example, the Scottish National Party.
4) White spots
In some regions, the strongest parties by far are not represented in the European Parliament. A striking example of this is the south of Slovakia. Half a million Hungarians form the largest ethnic minority there. This corresponds to around eight percent of the total Slovakian population. The Magyars divided their votes between two parties, which primarily represent their minority interests. Both, however, failed at the five-percent national hurdle. The white corridor on the electoral map in the south of the country shows that they failed to land seats in the new European Parliament.
possible that the strongest party in a particular region chose not to
join any of the existing party groups in Brussels. An example of this
is the separatist party Lliures Per Europa from Catalonia.
With additional reporting by: Flavio Gortana, Alexander Kruse and Christopher Möller