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EU Parliament: voter turnout in the European elections 1979-2019

In 2019, over 50 percent of EU citizens voted in the European parliamentary elections, the highest voter turnout since 1994, when it was 56 percent. The highest turnout occurred in the first set of European parliamentary elections, held in 1979, in which 61.99 percent of eligible Europeans voted. Voter turnout declined in every election subsequent election however, reaching a low of 42.61 percent in 2014.

Traditional parties maintain their majority in 2019

Although they run for national political parties during elections, European members of parliament are grouped into large pan-European political groups when they sit in the European Parliament. In the 2019 Elections the group that won the most seats was the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) which won 180 seats, followed by the center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) which won 146 seats.

Populist parties win big in Italy, France and the UK

In three of the European Union’s largest countries, right-wing populist parties won the most seats in the European elections of 2019. In the United Kingdom the newly formed Brexit party led by Nigel Farage won 29 of the UK’s 73 seats in the European parliament, while in France Marine le Pen’s National Rally won 22 seats out of a possible 74. The League party in Italy, led by Matteo Salvini, managed to win 28 seats in Italy, an increase of 23 when compared with their performance in 2014.

Voter turnout in the European Parliament Elections in the European Union (EU) from 1979 to 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

1979 to 2019

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Statistics on "European Elections 2019"

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