Much attention has been focused on the British election of its representatives to the European Parliament, but all of the other European Union (EU) countries voted, as well. The EU has now grown to encompass 27 member states.
Before going any further, I want to assure you that the Swedes have not again become militaristic, with plans to seize ships on the high seas. True, the Pirate Party did win one seat in that country. But their issue is Internet file sharing, not forcing captains to walk the plank.
The results in much of Continental Europe were similar to those in the U.K. Center-right parties generally did well, and extreme-right parties won seats in a few countries. But Green parties also did well in some places, so there was somewhat of a tendency to move away from the center, in both directions.
Here are reports from the BBC, Germany's Deutsche Welle, Radio Sweden, and the English-language edition of the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
Germany is another country where the EU election results are being watched, in anticipation of an upcoming general election for their national parliament. The center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel (in permanent coalition with its Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU)), wants to be freed from its "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
Will a favorable result for the CDU/CSU in the European Parliament elections translate into general election success in September? Not necessarily. The voter turnout percentage is likely to be higher in the national election. Also, the phenomenon that I identified here in the British context, also applies to Germany. There is a tendency to cast protest votes in a Euro-election, but center-left protest-voters might find the SPD a safer choice at the general election.