The generation game: how the EU, old and new, voted

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The Independent Online

THE CLASS OF 1957 Founders of the common market

THE CLASS OF 1957 Founders of the common market

GERMANY (99 MEPs) Opposition Christian Democrats trounced the ruling Social Democrats, leaving them with their worst showing since the war - at 21.5 per cent their share of the vote was half that of the opposition. But Chancellor Schröder vowed to persist with his unpopular reform programme.

East Germany was reunited with West Germany in October 1990

FRANCE (78 MEPs) President Jacques Chirac's Union for the Popular Movement received its second hammering in three months, with the opposition Socialists capitalising on anger over high unemployment and budget cuts. The Socialists gained 30 per cent of votes, against 16.5 per cent for the ruling party.

ITALY (78 MEPs) Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's support slumped from 29 per cent to 20 per cent. The big winner was Lilli Gruber, the former TV news reader who came third overall in personal votes polled.

LUXEMBOURG (6 MEPs) This founder member of the EU bucked the anti-government trend by giving 40 per cent of votes to Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, tippedto be the Commission's next president.

NETHERLANDS (27 MEPs) The Iraq war and a growing disillusionment with European Union policy were the two themes that got the Dutch out to the polling stations, dealing a powerful blow to the ruling coalition government which has put 1,400 troops in Iraq and intends to keep them there.

BELGIUM (24 MEPs) The rise of smaller parties in Belgium saw the far-right Flemish Bloc, nationalists and racists who demand independence for Flemish-speaking parts of Belgium, battering on Strasbourg's door, gaining several seats.

THE CLASS OF 1973

UNITED KINGDOM (78 MEPs) Labour took 19 seats with 23 per cent of the vote - its lowest level in any national elections since 1918. The Tories took 27 seats, but saw their share of the vote slump nine points to 27 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats took 12 seats, seeing their share of the vote edge up two points to 15 per cent. The surge of support for the anti-Brussels UK Independence Party was partially matched by improved showings for other small parties, including the Greens. Turnout at 38.2 per cent was up 14 points on 1999 - if only because Brussels-haters now had something to vote for.

DENMARK (14 MEPs) The pro-EU opposition Social Democrats won five out of 14 seats - but mainly because they, unlike the ruling Liberals, opposed the Iraq war.

IRELAND (13 MEPs) Sinn Fein's success south of the border, with the election of Mary Lou McDonald in Dublin, was the big surprise of the election. The result was disappointing for Bertie Ahern's Fianna Fail, Ireland's dominant party for several years.

THE CLASS OF 1981

GREECE (24 MEPs) The conservative New Democracy party, which won the recent general elections, added to its success with a good result. Turnout was high at 61 per cent, and would have been higher still but for the lure of the beach.

THE CLASS OF 1986

SPAIN (54 MEPs) The Socialist party of the new Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, cruised through the elections, losing percentage points to the conservative Popular Party, but still taking a majority of seats.

PORTUGAL (24 MEPs) Normally a Euro-positive country, the poll was low. The opposition Socialists trounced the ruling coalition, benefiting from hostility over the Iraq war and fears of rising unemployment.

THE CLASS OF 1995

SWEDEN (19 MEPs) The June List, an anti-European party formed for this election, stormed to a sensational success, taking 14.4 per cent of the votes. Only 37 per cent voted.

AUSTRIA (18 MEPs) Hans-Peter Martin, the fraud-exposing journalist, sails into Strasbourg with two MEPs, but the shock came from the humbling of the far-right Freedom Party, down from 23.4 to 6.4 per cent.

FINLAND (14 MEPs) The opposition conservatives seized the largest share of the vote, in another anti-incumbency demonstration. Turnout was 41.1 per cent, thanks to a media campaign.

THE CLASS OF 2004 The new europe

POLAND (54 MEPs) With a pitiful turnout of about 20 per cent, the Poles dealt a blow to the ex-Communists of the ruling Democratic Left Alliance. The winning party, Civic Platform, strongly pro-EU, doubled its share of the vote.

HUNGARY (24 MEPs) The Socialist government lost out to the centre-right opposition, which won half the seats, but the main talking-point was the centre-right's MEP Livia Jaroka, the first Roma in Strasbourg, who has promised to represent Europe's Gypsies.

SLOVAKIA (14 MEPs) The Slovakian result went the way Brussels would have preferred, with the poorer, more easterly half endorsing the leaders in the centre-right coalition that took the country into the EU. The margin, however, was slim.

CZECH REPUBLIC (24 MEPs) Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla will seek a vote of confidence from his Social Democratic party after it won only two of the 24 seats. Mr Spidla was punished for unpopular reforms.

LITHUANIA (13 MEPs) The Christian Democrats won a majority, but voters loyal to the disgraced former president Rolandas Paksas, sacked for divulging state secrets and links to the Russian mafia, made a strong showing.

ESTONIA (6 MEPs) Europe will have to get to grips with the fact that Estonia, with an electorate of 1 million, already appears bored to death with the EU it aspired to join for so long. Only 26.7 per cent bothered to vote.

LATVIA (9 MEPs) The government took a pasting, winning only one seat. Conservatives and the For Fatherland and Freedom Party were the main winners.

SLOVENIA (7 MEPs) Slovenia shows what has become the standard attitude of new EU entrants: delighted to be in but siding with Groucho Marx in that they wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have them for a member.

MALTA (5 MEPs) There was a decent turnout - 71 per cent - but a sharp division on the merits of joining the EU. While the conservative Nationals won that argument, the anti-Europe Labour party edged them with three seats to two.

CYPRUS (6 MEPs) About 70 per cent of voters turned out, most of them backing candidates of the two parties that rejected the UN plan to reunify the island.

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