Northern Ireland returns two pro-EU MEPs

Northern Ireland returns two pro-EU MEPs

In Northern Ireland, the pro-EU Alliance Party enjoyed its best ever result with leader Naomi Long’s being named one of the province’s three MEPs.

The Democratic Unionist Party’s Diane Dodds and pro-united Ireland Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson were comfortable winners. Few analysts expected the Alliance vote to rise so far. 

The taoiseach for the Irish Republic, Leo Varadkar, said the result was “really significant”.

Varadkar said he hoped the result in Northern Ireland was being noticed across the Irish Sea in Britain.

He said Northern Ireland had always previously returned two unionist MEPs while now there were two pro-EU representatives.

The Ulster Unionists failed to win a European seat for the first time in decades.

All three MEPs for Northern Ireland are women.

Around 57 per cent of voters backed pro-remain candidates.

Long said: “I was really clear when I went out campaigning what I wanted the vote to stand for: it’s a vote to remain.

“The people who voted for me came together from right across the community to send a message. That message is: ‘We want to remain in the EU’.”

Sweden 

Sweden’s turnout was 53.3 per cent, the highest level since Sweden joined the European Union in 1995. Most newspapers and broadcasters had given the campaign to return 20 MEPs far more coverage than ahead of previous elections.

The ruling centre-left Social Democrats came top with 23.6 per cent of the vote, followed by the liberal-conservative Moderates with 16.8 per cent.

The anti-immigrant, populist Sweden Democrats disappointed, coming third, with two seats.

“There have been some shaking events which have been dramatic for voters since the last EU election,” said Ewa Stenberg of the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

“The first is the migration crisis in 2015 and the other is the climate crisis, where voters have been thinking about the EU as a way to cope with global heating. The third factor is Brexit, which has made views towards the European Union much more positive.”

In the home of teenage activist Greta Thunberg, the environment also took a prominent role in the campaign but the Swedish Greens performed poorly, losing two of their four seats. 

The decrease is partly a result of the Greens being in government with the Social Democrats, which has forced them to make concessions and alienated supporters. 

 

 

Brexiteers have not found a solution to the British border in Ireland. Picture credit: Eurasia Times 

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