Europe chose centre-right with a green accent

All over the European Union centre-right parties gained momentum. After four days of balloting across the member states the continent seemed to want a conservative approach to the economic crisis, with a little eco-friendly accent. 'Want' is a big word: in the end only 43% of the 375 million eligible voters cast ballots for representatives to the 736-seat EU legislature.
A mere 43% of the eligible voters in the 27 EU member states turned out to vote in the European elections spread out over 4 days (June 4-7). The record low turnout points to an enduring voter apathy about the European Union.

Low turnout was not a problem in Belgium where voting is mandatory. The results in Flanders show little change in the Flemish EP representation.
All Flemish parties retain their current number of seats except for the far right Vlaams Belang, which loses one of its three seats. This seat went to the right wing liberal party LDD (Lijst Dedecker). Flemish Christian democrats and liberals each have three seats. In comparison with the Flemish elections Guy Verhofstadt's liberals do better in the European elections.  The Groen! MEP Bart Staes retains his seat. 

Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal, Open VLD) won the popularity duel against Jean-Luc Dehaene (Flemish Christian democrat, CD&V). Mr Verhofstadt got 530,000 preferential votes, 90,000 more than Mr Dehaene (photo).

In Francophone Belgium the Parti Socialiste loses 1 seat and has 3. The Francophone liberals and Ecolo have 2 MEPs (Ecolo +1). The Francophone Christian democrats retain their 1 seat. The 1 seat for the German-speaking community remains with the Christian democrats.

Europe goes centre-right

The European Union voters turned towards the centre-right parties. The European People's Party (with the Christian democrats) is the biggest political family.

Right-leaning to far-right parties gained considerable ground in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Austria while conservative opposition parties won in Britain and Spain. The far right, Euro-sceptic and anti-EU voices have gained momentum.

A day of reckoning for the ruling parties

Many voters angry over poor economic conditions and political scandals punished ruling parties. This happened in the UK, Greece, Austria, Spain, Bulgaria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Malta, and more countries. In the UK the electorate punished the centre-left Labour party of PM Gordon Brown following the expenses scandal.  The all-white openly racist British National Party even picked up 2 seats.

But don't forget the green accent

Green parties promoting eco-friendly economic development projects made significant election gains as well. The Green-European Freedom Alliance bloc gained over 50 of the 736 seats. This is considerable when compared to the former 43 seats the group held in the EU's last 785-seat assembly. Green candidates account for 43 of the seats, compared with 35 before.