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Europe election drama Macron bombshell

President Macron stuns France by dissolving parliament after far-right gains in European elections, while center-right parties tighten their grip across Europe.

As the European elections concluded across the EU's 27 countries, President Emmanuel Macron shocked the French population with a televised announcement. He declared the dissolution of the National Assembly, giving back the power of choice for the parliamentary future to the people. The National Rally party, led by Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, saw significant gains, with exit polls showing over 30% support, double that of Macron's centrist Renaissance party.

While far-right parties were expecting big wins, the broader story of the European elections belonged to the center-right parties. They tightened their grip on the European Parliament with victories in Germany, Spain, and significant advances in Hungary. The far-right surge across Europe was not as strong as predicted, with parties like Geert Wilders' Freedom Party in the Netherlands coming in second and Austria's Freedom Party narrowly winning.

Ursula von der Leyen, the center-right head of the European Commission, emphasized the importance of responsibility for the parties in the center as the extremes on the left and right gained support. The dominant European People's Party looked to ally with the Socialists & Democrats and the liberal Renew group, excluding the far-right groups.

In Germany, the opposition conservatives came out on top with 30% of the vote, while Chancellor Olaf Scholz's SPD party faced its worst-ever result in a European election. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) came in second, despite scandals and controversies. In Spain, the center-right Popular Party defeated Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's Socialists, while the far-right Brothers of Italy narrowly defeated the center-left Democratic Party.

Across Europe, far-right parties underperformed in countries like Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, and Poland, while overperforming in France. The unexpected decision by President Macron to dissolve parliament raised concerns about the impact of election results on governments. Overall, the European elections showcased a mix of outcomes, highlighting the evolving political landscape in Europe.

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