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Europe

Shock Swing Towards Euro-skepticism in EU Polls

With most of the results counted, it is clear that smaller, euro-skeptic or populist parties have triumphed at the expense of more well-established parties.

The biggest shock for the establishment undoubtedly comes from the UK, where the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which wants complete withdrawal from the EU, looks to have secured 20 percent of the vote and 17 seats. Liberal leader Graham Watson said he regretted the fact that "parliament will have a greater number of anti-Europeans" adding that they will be rather "unproductive members". Euro-skeptics also achieved a major victory in Sweden, where the recently-formed EU-critical Junilistan came third in the election, securing 14.4 percent of the vote and three seats in the new European Parliament. It was also a memorable night for the populist Vlaams Blok in Belgium. The far-right party scored around 14.3 percent making it the second biggest party in Belgium. The populist self-defense party in Poland won 13 percent of the vote and will be sending eight representatives to the hemicycle in Brussels and Strasbourg. And Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National consolidated its position as France's third party, with ten percent of the vote. (EUobserver.com)

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