Voters in Ireland and the Czech Republic have been to the polls on the second day of voting for the European elections. Over four days, some 388 million Europeans are eligible to vote for 751 members of the parliament.
In Ireland, 41 candidates were chasing eleven seats in the European Parliament. Local authority elections were also held on Friday as polling stations reported turnout of over 30 percent in some areas although turnout in Dublin was lower, at about 25 percent.
Voter resentment over EU-imposed limits on public spending were expected to see a boost for anti-austerity candidates from Ireland's Sinn Fein.
In the Czech Republic a total of 21 MEPs were to be elected, with the populist ANO party poised for victory ahead of the leftwing Social Democrats.
Some 388 million Europeans are eligible to vote for 751 members of the parliament, which is an equal co-legislator with member governments on most EU laws.
Latvia, Malta and Slovakia have their polls on Saturday, while Germany, France, Italy and the remaining EU countries are to vote Sunday. There are no official results anywhere in the EU until 23:00 in Brussels (2100 UTC) on Sunday.
EU's top job
Europe's main political groupings have agreed in principle that the candidate of the party topping the poll - either center right Jean-Claude Juncker or socialist Martin Schulz - should be the nominee to succeed Jose Manuel Barroso as President of the European Commission.
The EU treaty says the European Council of EU leaders must propose a candidate "taking into account" the parliamentary election and after appropriate consultations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed Juncker in principle but also said it could take weeks of negotiation before a candidate emerged.
jm/hc (Reuters, AFP)