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Polls from across Europe show a rise in left-leaning parties

However, in some countries, turnout is at levels that would be considered abysmal here.

Greece's left-wing opposition leader Alexis Tsipras greets supporters at his party's main election rally earlier this week.
Greece's left-wing opposition leader Alexis Tsipras greets supporters at his party's main election rally earlier this week.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

RESULTS FROM VOTES across Europe are beginning to filter in as exit polls results are published.

It’s revealing a trend emerging across Europe, echoed in Ireland with Sinn Féin – the rise of left-leaning parties.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party has won with 36 per cent of the vote in European parliamentary elections, while the centre-left Social Democrats gained strongly, scoring 27.5 per cent, exit polls showed.

The anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD), founded last year, won 6.5 per cent to make its entry into the European parliament, according to public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

Anti-austerity

Exit polls in Greece have the anti-austerity leftist party Syriza at a slight lead in European Parliament elections.

Syriza was ahead by about three points over the leading government party, conservative New Democracy, polls jointly carried out by six leading opinion companies showed.

Syriza have between 26 and 30 per cent while New Democracy have between 23 and 27 per cent, the polls showed.

Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn ranks third with up to 10 per cent of the vote, despite an ongoing criminal investigation and the fact that several of its leading members are in pre-trial detention.

Socialists

The other party in the government coalition, the Pasok socialists, are fourth with up to nine per cent.

In Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy, anti-EU parties are poised to take first or second place, shaking up national politics and setting up a battle against Brussels from the inside.

However, turnout in some eastern European areas is struggling to a read a third of levels here in Ireland.

“If we top 20 per cent turnout, it won’t be a disaster,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk grudgingly admitted on Sunday as four days of continental voting entered its final leg.

Only 14 per cent of Slovaks dragged themselves to the polling station on Saturday, down from 20 per cent in 2009, according to unofficial results published in the SME daily.

Latvia

Less than 30 per cent of Latvians turned out for their vote on Saturday, according to the national electoral commission, and similar results are predicted for Romania.

A survey by FOCUS found that 49 per cent of notoriously eurosceptic Czechs believe their 2004 entry into the EU had no effect on their day-to-day lives.

“Czechs think of the European Parliament vote as a second-tier election,” said Prague-based political analyst Tomas Lebeda.

“When a party needs to get rid of someone, it sends them to Brussels.”

- © AFP, 2014additional reporting by Nicky Ryan

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