European Elections: Nigel Farage's Brexit Party predicted to be big winner

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage gives the thumbs up to the media outside the polling station at Cudham Primary School in Biggin Hill, England, Thursday, May 23, 2019. Some 400 million Europeans from 28 countries head to the polls from Thursday to Sunday to choose their representatives at the European Parliament for the next five years. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party appears to have won the most seats in the European elections according to exit polls on Sunday.

However it appears that populist parties had not made the gains they had hoped for across the European Union (EU), as a potential 426 million voters cast their votes for representatives for 751 members of the European parliament.

The Greens have apparently collected so many seats across Europe that are likely be kingmaker in any negotiations across the continent to who assumes control of the parliament.

Voters went to the polls in 27 countries over the last three days for 50,000 candidates to help elect lawmakers to the continent-wide body.

Forecasts for the final result suggested that the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) would remain the biggest delegation in parliament but with only 173 forecast MEPs, down from 217. Across the bloc, it appeared that hard right parties hadn’t taken votes from EPP parties.

In the UK, predictions suggested that Nigel Farage's Brexit party had topped the poll, which would translate to them taking 24 of the UK's MEPs.

The Liberal Democrats were on course for second spot, with 15 seats, an increase of 14, while Labour was in third place on 14 seats and the Tories fourth with 10. The Greens, in fifth, picked up an extra seat to take them to four.

The anti-immigrant Rassemblement Nationale party in France, led by Marine Le Pen, was projected to win 24% of the vote, ahead on president Macron's centrist En Marche bloc on 22.5%. The French greens were third on 12.5%.

In Germany, The centrist CDU/CSU alliance took 27.5% of the vote, with the greens in second on 20.5% and the hard-right AfD on 10.5%.

In Hungary, it was reported turnout was in record numbers. More than 40% voted, up from below 30% at the last EU election in 2014.

Greece, which has forced by the EU to cut public spending to remain in the union, saw the opposition party New Democracy take 32.5– 34.5% of the vote compared to 24 – 26% of the vote for the governing leftist Syriza party.

Across the EU, other countries bucked the populist trend. In Denmark the People's Party was predicted to lose more than half their vote share, collapsing from 26.6% in 2014 to 11.8%.