European elections 2019: Rise in voter turnout across Europe

European elections 2019: Rise in voter turnout across Europe

European elections 2019: Rise in voter turnout across Europe Izvor: Reuters/Yves Herman

Voter turnout across several European countries is much higher than the last election in 2014, according to officials.

Numbers were significantly higher in Spain, the Spanish interior ministry announced Sunday, where 34.68% had voted by 8 a.m. ET (2 p.m. CET). In the last EU parliamentary elections only 23.87% had voted by then, the ministry says.

Meanwhile in Germany -- which sends the most Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to Brussels out of all the European countries -- was up at 29.4% compared to 25.6% in 2014, the German federal election commission said. That, too, was recorded at 8 a.m. ET (2 p.m. CET).

In France, the Interior Ministry said voter turnout was on track to be 22% higher in this year's elections than it was five years ago. And in Italy, the Interior Ministry reported at noon local time that turnout was at 16.72% compared to 16.66% at the same time in 2014.

The Hungarian National Election Office also reported that voter turnout at 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. CET) had already exceeded the turnout for the entire day in 2014's elections. It said voter turnout in Hungary was at 30.52%, compared to 2014 when the total voter turnout was 28.97%.

Early exit polls suggest that one of tonight's narratives could be a surge in support for parties that are pro-European but also pro-EU reform.

Earlier this week, CNN's Luke McGee interviewed Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Alliance of Democrats and Liberals for Europe. Verhofstadt warned that without reform, the European Union would "die from inside" and that this union, left as it is, "will not survive the 21st century.

Greens surge in Germany, according to exit polls

The Green Party has surged in Germany while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party suffered a dip in votes compared to the federal elections in 2017, according to an early exit poll. While the Greens are a pro-European party, they've been critical in how the EU currently operates and has campaigned for reforms.

The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel) received 28% of the vote, according to an exit poll by CNN affiliate ARD. While the Greens received 22%.

It's also important to note that Germany sends the most MEPs to Brussels and Strasbourg out of all EU countries.

Populists lose support in Austria

An exit poll from CNN affiliate ORF suggests that Austria's populists have lost some support.

The conservative Austrian People's Party (OVP) is sitting at 34.5%, compared to 26.98% in 2014. While the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) is down at 17.5% compared to 19.72% five years ago. The centre-left Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO) has received 23.5% of the votes, which is slightly lower than in 2014.

Populists fare badly in the Netherlands

As previously projected, Dutch Labor Party PvDa of European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans is coming first in the Netherlands at 18.10%. That's double the amount of votes it received in the 2014 EU election.

It's a surprise victory for Timmermans, whose Euroskeptic challenger Thierry Baudet -- who has been described as the "suave new face of Dutch right-wing populism" -- had been topping the polls in this year's election.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has received 15%, the centrist Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) received 12.30% and Baudet's far-right Forum for Democracy (FvD) is fourth at 11%.

Voter turnout was also higher this year in the Netherlands, according to statistics published by the European Parliament.

This is a developing story, follow the news update on CNN.com.

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