I bought Le Monde today but it just has the details of the big cities. However, most of the national newspaper sites have the breakdown per postal code.
In the 18th arrondissement of Paris (where I live), the Socialists came in first (22%) followed by the Greens (19%), then the UMP (Sarkozy's party) 13.7%, then the UDI/Modem (centrists) 9.7% and then the Front National 9.3%.
That's pretty much the way I see it. One reason that so many people voted for fringe parties is because they think the European parliament is useless, so it allows them to vent harmlessly (they think). This time we're still safe because the main right wing and left wing groups have a massive majority between them, and they do know how to compromise and vote together on major issues.
It was also interesting to note that the countries that were bailed out by the EU and are on the road to recovery -- Ireland, Spain, Portugal -- all voted responsibly. Greece, which has not yet recovered economically, is still searching for extreme solutions, though.
So even if the sceptics across the EU banded together , which is unlikely given their disparate views, they will only be able to throw a little grit into the workings.
But have five years' worth of salary and expenses to claim, which many will use to fund their primary objective: campaigns and activities aimed at getting power in their national parliaments. And you may be sure the more savvy of them will also use the opportunity to engage in as much as possible in the way of eye-catching publicity stunts.
The member state governments are all talking about policies, but one thing they could get their parliamentary majority colleagues to do is set up proper audit and justification for members' expenses, and settle on one home for the parliament - not to mention sorting out just why the Commission's accounts have never had a clean bill of health from audit (but that, of course, actually requires more bureaucracy).
I agree with Patrick about allowances, absenteism, etc. Before the previous elections in 2009, Martin Schultz set up a website showing how the various MEP's voted on issues (what a surprise that all the French ones voted to keep moving to Strasbourg once a month - a complete waste of time and money). Once he became head of the parliamentary commission, not much was heard about cleaning up the system.
But what was talked about but not completed was how many turned up in the morning, signed in to get their money, then left immediately. Marine Le Pen is one with a very high absence rate, but then again, she is not interested in Europe. Many like her just use the European seat to make up for losing a national one.
I think that all of the "reasonable" parties would have done much better if there had been a Europe-wide advertising campaign to show what Europe is actually doing in things like health protection, agriculture and construction. Just about all of the renovation of heritage sites benefits from EU contributions, not to mention the construction of bridges and highways of European importance. If the EU had not imposed norms on all of the crap that was being imported from China -- notably dangerous toys and highly inflammable items -- I shudder to think of how many extra deaths there would have been. Just imagine if 28 countries had to individually pass safety laws each and every time. Some of the parliaments are so paralyzed by other things, they would never get around to it, and tourists would buy all sorts of dangerous things to bring home, just because they are cheap and unusual. ("Oh, we've never seen that back at home." Well, of course you haven't, because it can kill you!)
And I think that it is perfectly normal for France and the other rich countries to be overall net financial contributors rather than net recipients or even to just "break even" because that's what solidarity is all about. You are supposed to help those who are less better off. Even the United States used to believe this in the days of the Marshall Plan. Now people just think about themselves and don't care if their neighbours are in trouble. Naturally, the banks need to be brought under control, but that "problem" was just discovered in recent years when the wealth gap began to widen. It is something that cannot be fixed just by snapping your fingers, and it cannot be fixed by one country alone.
Instead, the major parties did not have one positive thing to say about the EU except "you should have your say" or "the EU has brought us peace." Meanwhile the fringe parties just kept screaming about what they think is bad -- basically, the euro, most of the other countries, immigrants in general, bureaucrats, some monster that lives in Brussels, the fact that huge impenetrable walls have not been built around our borders, etc. Of course they forgot to say how they planned to "fix" this.
I totally agree with Kerouac's last paragraph. There was basically no advertising done for this campaign -- as I mentioned at the beginning of this thread. I think "they" just assumed that everyone realizes the benefits that have come to Europe from its being one large community and that they didn't need to bother.
As for the fringe parties -- they never have solutions. They only scream about the same things all the time but have no practical plans or proposals to fix the problems that really do exist.
Mossie -- just wait until you have to apply for a visa every time you want to pop over to Paris.
My English passport took me through France to Monaco with no problems in 1971 and 72, the continentals were anxious to take our money and no doubt would be again if our useless government did manage to disentangle us from the bureaucratic net.
Yes, I love my trips to Paris and the French way of life, but being dictated to from Berlin and Brussels was never on the agenda. England does not benefit from membership of the EU, we are simply a useful source of funds.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
But have five years' worth of salary and expenses to claim, which many will use to fund their primary objective: campaigns and activities aimed at getting power in their national parliaments
yes .. technically 5 years 6 months as the outgoing MEPs ( in UK at least - not sure about elsewhere? ) have their pay protected for 6 months after the end of their term. Nick Griffin will be using his " severance" pay to promote his party
Thirteen days until the next elections. As always, they will be interesting, disappointing, confounding and scary. And then the dust will settle and they'll get down to business.
In the latest news, I read that after eliminating EU roaming charges last year on mobile phones, as of next Wednesday, the cost of text messages will be greatly reduced for people who don't already have a plan including free pan-European messages (I don't.). In France, I think the charge will go from 0.28 to 0.08. Every country will have different rates, though, due to different VAT.
There is one detail about which these elections are costing France extra money. There are no fewer than 34 lists this time. Every polling station therefore has to display 34 panels outside for the various posters, the biggest number in history. Most of the villages had to pay a considerable amount of money in terms of their budget to order extra panels. On top of that, some of the lists are so ridiculously part of the fringe that they cannot even afford to put anything on the panels or even print ballots. Anybody who wants to vote for such a list has to download the ballot and print it on 70g paper of the proper format. I don't think that many trees will have to be cut down for this.
But of course this is not an EU problem but a Franco-French problem of internal political weirdness.
This weekend we were in several villages in the Minervois and yesterday drove from Toulouse back to the coast. Going through small places, one usually passes in front of city hall where the voting advertising is shown. Many empty panels still except for Marine le Pen's face next to some young guy. She has certainly gone all out to be visible.
We changed our voting residence and are still waiting for the election cards.
OMG, the official obligatory campaign statements have begun on the government television channels. Screen time has been decided through an incomprehensible system based on existing political representation (okay, that you can understand), mixed with the various small percentages obtained by parties in past elections, but also just media coverage of other parties that never existed before. Total screen time over the next two weeks ranges from 56 minutes for the dominant party to 3 and a half minutes for the unknown parties. Most of the parties in between are screaming bloody murder for their various times of course, but it has always been this way.
I have no idea if the system is fair, but some of the things that I have seen over the last two days already (for example the "Royal Alliance") are absolute howlers. Paid political adverts are not authorised in France, so the official screen time is all they get. And then there is the internet. I'm sure that I will look for a few pearls.
Just been to vote. There was a crowd outside, which turned out to be a strike meeting by the staff at the school protesting about the headteacher's management style (or bullying, depending on your point of view) - all very polite and good-humoured.
A fair few people trickling in at around 8.30 - more than I expected, given that no-one expected we would be taking part until almost the last minute for practical organisation to be got under way.
For the same practical reasons, there's been next to nothing in the way of billboards. I haven't seen any party political broadcasts for this election either, but then again I usually avoid those - there were some, it seems, on the BBC website and one or two on YouTube. But I have had leaflets from the Farage fanclub, Labour, LibDems, UKIP and ChangeUK (the parliamentary Remainer breakaway group).
We vote for regional party lists, so it was quite a long ballot paper, with all of the above plus the Tories, Greens, Animal Welfare and Women's Equality parties, a new outfit called the UK EU Party (which seems to be aiming for the young Remainer vote) and 11 individual independents. Checking these latter out, they appear to be either climate change protesters, or various stripes of Remainer who hadn't met the deadlines or paperwork to register a party as such.
No results announced until all the member states have voted.
Yesterday we received the voting papers with their manifestos and a list of candidates. I didn't count them but it's far from the 34 lists this year.I did read them all before throwing the right-wing stuff into the recycling bin. Am leaving the possibles out until Sunday.
Reading over the candidate lists, many of them are already in some political position like in regional assemblies or municipal councillors. I was wondering whether they give these positions up to go to Brussels or whether they keep both?
And the usual losers of presidential elections are on lists too but usually as number 78 or 79 out of 79 seats.
We had regional lists last time, but now we are back to a national list. I think this was to make sure that no regionalist parties had a chance, but of course they never expected 34 lists in France anyway.
Today's newspaper said that British elections take place on Thursday because payday used to be on Friday and people were too drunk to vote on the weekends.
There have been elections on other days of the week, but Sundays would have been out of the question until quite recently, and Saturdays would have conflicted with the secular god football. Thursdays work out quite well because they usually mean those elected, not to mention all the officials seconded to run the mechanics, can get down to work on Monday morning.
Probably inspired by Whatagain's finger injuries, I cut a fingertip this morning for the first time in many years, and as I was voting I saw that there was a bit of blood on the envelope, which would invalidate my vote. So I asked for a new envelope, but this is not a simple matter. Every envelope is carefully counted, so I had to go through the bureau supervisor. Just as I was closing the new envelope with my ballot in it, I saw there was also a tiny trace of blood on my ballot, but I didn't want to pass for a complete idiot and start over, so I just hope that they won't notice it. But probably my vote will be invalidated anyway.
I had to ask for another paper too. It was not so well labelled and I voted for the wrong party for Europeans. Was quickly fixed. Am. Ow at a family BBQ and asking nephews if they had voted. Was quite dismayed by the answers to my basic question : did you read some programs and was it an intelligent. Ôte. Answer was. No I didn't care anyway they are all corrupt and one vite doesn't matter. Well done. I am less and less convinced that mandatory vote is such a good idea after all.