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EU elections: Europe's night of election drama capped by Macron bombshell | BBC News

Exit polls had begun to roll in at the end of European elections across the EU’s 27 countries, when President Emmanuel Macron delivered his bombshell moment in a televised address to a stunned French population.

“I’ve decided to hand you back the choice of our parliamentary future with a vote. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly,” he declared.

The National Rally party – led by Mr Macron’s rivals Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella – was one of the big gains that Europe’s far-right parties had expected, and confirmation came with all the exit polls giving the party more than 30%, double that of Mr Macron’s centrist Renaissance.

But beyond France, the broader story of Europe’s four-day vote marathon really belonged to the parties of the centre right.

They tightened their grip on the European Parliament, with victories in Germany and Spain, and significant advances in Hungary, against long-dominant Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The far right did not enjoy as great a surge across Europe as many had predicted.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party came second, while Austria’s party of the same name came out as winners, but only narrowly.

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