European Elections: Turnout Rises in Balkans, Central Europe

Voters in EU countries cast ballots from Thursday to Sunday in elections for the European Parliament - the largest democratic exercise in the Western world.

The polls saw voter turnout rise in many Balkan and Central European states, reflecting a wider trend across the EU, where an average of 50.95 per cent of voters cast ballots compared to 42.61 at the last European Parliament polls in 2014.

These are the results from Balkan EU members plus four Central European countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Bulgaria: The ruling GERB party of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov won 30.77 per cent of the vote, which will probably transform into seven seats in the European Parliament.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party failed to muster votes beyond their traditional electorate and got 25 per cent of the vote, which will probably give them five seats.

The nominally liberal ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, MRF, mobilised its core and gained 13.7 per cent of the vote, meaning it will get two or three MEP seats.

The nationalists from VMRO and the liberal centrists from the Democratic Bulgaria coalition are the only other two parties that will definitely have an MEP this time - or two, in the case of VMRO.

The VMRO got 8 per cent of the vote, while the Democrats get 6.9 - well above the expected 5.88 threshold to get a seat in the European legislature.

However, Bulgaria bucked the Europe-wide trend towards higher turnouts at these elections. Only about 30.7 per cent of Bulgarian voters (1.9 million voters) cast ballots before 7pm on Sunday, according to the Central Electoral Commission. In 2014, 35.84 per cent voted.

Romania: Romania registered a record on Sunday...

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