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Millions join EU vote finale as far right eyes gains

Millions join EU vote finale as far right eyes gains
Twenty-one of the bloc's 27 countries, including heavy hitters France and Germany, were voting on the election's biggest day to help shape the European Union's direction over the next five years. "In the current world situation, where everyone is trying to isolate each other, it's important to keep standing up for peace and democracy," said Berling voter Tanja Reith, 52.

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Millions of European voters from Vilnius to Madrid were casting ballots on the final day of elections for the EU's parliament, with far-right parties eyeing gains at a pivotal time for the bloc. The election comes as the continent is confronted with Russia's war in Ukraine, global trade tensions, a climate emergency, and a West that may soon have to adapt to a new Donald Trump presidency. More than 360 million people were eligible to vote in the four-day election, although turnout in EU polls is historically low. The bloc's next parliament will help decide who runs the powerful European Commission, with German conservative Ursula von der Leyen vying for a second term. While centrist parties are predicted to keep most of the legislature's 720 seats, polls suggest they will be weakened by a stronger far-right push. Preliminary results are expected late Sunday.