SDS wins EU election as right wing gets five MEPs

Ljubljana, 10 June - The opposition Democratic Party (SDS) has won the EU election in Slovenia and will get four of the country's nine seats in the European Parliament. The ruling Freedom Movement got two and a seat each went to the green party Vesna, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Christian democratic New Slovenia (NSi).

Ljubljana, sedež SDS.
Evropske volitve 2024 in posvetovalni referendumi.
Volilni štab SDS v pričakovanju rezultatov.
Predsednik SDS Janez Janša.
Foto: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Prime Minister Rober Golob at Freedom Movement's election headquarters.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

EU election and triple referendum ballots.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

After almost all votes were counted in Sunday's election, the SDS got 30.8%, up by more than four points compared to five years ago.

"Those who are ostracising have been taught a lesson today," party leader Janez Janša said.

He suggested parliament should be dissolved, saying the result "is a message of the Slovenian voters to the incumbent government coalition to do a similar reflection as French President Emmanuel Macron did".

The Freedom Movement, contesting its first EU election, won 22.1%, the best result ever for centre-left party in an EU election.

Party leader Robert Golob, the prime minister, was satisfied with the showing, and noted that centre-left parties combined nevertheless got more than the centre right.

"This is what gives us hope for the future. I am confident it will also rub off on the next general election," he said.

Vesna, set up two years ago, clinched 10.5%, almost the same as its lead candidate Vladimir Prebilič got in the presidential election two years ago.

The party was thrilled with the result. "We have brought freshness into the Slovenian political arena and we think we have a bright future ahead," Prebilič said.

The SD and NSi were neck-and-neck at 7.71% and 7.70% of the vote, respectively, barely edging the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) at 7.27%, show National Electoral Commission data.

The Left is the only party in parliament not to get a single seat, having won 4.7%.

SD leader Matjaž Han said his party was happy about winning one of Slovenia's nine seats, one fewer than so far. He admitted, however, that the outcome was a defeat for Slovenia's coalition, which won a combined three seats.

The NSi interprets the result as a message by voters that they want a different Europe. The NSi will strive to make the EU stronger and to help change the bloc in areas where the Union has failed, said party leader Matej Tonin, who has been elected MEP as the lead candidate.

Of the current eight MEPs, four have secured new terms.

SDS's Romana Tomc was re-elected for a third term and Milan Zver will serve a record fourth term.

They will be joined by MP Branko Grims, a member of the party's most radical wing, and newcomer Zala Tomašič, a public relations officer for the party who mounted a strong social media campaign.

The Freedom Movement's MEP Irena Joveva has been re-elected, while the party's second seat has gone to Defence Minister Marjan Šarec.

Five years ago, Joveva had been elected on the slate of the party known as the Marjan Šarec List, which was absorbed into the Freedom Movement after the 2022 general election.

The SD's Matjaž Nemec, who entered the European Parliament as a stand-in for Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, has been re-elected as well.

Turnout exceeded 41%, twelve percentage points higher than five years ago.

© STA, 2024