May 26, 2019 / 6:34 PM / 2 months ago

EU vote turnout estimate at around 50%

People casts their ballots during the European Parliament Elections in Budapest, Hungary, May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament’s first turnout estimate for bloc-wide elections came at between 49 and 52 percent on Sunday evening, compared to a final reading of 42.61 percent in the last European elections in 2014.

A European Parliament official announcing the figure said the turnout was on track to be the highest in some two decades and marked a reversal of a long-running trend of falling voters’ participation.

For 27 EU states except the United Kingdom, the turnout estimate was at 51 percent, the official said.

Germany’s Green party doubled its share of the Sunday vote, leaping into second place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and above the centre-left Social Democrats.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska

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