European Parliament election, 1994 (France)

European Parliament election, 1994 (France)

12 June 1994

87 seats to the European Parliament

  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Dominique Baudis Michel Rocard Philippe de Villiers
Party UDF PS Majorité pour l'autre Europe
Last election 26 22 7
Seats won 28 15 13
Seat change 2 7 6
Popular vote 4,985,574 2,824,173 2,404,105
Percentage 25.58% 14.49% 12.34%
Swing 3.30% 9.12% 3.91%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Leader Bernard Tapie Jean-Marie Le Pen Francis Wurtz
Party PRG FN PCF
Last election 2 10 7
Seats won 13 11 7
Seat change 11 1
Popular vote 2,344,457 2,050,086 1,342,222
Percentage 12.03% 10.52% 6.89%
Swing 1.21% 0.83%

On 12 June 1994 the fourth direct elections to the European Parliament were held in the France. Six lists were able to win seats: an alliance of the centre-right Union for French Democracy and the Gaullist Rally for the Republic, the Socialist Party, the Left Radical Party, the French Communist Party, the National Front and Philippe de Villiers' eurosceptic right-wing dissident UDF list, which formed the Majorité pour l'autre Europe. 53.5% of the French population turned out on election day, actually an improvement on the last election in 1989. The Greens, who were weakened by an Ecology Generation list led by Brice Lalonde (winning 2.01%) and also suffering from internal divisions between the party's left (who wanted an electoral alliance with the Soécialists and the left) and the right (rejecting all alliances), lost all 9 seats won in 1989. Arlette Laguiller's Trotskyst Workers' Struggle (2.27%), Jean-Pierre Chevènement's left-wing eurosceptic Citizens' Movement (2.54%), the L'Europe commence à Sarajevo List (1.57%) and the agrarian populist Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Traditions (3.96%) were among the notable lists which did not pass the 5% threshold.

With 14.49%, the Socialists, the party of President François Mitterrand, whose list was led by Michel Rocard suffered its worst result ever in a European election, losing votes mainly to the Radical list led by wealthy businessman and a protégé of Mitterrand, Bernard Tapie. Most analysts agreed that Mitterrand supported Tapie's list behind the scenes, since Rocard was a personal rival of Mitterrand and he wished to destroy Rocard's chances in the 1995 presidential election. In fact, Rocard resigned as First Secretary of the PS shortly thereafter and did not run in 1995 – Lionel Jospin was the Socialist candidate.

The other surprise was Philippe de Villiers success. Villiers, the President of the General Council of Vendée, was a eurosceptic member of the liberal component (PR) of the pro-European UDF. He won a surprisingly strong 12.34%, and his thirteen MEPs formed the nucleus of the Europe of Nations group. However, his success did not lead him to immediate political successes – he polled barely 4% in the 1995 presidential election.

Results

 Summary of the results of France's 12 June 1994 election to the European Parliament
← 1989 • 1994 • 1999 →
National party European party Main candidate Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Union for French Democracy (UDF) + Rally for the Republic (RPR) Dominique Baudis 4,985,574 25.58 28 2
Socialist Party (PS) Michel Rocard 2,824,173 14.49 15 7
Union for French Democracy dissidents (UDF diss.) Philippe de Villiers 2,404,105 12.34 13 6
Movement of Radicals of the Left (MRG) Bernard Tapie 2,344,457 12.03 13 13
National Front (FN) Jean-Marie Le Pen 2,050,086 10.52 11 1
Communist Party (PCF) Francis Wurtz 1,342,222 6.89 7 0
Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Traditions (CPNT) André Goustat 771,061 3.96 0 0
The Greens (VERTS) Marie Anne Isler-Béguin 574,806 2.95 0 9
Citizens' Movement (MDC) & other left-wing parties Jean-Pierre Chevènement 494.986 2.54 0
Workers' Struggle (LO) Arlette Laguiller 442,723 2.27 0
Ecology Generation (GE) Brice Lalonde 392,291 2.01 0
Europe Begins in Sarajevo Léon Schwartzenberg 305,633 1.57 0
Others (parties and candidates that won less than 1% of the national vote and no seats) 0
Valid votes 19,487,47094.67
Blank and invalid votes 1,097,5105.33
Totals 20,584,980100.00876
Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout 39,019,79752.763.96

Members elected

UDF – RPR

PS

UDF dissidents

PRG

FN

PCF

References

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