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Ruling party declares victory in EU elections

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Ruling party declares victory in EU elections
Popular Party candidate Miguel Arias Canete waves to his supporters at the party's headquarters after the European Parliament elections in Madrid on Sunday. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP
01:43 CEST+02:00
The Secretary General of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) on Sunday night called the election results a victory, despite the conservative party only winning 16 of a possible 54 seats up for grabs in the EU parliament.

"The European Popular Party and the Spanish Popular Party have won the elections," said María Dolores de Cospedal of the result which saw the PP take more seats than any other party standing in Spain.

But her statement also came after the PP saw its representation in Brussels drop from 24 to 16 seats in a poll that was described by many of Spain's major newspapers as a slap in the face to both the PP and Spain's major opposition party, the socialist PSOE.

The PSOE won 14 seats on a night where small parties appeared to break the duopoly shared by the two heavyweights.

The PP's top candidate Miguel Arias Cañete conceded it had been a "tough campaign" but also pushed home the victory message.

"We said we were going to win the European elections and we have won," he insisted.

"We are going to start working from tomorrow on in the European Union to do our best to carry out out programme," said the former agriculture minister whose own campaigns was marred by allegations of sexism.

Official estimates early on Monday morning showed the European Popular Party had won 211 of the total 751 European seats on offer, making them the largest group in the EU Parliament.

The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group meanwhile garnered 193 seats.

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