DP prime minister Xavier Bettel congratulates his party’s two MEPs, Monica Semedo and Charles Goerens at the Melusina on Sunday evening.
The main headlines following the EP election results were made elsewhere, but the grand duchy’s voters delivered some significant messages at the ballot box.
The CSV is in trouble
For the first time ever the CSV was not the most popular party in the country. The natural party of government slumped to a 21.10% share of the vote, down from 37.65% in 2014, and was overtaken by Xavier Bettel’s DP. Following its fall from grace at last year’s national elections (where its share had dropped to 28%), this represents a further decline that the party must address urgently. Luckily its next test is four years away with the double whammy in 2023 of local elections in June, followed swiftly by parliamentary elections in October. But with the legacy of in-fighting between new party leader Frank Engel and his challenger Serge Wilmes yet to die down completely, the CSV needs to find unity and a clear vision before then.
DP’s mix of experience and celebrity plays well
The veteran Charles Goerens polled way more votes than any other candidate in the election, some 35,000 ahead of second placed Christophe Hansen of the CSV. But the good showing by his top ticket partner Monica Semedo, who placed fourth just behind Déi Gréng MEP Tilly Metz, was a surprise to many. In last October’s national election, Semedo--a former child star and RTL TV personality--had placed fourth on the DP list in the east constituency, polling just 5,602 votes. This time out, garnering votes from across the country, she was well ahead of more experienced party colleagues like Simone Beissel and Gusty Graas.
Gibéryen should rethink
When veteran ADR MP Gast Gibéryen announced last week that he will relinquish his seat in the Luxembourg chamber of deputies to the divisive Fred Keup, little did he realise how close he would come to being elected an MEP. Gibéryen won 43,092 votes, placing him an astonishing 6th in the overall result and well ahead of the LSAP’s Nicolas Schmit (who will now represent Luxembourg in Strasbourg). Whether his previous announcement influenced the electorate to give Gibéryen a sympathy vote is open to question, but with Keup only wining 18,487 votes it is clear who is the more popular politician.
Parity for women, again
For the second time Luxembourg has an equal number of male and female MEPs. The first time was in 2004 when Astrid Lulling and Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (CSV) and Lydie Polfer (DP) were elected. In 2019 the 3 women who were elected--Tilly Metz, Monica Semedo, Isabelle Wiseler-Santo Lima--placed among the top 5 candidates overall.
Socialists arrest decline
That the LSAP managed to actually make a tiny gain of 0.44% in its share of the vote is hardly grounds for celebration, but after disastrous local and national elections in 2017 and 2018 respectively, not losing further ground is good news. The gain may have been tactical. Given that centre-left parties across the EU 28 were expected to suffer losses, voters in Luxembourg appear to have shifted from the more leftist Déi Lénk to support the traditional party and ensure it had a seat in the European Parliament.
Encouragement for Volt
Volt Luxembourg’s first election campaign resulted in a 2.11% share of the vote. Not earth shaking, but encouraging for a new party with no tradition in Luxembourg that as late as February this year was not sure it would get 6 candidates together to form a list. After all, the Pirate Party won just 2.94% in the 2013 parliamentary election and went on to claim 2 seats in parliament five years later.
Greens continue momentum
As elsewhere across Europe, the Green party made gains in its share of the vote even if it fell short of translating that into a second seat. But, with all due respect, with no household name on its list the result is one to celebrate and youngsters like the impressive Meris Sehovic and Jessie Thill winning 41,000 and 35,000 votes respectively the future looks bright for Déi Gréng.