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Early Results Show Far-Right Faring Poorly In European Parliament Voting

A man walks past a "Vote" sign at the an station near the European Parliament in Brussels on May 24.

Millions of Europeans are set to choose new members of the European Parliament, as early results show that far-right political parties are not faring as well as some observers had predicted.

Voting for the continental legislature started earlier in the week, with Britain and the Netherlands, and voters in Ireland and the Czech Republic cast ballots on May 24.

Three more European Union members vote on May 25 -- Latvia, Malta, and Slovakia -- with the remaining nations going to the polls on May 26.

An exit poll in the Netherlands showed voters there had supported parties that were committed to the EU. A similar result was forecast in Ireland, with an exit poll suggesting that Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's Fine Gael party was in the lead.

In Germany, preelection polls put Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats in first place, followed by the Greens. Merkel's party is a dominant force in an EU-wide political bloc known as the EPP group.

More than 400 million people in all were eligible to elect the 751 members of the European Parliament.

First official results are expected to be announced late on May 26 once voting in all 28 member states has been completed.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa