EU rally brexit party European Parliament
British protesters at a pro-EU rally (Image: Wikimedia/ilovetheeu)

Well, elections for the European Parliament have been held, and the winner is... pretty much anyone you want it to be. With an unprecedented 50% turnout, the highest since direct voting to the institution began in 1979, voters went to nationalist and populist parties in greater numbers, to left and green parties, and away from the mainstream party blocs -- which nevertheless maintained their overall control of the chamber.

The European Parliament is a thing of dizzying complexity, in which more than 100 parties and groups sit in about 15 different blocs.

This year for the first time the core centre blocs -- the Social Democrats on the left (With UK Labour, the German SPD, Spanish Socialists etc) and the European People's Parties on right (Christian Democrats, Sweden's hilariously-named Moderate Party) -- have fallen short of the 376 seats they need to (collectively) control business in the 751 seat chamber, with the big losers being the established parties on both sides in Germany, Italy and the UK.