(Updates with final results)
BERLIN May 26 Angela Merkel's conservatives won
the most votes in European Union elections on Sunday but slipped
from the 23-year high they polled in last year's German federal
election as the Social Democrats (SPD) and a new Eurosceptic
party gained ground.
Merkel's centre-right bloc polled 35.3 percent, down from
2013's 41.5 percent, while the SPD, which shares power with the
chancellor in a 'grand coalition', took 27.3 percent, according
to official figures, with all electoral districts counted but
final confirmation pending.
The new Eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany (AfD),
barely a year old, polled 7 percent. It just missed out on
entering the German parliament last September with a poll of 4.7
The far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) won 1.0
percent and became one of half a dozen small parties to enter
the European Parliament for the first time, helped by a
constitutional court ruling that forced Germany to scrap its
three percent threshold for winning seats.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson and Stephen Brown, editing by