(Updates with final results)
BERLIN, May 26 (Reuters) - 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 percent.
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 Mike Peacock)