Europe’s voters elect new parliament as nationalism mounts

BRUSSELS (AP) — From Germany and France to Cyprus and Estonia, voters from 21 nations went to the polls Sunday in the final day of a crucial European Parliament election that could see major gains by the far-right, nationalist and populist movements sweeping across the continent.

The four days of balloting that began Thursday across the 28-country European Union pitted supporters of closer unity against those who consider the EU a meddlesome and bureaucratic presence and want to return power to national governments and sharply restrict immigration.

The first results were expected overnight from what was considered the most important European Parliament election in its 40-year history, a contest with the potential to significantly reshape EU policies. An estimated 426 million people were eligible to vote.