On June 13
, 1999 the fifth direct elections to the European Parliament
were held in the France
. Once again, abstention
was very high for this type of election- only 47% of eligible voters voted. The election was also the first French European election to be won by the French Socialist Party
In a major surprise and historical upset for the government, Charles Pasqua's and Philippe de Villier's dissident Rally for France-Movement for France list surpassed the list of President Jacques Chirac's RPR-Liberal Democracy, led by Nicolas Sarkozy.
Minor parties, including Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Traditions and the far-left Workers' Struggle obtained very good results and elected 6 and 5 MEP's respectively.
The far-right FN was penalized by Bruno Megret's dissident MNR list and obtained a deceivingly low result.