Far-right parties have made significant gains in the European Union parliamentary elections, delivering humiliating defeats to the parties of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

While mainstream parties kept control of the 705-member European Parliament on Sunday, the 27-member bloc swung palpably to the right in a sign of the durability of anti-establishment sentiment on the continent.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally delivered such a crushing defeat to Macron’s centrist Renaissance that the French leader called snap legislative elections, a risky manoeuvre which could inflict further losses on his party and hobble the remaining three years of his presidential term.

National Rally was projected to win about 33 percent of the vote and 31 seats in the incoming European Parliament – more than double the tally of the Macron ticket’s 15 percent.

We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration,” Le Pen said.

Macron acknowledged the scale of the defeat.

In Germany, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) took second place, underscoring the party’s strength ahead of next year’s federal election.

In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party gained nearly 26 percent of the vote, topping a nationwide ballot for the first time.

The governing conservative People’s Party (OeVP) picked up more than 24 percent of the vote, followed by the Social Democrats with about 23 percent and the Greens at nearly 11.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said the results showed that the “centre is holding”.