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On 13 June 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 Socialist Party (PS).
The New Union for French Democracy (Nouvelle UDF), led by François Bayrou ran independently of the RPR, contrary to Chirac's wishes, for the first time since 1984. Bayrou won a relatively good result, 9.28%, allowing him to pursue his more independent political strategy (slowly distancing the party from the RPR) within the New UDF.
The other winner of the election were The Greens led by Franco-German green politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit, whose list won 9.72%, the party's second-best result after 1989.