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SOCIALISTS GAIN GROUND IN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

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A general lack of interest, along with projections showing the first round of elections for the European Parliament going against the governing majority in most countries, indicate voters care more about national policies than the future of Europe, analysts said Friday.

The analysts studying straw polls conducted in each country also said Socialists, already the strongest group in the outgoing parliament, may grow stronger to the detriment of the center-right majority.Voters in Britain, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark trickled to the polls Thursday in voting for the 518-member assembly that will have increasing influence over their lives as Europe moves toward integration in 1992.

The remaining members of the 12-nation European Community - Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Greece and Luxembourg - will vote Sunday, and official results will be released only after the last polls close Sunday.

In concluding that voters were more interested in their own nation's policies rather than the future of the European Community, the analysts said the votes were going against the majority party in four of the five nations.

Early projections showed a victory of the British Labor Party over the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the European Parliament, now led by a small center-right majority.

The British Labor Party is expected to get 51 seats against 33 in the outgoing parliament, while the Conservatives would drop from 45 to 26.

"Things are going very well and they are getting better," Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock said in a television interview. "We are working for success. We are earning our success. That's the way to do it."

Another feature of the elections in Britain, according to the straw polls, was the surge of the Greens Party, which is expected to win 14 percent of the popular vote. It was not immediately clear how many seats that would earn it.