Europe Elects produces a monthly projection on how voters in the European Union would vote, should there be an EU Parliament election today. When comparing seats and popular vote projected to the election result in this article, we contrast them to the EU27 scenario—meaning we exclude the United Kingdom.
Our projection for the development of polling trends in July 2020 shows that the centre-right EPP Group in the European Parliament would again remain the largest bloc in the assembly if there was an EU Parliament election today, with 198 seats out of 705 post-Brexit and a popular vote share of 25.3%. In the EU election in May 2019—discounting the United Kingdom and adding the post-Brexit MEPs around the EU—the EPP finished with 187 of seats and a popular vote share of 22.6%. Relative to the overall number of seats in the parliament, the level of support for centre-right parties in Europe is the highest since early 2015. Significant shifts in popularity in July appear in France and Romania: compared to the previous month, the French centre-right Les Républicains (LR) gains three projected seats. In Romania, two centre-right EPP parties follow different trajectories: Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România (UDMR) surpasses the necessary legal electoral threshold and is now projected to get two European Parliament seats. Partidul Mișcarea Populară, on the other hand falls below that very threshold losing each of its three seats.
The centre-left S&D would come second with 134 out of 705 seats and 18.0% of the popular vote. This would be 14 seats and 0.9 percentage points less in the popular vote than in the 2019 election—again discounting the UK and adding the post-Brexit MEPs. The S&D Group hosts Socialist and Social Democratic parties like the German SPD and the Swedish Social Democrats (S) in the EU Parliament from across the continent. The slight upward trend for S&D compared to the previous month is also advanced by PRO Romania, which is projected to surpass the legal electoral threshold for EU elections (+2 seats).
Europe Elects’ projection of seats of European Parliament in July 2020
Trailing the two frontrunner groups by some margin, the third biggest European Parliamentary group in our July’s projection is the liberal RE Group with 97 seats, which is exactly what the group achieved in the 2019 EU election sans the UK. In terms of vote shares, the RE Group receives 11.5% in our projection. That is 0.8 percentage points less than in the EU election last year. The RE Group hosts political parties such as the French LREM and the German FDP. RE parties took a popularity hit in Romania last month, where Alianța 2020 USR-PLUS dropped from eight to six projected seats, and in the Netherlands, where Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) dropped from ten to eight projected seats compared to June 2020 projection.
The right-wing ID Group in the European Parliament is projected to get 75 out of 705 seats, a vote share of 10.8% and be the fourth largest European Parliamentary group if there was an EU election today. This is one seat less and 0.4 percentage points less than in the EU election minus the UK and adding the post-Brexit MEPs. The result is—for the second consecutive month—the worst projected result for the European right-wing since the EU election 2019. The decline of the right manifests itself in France, where Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement national drops from 26 to 22 projected EU Parliament seats compared to the previous month.
Europe Elects’ projection of popular vote in the EU in July 2020
The ECR Group is projected to get 70 seats should an EU election be held now. The group—which amongst others includes the Polish PiS and the Italian Fratelli d’Italia (FdI)—received 62 seats in the pre-Brexit 2019 EU election, discounting the UK and distributing the post-Brexit MEPs. Across the EU, the national parties affiliated with the ECR Group have a combined EU popular vote share of 9.4% in July, which is 1.3 points above ECR’s 2019 election result.
The left-wing GUE/NGL is projected to be the sixth-largest bloc in the European Parliament, should there be an election today, rather clearly behind the five biggest groups. Europe Elects’ July projection predicts the group would receive 54 out of 705 seats, up from 40 in the EU election 2019 sans the UK. In the popular vote projection, the group stands at 8.0%, up from 7.0% in the 2019 election.
Greens/EFA was the fifth-largest parliamentary group in the European election in May 2019 without the UK but has since slid to the seventh position. In terms of seats, Greens/EFA decreased from 68 seats and 11.5% in the election night to only 49 MEPs and 7.2% in Europe Elects’ July projection. Greens continue their slow recovery from their nadir earlier in spring.
The Non-Inscrits—those parties left without a parliamentary group in the European Parliament—would send 23 MEPs with a 3.8% vote share in the popular vote to the European Parliament in July’s projection. Five seats would go to unaffiliated parties that have no relationship to the groups mentioned before.
Disproportionate or sometimes opposite developments in the popular vote share and the seat projection can be explained with the slight disproportionality of the electoral system for the European Parliament.
The data presented in this article are based on 31 July 2020. The reason for the delayed publication was the holiday schedule of our volunteers involved in the monthly projection for the EU Parliament.
Visit our European Parliament projection site for a more in-depth overview and the methodology behind the monthly projection.