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EU Parliamentary Projection: Greens down, ID up

Europe Elects’ European Parliament projection offers an indication of how voters in the European Union would vote should there be an EU Parliament election today. The timeline of the data presents how the national voting intentions of European citizens have shifted over the course of the pandemic on the EU level on a monthly basis. When comparing seats and the popular vote projected to the 2019 EU election result in this article, we contrast them to the EU27 scenario—meaning we exclude the United Kingdom, which left the EU in January 2020, also from the 2019 election results.

In June 2021, the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) Group saw its support shrink by the largest margin of any group, losing three projected seats and 1.1 pp of the popular vote support compared to May’s Europe Elects European Parliamentary Projection. Conversely, the right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID) Group saw it’s support increase by three projected seats compared to last month. The liberal Renew Europe (RE) Group gained two seats while the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group lost two, and the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) Group and the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) gain one projected seat each.

As has continuously been the case since March 2017, the centre-right EPP Group would remain the largest bloc in the assembly if there were to be held EU Parliamentary elections today, as they look to conquer 156 out of the 705 seats with a popular vote share of 21.2%, up a single seat and 0.6 percentage points since last month. 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 seats and a popular vote share of 22.6%. The EPP’s recent resurgence is a subtle sign that the group’s support is repairing after its unprecedented retreat this spring.

Europe Elects’ projection of seats in European Parliament since the last EU election

The centre-left S&D would come second with 144 out of 705 seats and 17.9% of the popular vote, down two seats and 0.1 points from last month’s projection. This would result in one point and four seats less than in the 2019 elections—again discounting the UK and adding the post-Brexit MEPs. The S&D’s slight fall in seats in this month’s projection can, among other trends, be attributed to the fact that Italian left-wing parliamentary group, Free and Equal (LeU-S&D) has dipped below the threshold line, having slightly surpassed it last month—and having been below it the month before.

Trailing the two frontrunners by some margin is the liberal Renew Europe (RE) Group, comprising the third largest European Parliamentary group in our June projection with 94 seats—three seats less than the group received in the 2019 EU election sans the UK and two more than in last month’s projection. In terms of popular vote share, the RE Group receives 11.8% in our projection, a 0.5 percentage point drop compared to the 2019 European elections.

With this level of support for the EPP, S&D and RE groups, the European Commission of President Ursula von der Leyen (EPP) would continue to hold a comfortable de facto majority of 394 out of 705 total seats, as these three groups were the ones that voted to confirm the now-incumbent Commission in 2019.

Europe Elects’ projection of popular vote in the EU since the last EU election

Our June 2021 projection shows an uptick for the right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID) Group, receiving three more projected seats than last month: 77 seats with 10.6% of the popular vote, up 0.3 percentage points from last month. Receiving 76 seats with 11.2% of the vote in the 2019 elections, the group peaked at a projected 85 seats in the Europe Elects Projections in January and February 2020.

The national-conservative European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group currently enjoys a certain stability, projected at 75 seats—down a single seat from May. The group and its members are looking to become the fourth-largest group in the European Parliament if elections were held today, having received 62 seats in the 2019 EU election, discounting the UK and distributing the post-Brexit MEPs.

Across the EU, national parties affiliated with the ECR have a combined popular vote share of 10.3% in June, down 0.2pp from last month’s projection while being 2.2 percentage points above ECR’s 2019 election result. Part of this rise can be attributed to the increase of support for the Italian Brothers of Italy (FdI-ECR), which has been steadily rising in the past years, and which now stands at 19.9% in the latest Europe Elects average.

The Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) became the fifth-largest parliamentary group in the European elections in May 2019 discounting the UK, but has since fallen significantly and to sixth place. In terms of representation, Greens/EFA has decreased from 68 seats and 11.5% in the May 2019 elections to 55 projected seats and  eight per cent of the projected vote share in Europe Elects’ May 2021 projection, down significantly from the 58 seats and 9.1% projected popular vote share in May. In European Parliamentary projections extrapolated from national polling, the Greens’ vote share has previously proved smaller than the ultimate election results: in 2019, Greens/EFA outdid the Europe Elects projection with 15 seats, proving out to be the biggest upset of the election.

The Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) is projected to be the seventh-largest bloc, at 52 seats trailing Greens/EFA with four projected seats. The group is up one seat from last month and up an overall 11 seats from the 2019 elections. In the popular vote projection, the group stands at 7.2%, a little above the 7.0% they received in the 2019 EP elections. It has been previously seen, however, that the LEFT Group has been overestimated in opinion polls. At the 2019 European Parliamentary elections, the party received 11 seats less than the voting projection by Europe Elects, as multiple of the group’s parties appeared stronger in polls ahead of the EU election than in the actual election result.

The Non-Inscrits (NI)—those parties and MEPs left without a parliamentary group in the European Parliament—would send 34 MEPs with a 5.0% popular vote share to Brussels. This is one MEP less while standing at the same popular vote share as last month. Hungarian Fidesz joined the Non-Inscrits in March, back then adding 10 projected seats to the pool of non-grouped MEPs. The Italian Five Star Movement (M5S-NI), whose seven current MEPs sit with the Non-Inscrits, have jumped to a projected 16 seats if elections were held today—up from 14 last month.

18 seats would go to unaffiliated parties that have no relationship to the groups mentioned previously and are not currently represented in the EU Parliament. This includes thirteen seats for the centrist Poland 2050 (PL2050-*), four seats for the centrist Bulgarian party There Are Such People (Ima Takûv Narod, ITN-*) and a single seat for the Bulgarian Stand Up.BG (Изправи се.БГ, IS.BG).

National Developments

In Germany, the polling support for the centre-right sister party alliance between the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU-EPP) and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU-EPP) has resurged after its free fall this spring. Standing at 35.9% in German federal polls on 1 January 2021, the union dropped to a low of 24.4% of the vote share in the middle of May, according to the Europe Elects average. Having had a recent boost in the polls, the CDU/CSU alliance now stands at 28.7% in the latest Europe Elects average.

Furthermore, the German Alliance ‘90/The Greens (Grüne-Greens/EFA) continues its decrease after its flush of support this spring. Peaking at 24.8% in early May, the party is now back at 20.0% of the projected popular vote share. Regarding projected seats in the European Parliament, the party is looking to capture 21 seats in the 705-mandate chamber—down two seats from last month’s projection.

If European Parliamentary elections were held today, the single largest party would be the French right-wing National Rally (RN-ID), standing at 25 seats in this month’s projection—three seats up from last month, and a single seat ahead of its main rival, the French liberal La République En Marche! (LREM-RE), which, with 24 projected seats, looks to become the second largest single party in the European Parliament.

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. Visit our European Parliament projection site for a more in-depth overview and explanation of the methodology behind the monthly projection.