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EU Parliamentary Projection: Italian Defeat Prolongs Centre-Left’s Plight

Tomas Adamec and Mingo Garscha

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 and how this outlook changes on a monthly basis.

Looking at the total numbers of the projection, the three European parliamentary groups—EPP, S&D and RE—that formed an informal coalition when voting for the president of the European Commission in the beginning of the term still have a comfortable majority of 403 out of 705 seats, with the European People’s Party (EPP) being the strongest with 162 seats, followed by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) with 135 seats and Renew Europe (RE) with 106 seats.

The two groups further left on the political spectrumt have together around a quarter of that number, with The Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) at 53 seats and The Left group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) at 55 seats. On the right European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) have 81 seats and Identity and Democracy (ID) 66 seats. From the remaining seats, 41 are Non-Inscrits (NI) parties and six of those who are not (yet) affiliated.

When including the limits of variations, the order of the five biggest parties shows EPP becoming the biggest followed by S&D, RE, ECR and ID. After that, LEFT and G/EFA could both become the sixth biggest party if there was an election right now.

Comparing this data to the seat distribution that the European parliament has right now gives the following picture:

Focusing on the development of the polls in the last month there were mostly small changes: EPP, S&D and ECR lost each one seat, RE, G/EFA and LEFT gained each one. ID is the group with the biggest change winning two seats, the same change as for the NI parties. Parties not yet affiliated with any group would have 4 seats less in this projection.

What are the changes on a national level that lie behind this? Most of them come from parties of three countries:

In Italy, partially due to the changes in national parliamentary elections, the Partito Democratico from the S&D group would lose two of their seats if there were a European Parliament Election right now and the Alleanza Verdi e Sinistra from G/EFA would gain representation with four seats. In Romania the two smaller members of the EPP group would have changes in opposite directions: the Hungarian minority party Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România would gain representation with two seats and the Partidul Mișcarea Populară would lose representation of also two seats. Finally in Spain the ECR member VOX would gain two additional seats compared to the month before. Other than that, no party had a change of more than one seat.

Besides the polls published in this month, the numbers were of course also influenced by the outcomes of the national parliament elections that happened in October in Latvia and Bulgaria.

These changes did not only influence the projection for the European Parliament, but there are also direct effects on who is representing the countries. Some MEP were elected to their national parliaments and will be replaced by others from the same party. If you are interested who left and who is new you can find the information here.

Moving the focus from possible seats gained and lost to the changes in the popular vote projections in October, the following picture emerges: EPP has the biggest share with 21.6%, not much change compared to last month’s 21.8%. In second place is S&D with 18.3% losing 0.3 percentage points compared to the month before. 3rd is RE with 12.0%, down from 12.1% in September. The three groups supporting the vote of the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (EPP) have an absolute majority of 52% in the popular vote.

On the 4th rank follows ECR with 1.3%—the same as in the last month. The places 5–7 are close between ID (8.72; +0,3), LEFT (8%; no change) and Green/EFA (8.1%; +0,3). On the bottom of the table are 6.1% (down from 6.3% the month before) for parties not yet affiliated and the Non-Inscrits with 5.7% an increase of 0.1 percentage points.

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.

Looking forward to the upcoming month we can see how the forming of governments after the elections in Bulgaria and Latvia will impact the distribution of members in the European Council, something which also happened in October with a gain for ECR from an unaffiliated member in Italy and a change from S&D to EPP in Sweden. Also expected in November are national parliamentary elections in Denmark and the second round of the presidential election in Slovenia. More details on upcoming elections can be found from here. For updates on how the polls in Europe are progressing and developments in the projections of the European Parliament follow us on social media or here on our website.