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EU Parliamentary Projection: Less Seats for Centre(-Right), More for Centre-Left

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.

Polls conducted in November show that the three political groups in the European Parliament that formed an informal coalition in the election of the President of the European Commission (EPP, S&D and RE) have a majority of 400 out of 705 seats, three seats fewer than predicted in the previous month. The change is due to the losses of the European People’s Party (EPP), which dropped by four seats to now 158, and Renew Europe (RE), which lost six seats and is now at 100. On the flip side, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) is projected at 142 seats, seven more than in October.

These three largest groups in the EP are followed by the two groups on the right side of the political spectrum: European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) with 84 seats and Identity and Democracy (ID) with 63 seats. The former gained three seats, while the latter lost three.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) gain three seats to reach a total of 56, again passing the Left Group in the European Parliament—GUE/NGL (LEFT)—which now holds 49 seats, six fewer than in October. Of the remaining seats, 46 are taken by Non-Inscrits (NI), five more than before, and seven by not (yet) affiliated parties, an increase of one seat.

Taking into account the margin of error, EPP is still the largest group, followed by S&D. The gap between the two narrowed since last month so that both could end up at the same number of seats. RE and ECR are 3rd and 4th respectively, both clear from each other and the other groups in the European Parliament. After that, ID is predicted to be the next largest faction, but it would not necessarily be ahead of G/EFA, which is closer in this forecast then they were in the month before. LEFT would now be again the sixth largest group if elections were held now, but the gap is small enough that a change back to 5th, passing G/EFA would still be within the margin of error.

Behind these developments lie changes for the groups’ member parties at the national level. The first poll in France since the June parliamentary elections had a major impact: La France insoumise (GUE/NGL) is down seven seats and La République en marche – Mouvement démocrate (RE) lost three seats. The biggest gain was made by Parti socialiste (S&D) which would return to the European Parliament with seven seats, followed by Reconquête (NI) who would now have four seats, whereas previously they had none.

Further changes result from polls in Italy, where Alleanza Verdi e Sinistra (G/EFA) would lose all of their four seats and now governing Fratelli d’Italia (ECR) would gain two seats.

In the ID group, the biggest change comes from Alternative für Deutschland (ID), which is projected to have two fewer seats than the previous month. All other changes result from minor changes in national parties gaining or losing a maximum of one seat.

A different influencing factor is the outcome of the Danish parliament election. Besides the changes in the projection for the European Parliament there are also direct influences on who are the MEPs representing the country, as two members of Venstre (RE) and one member of and one of Dansk Folkeparti (ID) were elected to the national parliament and are replaced by other members of their parties.

Looking at change of MEPs, a member of Cypriot DISY (EPP) left parliament and was replaced by a member of the same party. Also in November, new MEPs joined, following those who left after September’s Italian parliamentary election, with one new member each for S&D (PD), ECR (FdI) and NI (M5S), two new members for EPP (FI) and three new members for ID (LEGA). If you are interested who left and who is new you can find that information here.

With regards to changes in the projections of the popular vote in November, the picture is as follows: the EPP has the largest share with 21.2%, compared to 21.6% in the previous month. In second place is the S&D with 18.8%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points, narrowing the gap to the top position by almost one percentage point. In third place is RE with 11.7%, down from 12.0% in September. This means that the three groups supporting the vote of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (EPP) have an absolute majority of voters behind them, with 51.7% of the vote.

ECR follows in 4th place with 11.2%, almost the same as in the previous month (-0.1). ID comes in next with 8.9% (+0.2) and behind them are the Greens/EFA with 8.1% (+0.3). The LEFT is the smallest group in the popular vote reaching 7.2%, compared to 8% in the previous month. Those who have not yet joined a group come in also at 7.2%, an increase of 0.8 percentage points, and the Non-Inscrits now stand at 5.5%, an increase of 0.2 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 December there may still be changes coming to European Council, depending on how the forming of the government in Bulgaria and Latvia will progress. In Denmark the new government has not yet been formed, but it is expected that Mette Frederiksen (S&D) will remain head of government.

There are no nationwide elections planned in any EU country next month, but there will be the second round of local elections in Slovenia where last month Nataša Pirc Musar (NI) was elected president. More details on upcoming elections can be found here. For updates on how polls in Europe are progressing and developments in the projections of the European Parliament follow us on social media or here on our website.