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EU Parliamentary Projection: A New Year, New Polls, and a New Projection

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.

The first projection of 2023 confirms the absolute majority of seats for the informal coalition behind the election of Ursula von der Leyen (EPP) as President of the European Commission. With 396 seats out of 705 this is still six seats less than the month before. These losses come from all three political groups: The European People’s Party (EPP) and Renew Europe (RE) are both projected with one seat less at now 159 respectively 98 seats. The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) are four seats down compared to the last projects and are now at 139 seats.

The biggest group after those three are the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) with 84 seats, the same number for the third month in a row. The other group on the right side of the political spectrum, Identity and Democracy (ID) would gain two seats if there was an election in January and are now projected at 65 seats.

The Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) are projected with 55 seats now, one seat less then in December and the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) is one seat up to now 49. Of the remaining seats, 52 are taken by Non-Inscrits (NI), an increase of seven seats, and not (yet) affiliated parties are projected with four seats, down from seven in the end of last year.

Not all changes this month are due to swings in polls, there were also some adaptions on how Europe Elects categorises some parties: Bulgarian Balgarski vazhod (BV), Danish Danmarksdemokraterne (Æ), Latvian Latvija pirmajā vietā (LPV) and Danish Moderaterne (M) are now counted as Non-Inscrits instead of unaffiliated parties. In addition to this, the Latvian Latvijas Zemnieku savienība (LZS) are now grouped with Renew Europe instead of EPP. All in all, this accounts for three more seats for NI and one more for RE.

Looking at the ranking of the groups in the projection and taking into account the margin of error, it can be seen that the gaps widened a bit. Now the political groups in the first five spots are all clear from each other. EPP is followed by S&D, RE, ECR and ID.  Behind that, G/EFA, LEFT and the parties that are Non-Inscrits are roughly even in places six to eight. The not (yet) affiliated parties are clearly the smallest group in the projection.

When looking at the polling data the biggest impact in the seat distribution come from four countries: in Ireland there would be a shift between two of the parties in government, Fianna Fáil (RE) is projected two seats less and Fine Gael (EPP) two seats more. Two seats less are also projected fore Italian Forza Italia (EPP) and Romanian Partidul Social Democrat (S&D). A gain of two seats is projected for Hungarian Fidesz, who are sitting with the Non-Inscrits.

Not only the seat distribution in the projection changed in January, but also the European Parliament has a new member: Katarína Neveďalová from Slovakian SMER (S&D) filled their vacant spot.

Within the affiliation of the MEPs Italian Independent Daniela Rondinelli is now a member of the S&D group instead of sitting with the Non-Inscrits. In the opposite direction, Andrea Cozzolino from Italy and Marc Tarabella from Belgium were both excluded from the S&D group, following the Qatar corruption scandal. They are still members of the European Parliament and sit now with the Non-Inscrits. If you are interested in who left and who is new in the European Parliament, you can find detailed information here.

In the popular vote projection for January 2023 were several minor changes. The three groups supporting the President of the European Commission have together the same share as in December 2022: 51.3%. Yet, the distribution is slightly different: The European People’s Party (EPP) is up by 0.4 percentage points to now 21.5%, while the other two groups are both down by 0.2 percentage points. The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) is now projected at 18.5% and Renew Europe (RE) at 11.3%.

Minor changes in opposite directions can be seen on the right: while the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) lost 0.1 percentage point to 11.5%, Identity and Democracy (ID) gained 0.1 points to 9%.

On the left side of the political spectrum both groups are up by 0.3 percentage points: the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) are now at 7.9%, and the LEFT are at 7.4%.

The parties that are grouped as Non-Inscrits are now at 6.1% (+0.7) and those that have not (yet) joined a group are at 6.8%. As with the seat projection, also for the projection of the popular vote some of the gains and losses of NI and the unaffiliated group is influenced by the recategorisation of some national parties.

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.

In the European Council there were no changes in January 2023. The forming of a government in Bulgaria was not successful and a fifth national parliament election in only three years will be held on 2 April 2023. There were also no elections in any country that have influence of the composition of the body.

A nation-wide election that took place in January was the Presidential election in the Czech Republic, where Petr Pavel (Independent) won in the second round. Also a presidential election is scheduled in Cyprus in February. This will lead to change in the composition of the European Council, as Cyprus is represented by the president and the incumbent Nicos Anastasiades (DISY-EPP) is ineligible to run due to term limit.

If you want to have all the information on what’s coming up through all of 2023, check out our Election Calendar with all dates to national and regional elections all over the continent.