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EU Parliamentary Projection: Calm First Days of Spring

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.

March 2023 brings not only the beginning of spring but also multiple minor changes in the seat projection for the European Parliament. For the big three, European People’s Party (EPP), the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and Renew Europe (RE) it brings small losses across the board: The centre-right EPP is one seat down to 162, centre-left S&D has two less and is now at 143 and liberal centrist RE is at 98, one less than the month before. Together they still have an absolute majority of 403 out of 705 seats, a correction down of four seats after the gain of 11 seats in February.

The next biggest group, the national-conservative European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) gain two seats and would now have 83 seats, while the other group on the right side of the political spectrum, right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID) would lose three seats to now 63. On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) have the lowest value since the last election with 46 seats (−3). The Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) would lose one seat to now 47. Of the remaining seats, 51 are taken by the formally unaffiliated Non-Inscrits (NI), an increase of two seats and 12 seats would go to not (yet) affiliated parties, up by seven seats.

There were many small changes for national parties in the seat projection but only two of them gained or lost more than one seat: Italian Partido Democratico (S&D) is two seats up from last month and Romanian Partidul Mișcarea Populară (EPP) would not have any seats in the European Parliament anymore, instead of two. Another change comes from categorising Danish Moderaterne with Renew Europe again instead of not yet affiliated as they communicated that they intend to join this group.

Like the months before there is no change expected in the order between the parties: EPP is the strongest party followed by S&D, RE, ERC and ID. All of them are clear of each other with a 95% confidence interval. Behind that, the Non-Inscrits are the next biggest groups closely followed by LEFT and G/EFA, but the order between them can easily change. The not (yet) affiliated parties are clearly the smallest group in the projection.

In the European Parliament one member changed his affiliation in March: Nicolae Ştefănuță elected for Romanian Renew member USR sits now with the group of the Greens/European Free Alliance. If you want to know more about who the members of the European Parliament are, you can find detailed information here.

The popular vote projection for March 2023 developed different than the seat projection. Together the three groups supporting the President of the European Commission have a higher share compared to the month before: 51.8%. This is due to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) being up to 19% (+0.3) and Renew Europe (RE) to 11.2% (+0.1). The European People’s Party (EPP) is down like in the seat projection, here to 21.6% (−0.1).

On the right side of the political spectrum both groups face lower numbers: the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) lost 0.1 percentage points to 11.4% and Identity and Democracy (ID) lost 0.2 to 9%. On the left both groups are now at 7.3%, the LEFT is up by 0.2 percentage points and the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) had no changes to the month before.

The parties that are grouped as Non-Inscrits are at 6% with no change to the previous months, those that have not (yet) joined a group are at 7.1% (−0.1).

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 was one changes in March 2023. Nikos Christodoulidis, new president of Cyprus, joined and will be affiliated with the EPP group. Another possible change was dependent on the outcome of the Estonian parliamentary election on 5 March, but there is not yet a new government formed. Looking at the results it is expected that Kaja Kallas will stay as prime minister of the Baltic country.

In April there are two national elections upcoming, with possible impact on the composition of the council: On 2 April a new parliament is elected in Bulgaria and in Finland.

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.