Become a Patron

EU Parliamentary Projection: AfD Polling High Pushes the Right 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, and how this outlook changes on a monthly basis. This article covers the month of May in 2023.

Taking into account the polling data for June 2023, the seat forecast does not paint too positive a picture for the three parties that make up the informal coalition in the European Parliament. While there is no change for the centre-right European People’s Party with 161 seats, the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) would lose two of its seats compared to the previous month and is now at 142 seats. The liberal Renew Europe (RE) party has a slightly larger loss of three seats and is now at 87 seats, its lowest projection since the last election.  Overall, the informal coalition still has a comfortable absolute majority of 390 out of 705 seats in the projection – it remains to be seen how this will evolve over the next year and whether these groups will be interested in joining their forces again after the next European Parliamentary election on 6–9 June 2024.

On the right of the political spectrum, both groups make moderate gains: the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are expected to have 83 seats, one more than the previous month, and the Identity and Democracy (ID) group gains another three seats, bringing its total to 69 – its third consecutive gain. 

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) have no change and remain at 48 seats, while the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) is forecast with three fewer seats, now 50 in total.

The groups with no clear political affiliation both made gains this month. The Non-Inscrits (NI) are up three seats to 53, while the not (yet) affiliated ones are up by one to 12 seats.

Looking at the order of the political groups, there is no change at the top: EPP is the largest group ahead of S&D with a confidence interval of 95%. Third place is possible for both RE and ECR, while ID is clearly in fifth place. Places six to eight could be reached by the Non-Inscrits, the LEFT and G/EFA, while the not (yet) affiliated parties are clearly the smallest group in the projection.

Projection: Filip van Laenen

Behind these different numbers are changes in polling data in all member states. Most of the 176 parties that would enter the European Parliament in this month’s election have changes of no more than one seat more or less than the previous month, but some have larger changes:

The biggest gain in June would come from Germany‘s Alternative für Deutschland (ID), which is expected to gain four seats more than the previous month, while the other major opposition party in the country, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (EPP), would lose three seats.

In France, there are changes on the left side of the political spectrum, with La France Insoumise (LEFT) gaining two seats, while the Parti Communiste Français (LEFT) would lose all of its seats after reaching four in May.

In Italy, two of the governing parties, Fratelli d’Italia (ECR) and Forza Italia (EPP), each gained two seats, while after the split of Azione – Italia Viva two months ago, Azione (RE) would now also lose its representation in the European Parliament, having previously had four seats.

In Spain, Sumar (LEFT) has gained two seats after including Podemos (LEFT) in its alliance, which in turn will no longer be counted individually; last month Podemos had four seats. Another change is projected for the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (S&D), which would gain two seats.

Also gaining two seats would be Poland‘s largest opposition group Koalicja Obywatelska (EPP) and the Czech Republic‘s largest opposition party ANO 2011 (RE). The same gain would be made by the Romanian Partidul Mișcarea Populară (EPP), which would again be represented in parliament.

Various changes can be observed in the projection of the electoral votes for June 2023: The European People’s Party recovers all of last month’s losses and is now back at 21.4% (+0.7), while the other two centrist groups move in the opposite direction. The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats loses moderately to 18.7% (-0.1), while Renew Europe loses more and is now at 10.4% (-0.4), the lowest share since the last election, the same as in the seat projection. The combined share of the three parties increases slightly and together they continue to hold an absolute majority at 50.5%.

On the right side of the political spectrum, the European Conservatives and Reformists remain unchanged from last month, reaching 11.7%, while Identity and Democracy gains 0.9 percentage points to 10.5%.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance registered a slight increase to 7% (+0.1), while the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL suffered a larger loss and is now the smaller of the two parties at 6.9% (-0.6).

Of the last two groups, the Non-Inscrits show a further slight increase to 6.3% (+0.1), while those who have not (yet) joined a political group saw a further loss to 7.1% (-0.5).

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.

As for the changes in the institutions of the European Union, in June a new member joined the European Parliament: Christophe Clergeau (PS – S&D) from France replaced his colleague Eric Andrieu from the same party.

The composition of the European Council also changed again: in Finland, a new government was formed, and the country is now represented by Petteri Orpo (EPP). In Greece, a new government was also formed shortly after the June election, and Kyriakos Mitsotakis (EPP) is Prime Minister again.

With these gains from S&D and not (yet) affiliated members, EPP is now again the strongest group in this body with eight seats, followed by RE (six), and S&D (five).

With the summer months approaching, there are also fewer elections, but one is still coming up in a major European country: Spain will elect a new parliament on 23 July. You can find all details about past and upcoming elections in our Election Calendar