Become a Patron

EU Parliamentary Projection: The Race for the Top Gets Tighter

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.

The month of July is coming to an end, and new forecasts have arrived. The seat projection shows a lot of movement but not in one clear direction. The three parties in the center of the political spectrum, which also form the informal coalition in the European Parliament, show different trends in the forecast. The center-right European People’s Party (EPP) stands at 157 seats, a decrease of four. The other two groups, however, are up from last month: the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) gains one seat, bringing its total to 143, and the liberal Renew Europe (RE) is now at 90 seats, an increase of three, after its record low in June. Together, these three parties have the same number of seats as before: a comfortable absolute majority of 390 of the 705 seats.

On the right of the political spectrum the groups move in opposite directions: European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are expected to have 82 seats, one less than the previous month, and Identity and Democracy (ID) gains another three seats, bringing its total to 72—its fourth consecutive gain. 

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) are projected to get 49 seats, one more than before, while the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) suffers its second major loss in a row and is now forecasted to have 45 seats, a drop of five.

The Non-Inscrits (NI) picked up two seats and now have 55, while the not (yet) affiliated parties saw no change and can expect 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 getting closer to the other right-wing group and could reach place four or five. Places six to eight could be reached by the Non-Inscrits, the G/EFA and LEFT, while the not (yet) affiliated parties are clearly the smallest group in the projection.

Behind these different numbers are changes in polling data in all member states. 172 partiest would enter the European Parliament in this month, that are distributed differently over the whole Union.

Only some of the parties have more than one seat up or down compared to the month before: In Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español (S&D) outperformed the polls with their election result and are now also projected three higher in our estimation. Further changes where in France where Renaissance (RE) is up by two seats while La France Insoumise (LEFT) is down by three. The last country with bigger changes is Romania where  Alianța pentru Unirea Românilor (ECR) is two seats up from June while the two EPP members Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România and Partidul Mișcarea Populară would each lose their two seats in the European Parliament.

The projection of the popular vote for July shows partly a different picture: The European People’s Party has the biggest losses of all groups and are down to 20.6% (-0.8), while the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats gains the same amount and are now at 19.5% (+0.8). The third centrist group, Renew Europe has a small gain to 10.5% (+0.1) The three groups combined again increases their share slightly and continue to hold an absolute majority of the chamber at 50.6%.

On the right side of the political spectrum, the European Conservatives and Reformists go down by 0.2 percentage point reaching now 11.5%, while Identity and Democracy gains a bit to 10.6% (+0.1). On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance have a slight decrease to 6.9% (-0.1), while the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL different to the seat projection gains in the popular vote  and is now at 7.2% (+0.3). Of the last two groups, the Non-Inscrits show a further slight increase to 6.4% (+0.1), while those who have not (yet) joined a political group saw a further loss to 6.7% (-0.4).

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 at the composition of the European Parliament at the moment, two new members joined in July: Carlos Coelho (PSD-EPP) from Portugal and Thomas Rudner (SPD-S&D) from Germany each replaced a colleague from their party.

The make-up of the European Council did not change this month, there is not yet a new government after the elections in Spain and it is not yet clear if Pedro Sánzchez (PSOE-S&D) will further lead the government and represent his country in this institution.

In August there are no elections scheduled within the member states of the European Union. All results of elections and details what is still coming can be found in our Election Calendar.