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EU Parliamentary Projection: Meloni’s ECR Close to Becoming 3rd

Europe Elects’ European Parliament forecast gives an indication of how voters in the European Union would vote if an election were held today. It also shows how this forecast changes from month to month. From this month on our seat projection is updated to include the new setup of an European Parliament with 720 seats.

After including the increased number of seats last month as a scenario, it was established in September that the 720-seat setup is the one to be put in place after the election. In light of this, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) remains the largest party in September with 165 seats, an increase of one seat from our scenario projection in August. Their closest competitor for first place is the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), which is at 144 seats, five seats fewer compared to the same scenario a month before. The third centrist group, the liberal Renew Europe (RE), didn’t gain or lose any seats, having 90 MEPs in a 720-seat parliament both in August and September. These three parties, which form an informal coalition in the European Parliament, now have 400 seats out of 720, a comfortable absolute majority.

There are also some changes in the next largest groups, those on the right of the political spectrum. The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are expected to have 86 seats, a plus of three seats compared to the month before, and Identity and Democracy (ID) loses one seat, down to 74.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) are projected to win 52 seats, one less than in September, while the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) gains after the losses in the last months and now has 43 seats, a plus of 5.

The Non-Inscrits (NI) are down by two seats and now have a total of 56, while the not (yet) affiliated parties are expected to have ten seats, the same as before.

Compared to the seat distribution currently in the European Parliament, some groups would gain seats while others would lose, despite the overall increase. The biggest winners are the right-wing groups, with ECR projected to gain 20 seats and ID 13 seats.

Other groups with a higher number would be the Non-Inscrits with eight seats more, S&D with two seats more and LEFT with six more seats.

All other groups would have fewer seats than in the parliament right now. The biggest loss would be suffered by G/EFA, projected with 20 seats less, followed by EPP with a minus of 12 and RE with eleven seats less.

In September, there were significant changes on a national level in several countries. In Romania, four parties experienced significant losses or gains: Alianța pentru Unirea Românilor (ECR) is projected to gain three more seats and Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România (EPP) is expected to gain two. At the opposite end, both Partidul Social Democrat (S&D) and USR (RE) are expected to lose two seats.

In Germany two of the parties in government are now seen weaker than in the month before: Both the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (S&D) and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (G/EFA) are down two seats.

A similar loss for a government party can be seen in Italy where Fratelli d’Italia are also two seats lower than in August. Azione (RE) has movement in the opposite direction, they would regain representation with four seats.

In Spain there are movements on the (centre-)right: Partido Popular (EPP) is two seats up while Vox is two seats down.

There are also changes in France where La France Insoumise (LEFT) gains two seats in this projection, the same as in Poland Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (ECR).

The projection of the popular vote for September shows changes for some of the groups. The European People’s Party is still the group with the biggest support and is estimated at 21.3%, down by 0.3 percentage points. The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats follows in second place with 19.1%, a decrease of 0.4. Renew Europe has also dropped to 9.9% (−0.3), being the first time under 10% since the last election. Together, the three groups of the informal coalition have lost some of their share but continue to hold an absolute majority with 50.3%.

The third largest group in the European Parliament, the European Conservatives and Reformists, remained unchanged from the previous month at 11.8%. The other right-wing group, Identity and Democracy, saw an increase of 0.3 percentage points and now stands at 10.8%.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance decreased their share to 7% (−0.1), while the Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL made up some of the losses of the month before: They are now back at 6.9% (+0.8), the biggest gain this month. The Non-Inscrits have no change and are at 6%, same as those who have not (yet) joined a political group that are at 7%.

Details of these methodological changes are explained on our European Parliament projection site where you can find also an in-depth overview and explanation of the methodology behind the monthly projection including information on why there are sometimes different developments in the popular vote share and the seat projection.

Looking at the current composition of the European Parliament, three new members joined in September: Anja Haga (CU-EPP) from the Netherlands, and from Spain Ana Collado Jiménez (PP-EPP) as well as Laura Ballarín Cereza (PSOE-S&D) replaced a colleague from the same party each.

Furthermore, the Italian MEP Elisabetta De Blasis left Lega (ID) and now sits with the Non-Inscrits.

The line-up of the European Council had a change this month: Evika Siliņa (V-EPP) is the new prime minister of Latvia and replaces Krišjānis Kariņš from the same party as the representative in this body of the EU.

There is still no new government following the Spanish elections last July and it is not yet clear whether Pedro Sánchez (PSOE-S&D) will continue to lead the government and represent his country in this institution.

The results of the election in Slovakia were not yet known at the editorial deadline and in October Luxembourg and Poland will hold national parliamentary elections, which could lead to further changes in the European Council. All the results from elections across the continent and details of upcoming elections can be found in our Election Calendar.

 Update 02/11/2023: modified the number of S&D MEPs from 145 to 144