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EU Parliamentary Projection: Record High for ID

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 November in 2023.

November 2023 brought a national parliamentary election in the Netherlands with an outcome that was different than expected, and also influences our seat projection a bit. The three strongest groups remain the same, but there were major changes below that.

The largest group is the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) who gained two seats this month, bringing their total to 175. They are followed by the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) with 142 seats a plus of 3. The third centrist group, the liberal Renew Europe (RE), is down by three seats and is now at 89. These three parties—which form an informal coalition in the European Parliament—now have 406 seats out of 705, a comfortable absolute majority, slightly higher than the month before and still the most seats since February.

The next largest group is now the right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID), who are eleven seats up from the previous month, meaning they are now projected at 87 seats. This is the biggest number they have ever had in our projection, and it is the first time since June 2021 that they have surpassed the other right-wing group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), to become the fourth biggest group. This national-conservative ECR group is up by three seats, for a total of 83.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) are projected to win 51 seats,no change to last month, while the Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (LEFT) loses eight seats down to only 37 and have another record low after August.

The Non-Inscrits (NI) would have one seat less and are now at 52, and the not (yet) affiliated parties are projected to have four seats, a decrease of seven.

These numbers show that, with a 95% confidence interval, EPP would be in first place and S&D in second place if there were an election this month. The third place would now be open for three groups: RE, ID and ECR, while places six and seven would also be too close to call between NI and G/EFA. The eighth biggest group would be either LEFT or the unaffiliated parties that are currently not represented in the European Parliament.

Filip van Laenen

Behind these changes lie multiple developments of the individual national parties:

The gains of the ID group are mostly due to three factors. In the Netherlands, the Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) overperformed the polls in the elections and is now projected to have five more seats. In France, Rassemblement National (RN) is up by three seats, and in Bulgaria, Възраждане (V) is now associated with ID instead of NI in our projection. On the other hand, German Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is down by two seats compared to the month before.

The losses of the LEFT group come mainly from the French Parti Communiste Français (PCF) that would lose representation, after being projected to have four seats in November. Similarly, the changes for the unaffiliated parties are also down to mainly one change. Spanish Movimiento Sumar is now affiliated partially with G/EFA and partially with LEFT in our projection taking their seats with them.

Another affiliation change is affecting both RE and EPP as the Danish Liberal Alliance is now affiliated with the latter group instead of the former, resulting in a change of two seats.

Other changes for the RE group are the gains of two seats for both the French Renaissance and the Romanian USR.

In the EPP group, the Dutch newcomer party Nieuw Sociaal Contract (NSC) underperformed in the elections and is now projected with two seats left, while the Spanish Partido Popular are up by the same amount.

For the S&D group, the changes from three countries had a bigger influence: In Germany, the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) are up by two seats, while the Spanish Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) and the Portuguese Partido Socialista (PS) are both down by the same amount.

The last change of a national party by more than one seat is the Dutch BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB-NI) which is projected with only one seat after the national election.

The projection of the popular vote for November did not bring any all-time highs or lows, but still shows interesting developments. The European People’s Party remains the largest group with 22.4% and had no changes compared to the month before. Similarly, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats is now at 18.3%, an insignificant loss of 0.1 percentage points. Renew Europe gains a bit more, with a plus of 0.2, meaning they are now at 10.5%. Together, the three groups of the informal coalition have increased their share and continue to hold an absolute majority with 51.2%.

On the right side of the political spectrum, Identity and Democracy gained 0.4 percentage points and are now at 11.7%. While not their all-time high, it is still bigger than in any projection since March 2020. Like in the seat projection, they are surpassing the European Conservatives and Reformists who are down to 11.0% (−0.3), their lowest value since August 2022.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance are down to 7.2% (−0.3), similar to the Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL who are down by 0.2 percentage points, now at 5.7%.

The Non-Inscrits had no change this month at 6.1%, while those who have not (yet) joined a political group gain a bit to 6.7% (+0.2).

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, two new members have joined from Poland: Witold Pahl (PO-EPP) and Włodzimierz Karpiński (Independent-EPP) following MEPs who left after the national elections. Also, because of national elections, the two MEPs that left this month were from Spain: Sira Rego (IU-LEFT) and Ernest Urtasun (CatComú-G/EFA).

The line-up of the European Council has changed this month; Luc Frieden (CSV-EPP) is leading a new government in Luxembourg, thus representing his country. Additionally, in Spain, Pedro Sánchez (PSOE-S&D) has formed a new government and will remain in this body.

In Poland, no government is yet in place, but Donald Tusk (PO-EPP) is expected to lead the new government, and in the Netherlands, a new government will also be formed, but it is not yet clear who will lead it.

Looking ahead to next month, there are no elections planned within the EU, but for sure, there will be many interesting developments across Europe. All the results from elections and details of upcoming elections can be found in our Election Calendar.

*Update 02/12/2023: Due to a bug in the seat projection of Italy, the article stated that Azione (RE – IT) would not gain any seats. This was changed. Furthermore the bug fix had a small impact on the overall projection, so that S&D and ECR each gained a seat, while LEFT and G/EFA lost one each. We apologize for our mistake!