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EU Parliamentary Projection: The End of the Rise of the Right?

Europe Elects’ European Parliament projection, commissioned by Euractiv, 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.

With two months to go before the European elections, more information can be gathered, for example all the Spitzenkandidaten have been announced. It also gives us the opportunity to make use of the polls dedicated to the elections: in 24 countries, polls have been conducted specifically for the European elections, which will influence this month’s forecast.

The largest group overall continues to be the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), which gained three seats to reach 184, its highest value since January 2021. They are followed by the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), which has lost five seats to 135, its lowest level since October 2022. Renew Europe (RE), the centrist-liberal group, gained five seats in the projection to now have 87, making it the third largest group again. Together, the three parties, which form an informal coalition in the European Parliament, now have 406 out of 705 seats, a comfortable absolute majority with five more seats than last month.

On the right of the political spectrum, both groups suffered losses in March, with Identity and Democracy (ID) falling by 10 seats to 82, losing most of their gains of the last six months. The national conservative European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) now have 81 seats, two fewer than last month.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) is predicted to win 52 seats, three more than last month, while the GUE/NGL (LEFT) is projected to get 47 seats, two more than in February.

The Non-Inscrits (NI) would gain four seats and are now at 48, and the parties not (yet) affiliated are expected to have four seats, the same as last month.

These figures show that, with a 95% confidence interval, the EPP would come first and the S&D second if an election were held this month. Third place is up for grabs for three groups: RE, ID and ECR are too close to call. Sixth place is also possible for three groups: G/EFA, NI and LEFT are projected at similar levels. The smallest group in the projection are the non-affiliated parties, which are currently not represented in the European Parliament.

Filip van Laenen

Behind these changes are developments in the individual national parties:

The most significant losses for the ID group came from three parties: Its largest members, France‘s Rassemblement National (RN) and Germany‘s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), lost four respectively three seats. In addition, the Bulgarian Възраждане (V) were said to be joining ID, but have been removed from the list of additional parties, so we categorise them as non-inscrits again. The ID group made a gain in Romania, where Partidul S.O.S. România (S.O.S. RO) is expected to pick up two seats.

For the other group on the right, there was only one major change, with Spanish Vox now predicted to have two fewer seats than last month.

At the other end of the political spectrum, the biggest changes came from Germany: For the LEFT group, Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht – Für Vernunft und Gerechtigkeit (BSW) has gained two seats, while Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz (Tierschutzpartei) has lost the same number. For the G/EFA group, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (GRÜNE) is expected to gain three seats.

The gains for the centre-left S&D also come from Germany, where the governing Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) is projected to gain two seats. Meanwhile, its governing members from Spain, Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), and Romania, Partidul Social Democrat (PSD), will each lose the same number of seats. In France Parti Socialiste (PS) and Place Publique (PP) who are both categorised in the S&D group will run on a joint list, which leaves the former with two seats less ad the latter with three seats more.

For the centrist RE, the Czech member ANO is projected to lose two seats in 2011.

While the Czech member of the EPP group, Starostové a Nezávislí (STAN), is projected to gain two seats. Other changes for them were a plus of two for the German Christian Democratic Union Deutschlands (CDU) and a minus of two for the Romanian Partidul Național Liberal (PNL). The Dutch Nieuw Sociaal Contract (NSC) has also lost two seats.

The changes within the Non-Inscrits come from Hungarian governing party Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség (Fidesz) that is projected with two seats less.

All other national parties are expected to gain or lose no more than one seat.

The projection of the popular vote for March brings several changes for the groups. The European People’s Party increases its lead with a gain of 0.4 percentage points to 23%. The gap widens also because the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats dropped this month and is now at 18.4% (-0.5). Renew Europe made the biggest gain this month, with a plus of 1.1 percentage points, moving up to 10.6%. Together, the three groups of the informal coalition continue to hold an absolute majority with 52%—their largest share since the autum of 2022.

On the right of the political spectrum, both groups suffer losses and now stand at 11.2% each: Identity and Democracy fell by 0.4 percentage points to its lowest level since September last year, while European Conservatives and Reformists fell by 0.5 percentage points.

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance gain 0.7 percentage points to 8.1%, their highest level since November 2022. The left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL is on 7.7% in March, up 0.2.

Non-inscrits increased this month to 6% (+0.8) and those who have not (yet) joined a political group decreased to 3.8% (-1.7).

Details of this methodology are explained on our European Parliament projection site, where you can also find a detailed 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.

Behind the groups we project each month are European political parties, often one, sometimes more. With only two months to go, most of them have announced their Spitzenkandidat – their candidate to lead the Commission. Although it has to be said that the system is somewhat controversial, not only because last time none of the selected candidates got the job, but Ursula von der Leyen, who was not a Spitzenkandidat, became President of the Commission. Nevertheless, most parties have nominated a candidate, and you can see them here:

Looking at the current composition of the European Parliament, there was one new MEP from Germany: Jan Ovelgönne (Greens – G/EFA) replaced a colleague from the same party.

The composition of the European Council has not changed this month, as the Netherlands has still not established a government and Portugal has still not formed a new government following this month’s elections.

Looking ahead to April, Croatia will elect a new parliament on the 17th of this month. All election results and details of upcoming elections can be found in our Election Calendar.