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EU Parliamentary Projection: Can the Liberals repeat their top three finish?

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.

The European elections are just over five weeks away. Behind the two main parties, the race is tight. With opinion polls available in most member states, we can get a picture of who will represent the European people after 9 June.

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) remains at the top of the list, although for the first time in nine months, it has lost a seat in the projection and now stands at 183. They are followed by a large gap by the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), which gains five seats to 140. Renew Europe (RE), the centrist-liberal group, has lost one seat this month to 86 and is still the third largest group, but no longer alone. Together, the three parties, which form an informal coalition in the European Parliament, now have 409 out of 720 seats, a comfortable absolute majority with three more seats than last month.

On the right of the political spectrum, both groups are gaining seats to move closer to third place. The national-conservative European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are projected to gain five seats in April and are now tied with the Liberals on 86 seats. Close behind is the right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID) on 84, up by two after its big losses last month.

On the left, both groups have seen their poll numbers drop compared to the previous month. The Greens/European Free Alliance (G/EFA) are now on 48 seats, four fewer than last month, while the GUE/NGL (LEFT) are projected to take 44 seats, three fewer than in March.

The Non-Inscrits (NI) had no change and remain at 48 seats. There is only one seat left from a party whose affiliation is not (yet) known, down from four 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.

Filip van Laenen

Behind these changes are developments in the individual national parties:

The EPP group has gained three seats from the newly formed Hungarian party Tisztelet és Szabadság which is expected to join them in the European Parliament. On the other hand their Portuguese member Partido Social Democrata is projected with two seats less this month.

For the centre-left S&D the only major change comes from Romania, where Partidul Social Democrat is up by two seats compared to the month before. The centrist RE also has only one significant change: Italian Italia Viva is now projected to enter the parliament and have three seats as part of the Stati Uniti d’Europa alliance.

Also in Italy, the governing Fratelli d’Italia has two seats less in this projection compared to the previous month, the most notable change in the ECR group.

The French G/EFA member has not only changed its name from Europe Écologie – Les Verts to Les Écologistes but is also projected with two fewer seats than in March.

For the group of Non-Inscrits the changes come from two parties: German Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht – Für Vernunft und Gerechtigkeit is moved from the LEFT group to them in our projection, but it seems they want to form their own group after the elections. For the moment, this means that the LEFT group loses the seven seats projected last month, while NI gains the five seats projected this month.

In addition, the Slovak governing party SMER – Sociálna Demokracia are down by two seats in April.

ID gains two seats from Polish Ruch Narodowy who are now grouped with them, but also loses two seats from Romanian Partidul S.O.S. România who are not expected to gain representation anymore.

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 is down slightly this month to 22.9% (-0.1) but the gap to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats stays the same as they are also down by the same amount, now at 18.3% (-0.1). Renew Europe drops by 0.7 percentage points, down to 9.9% after last month’s gains. Nevertheless, together, the three groups of the informal coalition continue to hold an absolute majority with 51.1%.

On the right of the political spectrum, the European Conservatives and Reformists make up their losses from the month before and are now at 11.8% (+0.6) while there is no change for Identity and Democracy who are at 11.2%

On the left, the Greens/European Free Alliance lose 0.4 percentage points to 7.8%, whil the left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL is having the biggest loss of this month, dropping to 6.3% down by 1.5 percentage points.

Non-inscrits increased this month to 6.6% (+0.6) and those who are not (yet) affiliated with a political group are rose to 5.2% (+1.5).

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.

Each group that we project each month has a European political party behind it, often one but sometimes more. With only a little more than one month to go, most of them have announced their candidate to lead the Commission. The system is controversial because, in the previous instance, none of the selected candidates were appointed to the role. However, Ursula von der Leyen, who was not a candidate, got the position. Still, most parties have nominated a candidate. You can see them here:

The current European Parliament has seen six changes since April, all of which have come from MEPs leaving for their national parliaments after the elections in Portugal. For the short term until the European election colleagues from their parties are replacing them.

The composition of the European Council changed this month: Portugal has a new government and Luis Montenegro (PSD-EPP) will represent his country from now on. In the Netherlands and Croatia no new governments have been formed yet.

Looking ahead to May, Lithuania will hold presidential elections, the last nationwide election in a member state until all of Europe votes for its parliament in the beginning of June. All election results and details of upcoming elections can be found in our Election Calendar.