Center-right projected to remain biggest group in EU Parliament | News | DW

The center-right will remain the largest group in the next European Parliament despite shedding seats, while two euroskeptic groups could see their combined support climb, according to an EU-wide survey conducted ahead of the May 23-26 vote.

Conservative and left-leaning parties have been bracing for a right-wing surge in the European polls following a string of national elections in recent years that have seen euroskeptic parties boost their presence in member state parliaments.

Read more: Euroskeptic, anti-immigrant parties team up for EU election 

The poll in detail

Commissioned by the European Parliament, the poll updates a previous one from March which did not include British voters due to Brexit. It assumes the European Parliament will have 751-seats, instead of 705-seats before a Brexit deadline was extended to October 31. 

  • The center-right European People’s Party (EPP), which includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, would get 24%, down five points compared to the 2014 election.  
  • The center-left Socialist & Democrats (S&D) would remain the second largest bloc in the European Parliament at 19.8%, a drop of 5%.
  • The euroskeptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), which currently includes the UK Independence Party, would get 6%, up half a point.
  • The euroskeptic Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), which includes Italy’s far-right League and France’s National Rally, would increase its support by 3.3% to 8.3%. 
  • The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR, which includes Poland’s ruling PiS led by euroskeptic Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is projected to get 8.8%, down 1.3 points.

  • The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group (ALDE) is on course to secure 10.1% of the vote, up 1.1%.

  • The European United Left/Nordic Green Left is projected to win 6.1%, down 0.8%.
  • The Greens-EFA would get 7.6%, up 0.7%.
  • Other parties not in a group were projected to receive 8.3%.

How is Germany expected to vote?

Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats are expected to win 31% of the vote in Germany, making it the largest party in the European Parliament with a projected 30 seats. The Greens soaring support over the past year is expected to continue into the European polls, with the environmentalists on pace to get 18%. They are followed by the Social Democrats (17.3%), far-right Alternative for Deutschland (10.8%), liberal Free Democrats (7.3%), Left Party (6.8%) and smaller parties polling at low single digits.

Read more: Germany’s conservatives present vision for Europe 

Implication for EU Commission President

The poll confirms previous forecasts showing losses for the EPP and Social Democrats, which tend to cooperate in a sort of coalition in the European Parliament. Under the latest projections, the two groups would have to reach out to a third party to elect the next EU Commission President. German Manfred Weber of the EPP is currently a frontrunner for EU executive post.   

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