How will British participation change the outcome of the European elections?

European Parliament in Strasbourg. [EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER]

On Thursday (18 April), the current European Parliament presented its latest projections of seats for the next EU assembly, with the UK taking part. Yet, this will not change the overall percentage of seats for the main political groups. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports.

With the UK being included in these projections, the new European Parliament would see an increase of 705 to 751 seats, with member states such as France having fewer seats overall (74 instead of 79). Yet, including the UK in its projections would not affect party dynamics as political groups are expected to have similar percentages.

On Thursday (18 April), the EU Parliament, with the support of Kantar Public, published its projections of seats in the next Parliament. Figures were based on national surveys carried out by national polling organisations until 15 April 2019 in all EU member states.

While the European People’s Party (EPP) with 24% of the seats and the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) with 19.8% remain largely in the lead, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) would reach 12.9%.

Then come the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) with 8.79% and the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group with 8.26%.

Next are the Greens/EFA with 7.59%, the European United Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) with 6.13%, and finally the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group with 5.99%, which includes British Eurosceptics from the UKIP party.

 

Poll: EPP still the biggest group after EU elections, far-right to make gains

The center-right is set to remain the biggest group in the EU legislature after elections in May that should also show a surge in seats for the far-right, a survey by the European Parliament showed on Monday (18 February).

Macron’s LREM and Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in the lead

In France, the “Renaissance” list led by Nathalie Loiseau, which includes LREM, MoDem and Agir, would lead with 22 projected seats. Rassemblement National’s list led by Jordan Bardella is just behind, with 20 projected seats. Next is the right-wing party Les Républicains (LR), projected to have 13 seats.

Manon Aubry’s La France Insoumise (LFI) is forecast to have 7 MEPs (8% of the votes), as would Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV) with 7.5% of the votes. The list of the Socialist Party (PS), led by Raphaël Glucksmann, is expected to win 5 seats with 5.8% of the votes.

The list of right-wing party Debout la France, led by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, is close to the 5% threshold that allows a party to have MEPs, with 4.4% projected votes. Benoit Hamon’s Génération.s is set to capture 3.5% of the votes.

Labour in the lead in the UK

In its voting projection for the United Kingdom, the EU Parliament separated Farage’s new Brexit party from his former party UKIP, which he now considers too anti-Islamic. Both lists are expected to have 13.5% of the votes each, but would not be sitting in the same far-right groups in the EU Parliament.

With 26.5% predicted votes, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is expected to take the lead and have 19 MEPs in the EU Parliament. Far ahead of Theresa May’s Conservatives, who would go from 21 to only 12 elected officials as they are only predicted to win 16.5% of the votes.

The Liberal Democrats are expected to have six MEPS with 9% of the predicted votes, followed by the Green Party with five seats (7%).

The Scottish  National Party (SNP) should have four MEPs, the same as Change UK, a new party launched by pro-Remain MPs who defected from Labour and the Conservatives.

On the quiet, UK prepares for 'zombie' European elections

The prospect of Britain holding European elections would have been unthinkable just weeks ago but with the Brexit timetable now uncertain, the country is reluctantly planning for a possible campaign.

 

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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