The centre-right is set to remain the biggest group in the EU legislature after elections in May, according to a survey by the European Parliament that still shows the European People’s Party (EPP) will emerge from the vote as the dominant party in the chamber.
In a survey of national opinion polls released on 29 March by the European Parliament, the EPP is set to win 188 seats, up from the previous projection of 181, but down from the current total of 217. Though the projection looks to be a net decrease in the number of EPP MEPs in the next parliament, if proven true, the latest projection would still give the EPP more than one-quarter of the 705 deputies in the next legislature if the UK exits or chooses not to take part in the 23-26 May elections.
The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) would, according to the polls, increase their seats from 19% to 20%, also a slight decrease from their current representation in the parliament.
The populist party of Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini will most likely retain its current representation with roughly 27-28 seats, a slight uptick from the 22 that he currently has. The number of seats that will be held by the right-wing group the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) party is projected to total 61, which would indicate a significant increase from the 37 seats that the party counts at present.
The far-right will most likely expand its presence in the next parliament and could quite possibly become the fourth largest group in the assembly after the liberals, which lost ground in the latest projections despite the party’s announcements for its “Team Europe”.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) continues to be projected as the third major player in the chamber with 72 seats, down three from the 75 for the last poll. Their numbers could significantly rise with the addition of French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republic En Marche! party, which is forecast to win 22 seats.
The main national party, Germany’s Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, is projected to see its representation drop by one seat to 33 seats with their new leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at the helm.