In just six weeks’ time European citizens will go to the polls to elect the next Parliament. With the background of a slow economic recovery and rising popularity of the nationalist and right-wing groups, one question everyone is asking is what kind of Parliament will emerge from these elections?
Will it be a pro-European Parliament, working for, and on behalf of the EU citizens? Or will it be a Parliament that will struggle to deliver results?
Trying to predict the answers to these questions, a recent opinion poll published on April 2nd by Vote Watch Europe forecasts that the largest groups in the Parliament, the S&D and EPP are actually tied on 212 seats each.
This forecast is slightly different from the Parliament’s latest prediction of 29th March (which I reported in my last blog post), that saw a small lead for the EPP group over the S&D.
According to Vote Watch the decisive country is Italy, where the Renzi government is experiencing a “honeymoon” period.
But the Socialists are expected to grow in other Member States as well, particularly in the UK, where the poll predicts a raise to 27 MEPs from the current 13. Germany, France. Poland, Portugal and Romania are also expected each to receive two more Socialist members.
The EPP in contrast is expected to lose ground in France, where the poll predicts a drop to 21 seats from the current 30; Germany, falling to 38 seats from the currently held 42, and Italy where the group is predicted to drop to 21 seats from the 34 seats the Italian EPP delegation enjoys at present.
Poland is another country where the EPP will lose ground, predicted at 19 seats from the currently 28.
Interestingly enough, even the British conservatives, who currently sit with the ECR group will drop to 19 seats from their current 27.
Good news for the Socialists!!
On the other hand, non-attached (NI) members are predicted to make historic gains.
The poll shows a growth of 15 seats for NI members in France, a rise of 17 seats in Italy, 9 seats in Germany, and 5 in Spain.
These members are likely to represent candidates of the French Front National; Italian Five star Movement and Germany’s Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands.
This is less than favourable news for the pro-European candidates and parties….
Greetings from the European Parliament,
Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg
The results of the Vote Watch poll are available in the following links: