Saturday

18th Nov 2017

Far-left surge to outnumber Liberals in EU elections, suggests poll

  • Tsipras smiling? The Greek left-winger's party could be a major player in the next European Parliament (Photo: Asteris Masouras)

Europe's far-left are set to outnumber the Liberals in the next European Parliament, according to a pan-EU opinion poll published on Wednesday (5 March).

In the second of a series of fortnightly forecasts in the three months before Europe's 400 million voters go to the ballot booths from 22-25 May, Pollwatch Europe forecasts that the Parliament's leftist GUE group would see its number of MEPs swell to 67 seats and become the third largest group in the assembly.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

For their part, the Liberals would be reduced to 61 seats, well down on the 85 seats they secured five years ago.

The poll, which is based on national surveys from all 28 EU countries, is the latest indication that the Liberals will lose their status as the Parliament's 'kingmakers'.

Studies of Parliament votes since 2009 have revealed that the centrist group has been on the winning side on 85 percent of votes, more than any other party group.

Europe's establishment parties are widely expected to suffer their worst performance since direct elections were introduced for the Parliament in 1979, with the EPP also anticipated to suffer heavy losses.

The EPP, Liberal and Socialist groups would account for 63 percent of the votes, according to the poll, down from 73 percent in 2009, as record numbers of voters back populist parties on the right and left following the eurozone crisis.

Alexis Tsipras, who is the left's candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, and his Syriza party are on course to top the poll in Greece in May's elections, while strong performances are also likely for the Portuguese Left Bloc and the recently launched Italian Tsipras List.

Meanwhile, the new poll also predicts that German neo-Nazi party, the National Democrats, will be among several minor parties to win seats in the European Parliament for the first time in May.

In Karlsruhe last week, the German constitutional court scrapped the 3 percent threshold needed for parties to win parliamentary seats. The ruling is set to open the door to several other parties, including the anti-copyright Pirate party and Free Voters party, with Professor Simon Hix of the London School of Economics, and chairman of Pollwatch, estimating that around 270,000 total votes will be enough for a seat in Germany.

The anti-euro Alternative for Germany(AfD) is also expected to benefit from the court ruling.

The poll has the centre-right European People's party narrowing the gap on the rival Socialists to a near dead-heat, winning 209 and 202 of the Parliament's 751 seats respectively, on near identical vote shares of 28 percent and 27 percent respectively.

The previous Pollwatch survey two weeks ago had put the Socialists 19 seats ahead.

Focus

Liberals unveil new Monti-backed Italian coalition

The EU's Liberals have unveiled a new Mario Monti-backed Italian centrist coalition, as the party attempts to fight back against dismal poll ratings that threaten to make it one of the biggest losers in May's European elections.

Focus

EU top candidates to slug it out in TV debate

Candidates to be the next EU commission president will have a head-to-head televised debate in May. But details of the format are proving to be a challenge.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse