New polling released by Politico ahead of next year’s 2024 European elections suggests that parties on the populist Right and far Left will see substantial gains, as voters turn against the Green movement.
According to the projection, both of the two main political factions within Parliament (EPP and S&D) will continue their downward slide (perhaps not as fast as some would hope) with the conservative ECR group becoming the fourth largest group in Brussels.
Following the 2019 Green wave at both the national and European levels, the polls show that the Greens are expected to shed almost half of their MEPs with more than modest gains for the right-wing ID and the Left groups.
The federalist Renew group, which includes Macron’s Renaissance Party, will essentially hold their own at approximately 100 MEPs, leaving the EPP as the largest faction in the Parliament.
This will be the first European election since Brexit took effect in 2020, with 705 seats up for grabs in a reduced Parliament.
The report by Politico also outlines the most likely legislative scenarios in the aftermath of the elections. One scenario has the EPP allying with the ECR to cobble together a working coalition. There has been recent speculation about the future of ECR-EPP relations, with indications that the EPP president, Manfred Weber, and other officials are attempting to forge an alliance with the ECR despite objections from northern EPP members, mainly in the German CDU.
An alternative outline has chaos reigning in Parliament, as no clear majority emerges.
The authors point to the number of new MEPs expected in Brussels due to the rate of turnover next year with the dozen or so Fidesz MEPs, currently non-aligned following their expulsion from the EPP group, potential kingmakers in any EPP-ECR negotiations.
There is growing acceptance in Brussels that the grand coalition of the European centre between the EPP and S&D is no longer viable, as both sides scope out more radical alternatives. The war in Ukraine has led to a substantial strain on the alliance in Parliament, as MEPs from countries close to the Russian border take into account national security concerns and lash out at parts of the ID and Left groups accused of harbouring pro-Kremlin sympathies.
While unable to directly propose legislation, Parliament plays a crucial role in the appointment of the EU Commission with trends in Parliament seen as a barometer for the broader climate of European politics. On June 13th, Euractiv reported on a charm offensive towards the EPP by Renew to prevent a potential alignment between the ECR and the EPP.
European elections will take place in all 27 EU nations between June 6th to 9th next year. Meanwhile, the EU is preparing protocols for combating potential election interference from abroad and mitigating the risk of deep-fake technology.