The far-left GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament could almost double its seats in the next term of the European Parliament, according to a new forecast issued today (5 March) by PollWatch2014.
The forecast predicts that Europe’s far-left parties will have 67 seats in the next term – 9% of the Parliament. This would make GUE the third-largest group in the Parliament, ahead of the ALDE group of Liberals with 61 seats. ALDE will lose almost 30% of their MEPs, according to the forecast.
The forecast is an update from a first prediction issued two weeks ago, which predicted that GUE would have 56 MEPs. The change is due to the rise of the Tsipras Party in Italy and the Left Bloc in Portugal. The Italian party is named after Greek opposition leader Alex Tsipras, who is GUE’s candidate to become the next President of the European Commission. The exit of Romania’s Liberal party from the governing coalition last week had an impact on ALDE losing seats.
A comparison with the far-right is difficult because there is currently no far-right bloc in the Parliament. But Pollwatch predicts that there will be three groups to the right of the main centre-right EPP group: the current ECR group of British Conservatives and allies and EFD group of Eurosceptics, and a new far-right group led by the French national Front and the Dutch Party of Freedom.
The forecast still shows the main centre-left S&D group coming in first, but by a smaller margin than previously predicted. S&D and EPP are essentially in a tie in this new forecast, with 209 seats versus 202. This mirrors a separate forecast by poll monitoring group Electionista on Sunday, showing a split of 206 seats to 204.
Electionista’s predictions have been far more favourable to the Liberals. Their forecast put ALDE in third place with 72 seats, followed by GUE with 59.
The new PollWatch forecast is based on new opinion polls from all member states over the past two weeks, except for in Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus and the UK where new polls were not available.
Pollwatch analysed the impact of the German high court’s decision last week to scrap the 3% threshold for German parties to enter the European Parliament. The forecast shows the impact will be that three new German parties will enter the Parliament which wouldn’t have had the threshold remained in place. These are the anti-internet copyright Pirate Party, the populist Free Voters and the far right neo-Nazi National Democratic Party.
The anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD) will also enter the European Parliament for the first time, though they probably would have made it in even with the threshold.