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10 hypotheses for the EP elections
1.For the electoral result, three dates (probably) will be important: 1. the seat distribution on 26 May, 2. the formation of political groups in the EP – until then many of the yet independent forces will join one of the political groups, others will change camp. The third date would be the exit of the UK and the departure of the British MEPs. The number of MEPs would then sink from 751 to 705.
2.There will still be a clear pro-EU majority in the next EP. Depending on the scenario, the four moderate groups will have between 63 and 69% of the seats.
3.The EPP and the Socialists will lack the seats for a majority and need a third partner, p.ex. ALDE/Renaissance.
4.The EPP will likely remain the third-biggest group, even if Fidesz leaves the EPP Group. In this case however, the distance to the Socialists would shrink significantly.
5.Probably, there will be only two groups to the right of the EPP: it is unlikely that a third one could survive. At the same time, it is unlikely that all parties to the right of the EPP merge into one group. Rivalries and differences on policies (i.a. relations to Russia) might be too strong. In addition, more moderate ECR group members are unlikely to team up with Salvini or an AfD/Le Pen Group.
6.There will likely be no (moderate) left-liberal majority in the next EP. Even adding the far-left group GUE/NGL would not lead to a working majority in the EP.
7.On the other hand, it seems unlikely that a moderate majority could be forged without the Socialists.
Several elements increase the uncertainty of the outcome and can still lead to significant shifts:
8.It remains unclear where the Italian 5-Star-Movement will be heading.
9.The participation of the UK in the EP elections increases uncertainty beyond the yet unknown date of departure: Opinion polls are very volatile. Especially the result of the Socialists/the far-right could change significantly.
10.The unclear future of big member parties in the moderate party families (Hungarian Fidesz/ Romanian PSD) could lead to significant shifts after the elections.
Outlook on the EP elections in 2019 - Summary
Based on current opinion polls and weighing the different scenarios, the following seat distribution seems likely:
•EPP: ca. 180 seats (without Fidesz less than 170 seats)
•S&D: ca.150 seats (without the Romanian PSD 140) after Brexit approx.140 seats
•ALDE/Renaissance: ca 100 seats, possibly up to 110
•Greens/EFA: above 50 seats, up to 60 with UK MEPs
•ECR: competition with EAPN, with UK 60-80 seats, without 55-70.
•GUE/NGL: ca. 50 seats
•EAPN (ex-ENF): competition with ECR, min. 70, up to 100 seats
•Potential Five-Star-Movement-group (or former EFDD with BREXIT of Nigel Farage): rather unlikely. Potential: 25-30 seats, before Brexit more than 40