29 Februar 2024

European Parliament seat projection (February 2024): EPP extends lead, far-right surge slowed down

By Manuel Müller

EP today3772140102178685949
Jan. 2433451418616975894339
Feb. 2435481358517678853642
Baseline scenario,
as of 26/02/2024.

Dynamic scenario,
as of 26/02/2024.

It’s party congress time in the EU: These days and weeks, the European parties are meeting to adopt their electoral manifestos and nominate their lead candidates. The Greens kicked things off in early February with Terry Reintke and Bas Eickhout, followed a few days ago by the Left with Walter Baier. Next up are the Socialists this weekend and the European People’s Party in the middle of next week, for which Nicolas Schmit and Ursula von der Leyen are the only contenders to become lead candidates, respectively. Things will be more intersting in the case of the Liberals, who might not solve their lead candidate conundrum until the end of March. The two far-right parties, ECR and ID, are running without EU-wide lead candidates.

EPP at three-year high

As the parties gear up for the election campaign, a clear starting line-up is emerging in the polls. In the baseline scenario of the seat projection, Ursula von der Leyen’s EPP climbs to 176 seats (+7 compared to the last projection from early January), its best result in three years. At the same time, the Socialists are losing seats (135 / –⁠6), allowing the EPP to increase its lead to 41. In the dynamic scenario, which takes into account possible group changes of individual national parties after the election, the lead is even larger, reaching 46 seats, also a three-year high.

By contrast, the rise of the far right has slowed down somewhat recently. Compared to the January projection, both the ECR and the ID have lost ground in the dynamic scenario. However, both groups would still be significantly stronger in 2019 than at the last European election. The opposite is true for the Greens and the Left, which have recovered somewhat in recent weeks, although the Greens in particular remain at a significantly lower level than in 2019. All in all, the projection continues to show a strong shift to the right in the next European Parliament.

Geographically widespread gains

Looking more closely at the evolution of the polls, it becomes clear that the EPP’s surge in recent weeks is not only due to a few large member parties. Rather, the EPP is making gains in many member states of different sizes and different parts of the continent – from Estonia and Poland to Portugal and Slovenia –, while stagnating or even slightly losing ground in some large countries such as Germany, France and Greece.

These geographically widespread gains can be interpreted in a positive sense for the EPP as a Europe-wide momentum. However, given that the gains of individual national parties are often very small, in some cases they could also be normal polling fluctuations that just happened to favour the EPP in several countries at the same time. Only the next seat projection will show whether the EPP can really maintain its current strong level.

S&D falls behind

Conversely, the centre-left S&D group is now slightly weaker in several countries than in January. The Socialists are falling behind in Romania, Belgium and Portugal, among others, and would not win any more seats at all in Slovenia. On the other hand, they have also made slight gains in Italy and Latvia. Again, however, in most countries these changes are rather small and could just be temporary fluctuations in the polls.

Either way: At the start of the election campaign, things could hardly look better for Ursula von der Leyen’s bid for a second term. There is no precedent for a parliamentary group losing a lead of more than 40 seats in less than four months since this European Parliament seat projection started 2014. To become the largest group, the S&D will therefore need the polls to be systematically wrong (for which there is no evidence) – or it will have to mount a truly spectacular campaign. It will be interesting to see what Nicolas Schmit’s party has to offer in this regard during the coming weeks.

Liberals face losses

The liberal Renew Europe group, traditionally the third largest force in the Parliament, has recently managed to slow its decline in the polls, which has been going on for about a year and a half. Although RE member parties continue to lose ground in some countries, such as France, Romania and Slovenia, this is offset by gains in others, such as Denmark, Latvia and Slovakia. All in all, therefore, the Liberals remain largely unchanged with 85 seats (–⁠1).

Compared to the current Parliament, however, these would still be painful losses for RE. While the EPP and S&D will largely maintain or even slightly increase their current number of MEPs, the Liberals – who achieved their best ever European election result in 2019 – risk losing around a tenth of their seats.

Will the Greens get out the vote?

The outlook is even bleaker further to the left of the political spectrum: The European Greens also won a record number of seats in 2019, but could lose around one in three of them. Compared to January, however, the Greens have made slight gains in the projection and now stand at 48 seats (+3). This is partly due to improved poll ratings in Germany, partly to new parties (Možemo from Croatia and DSVL from Lithuania) joining the European Greens.

Beyond that, the Greens can also hope to capitalise on their traditionally high mobilisation in European elections. While overall turnout in European elections is generally lower than in national elections, the Greens (whose electorate tends to be highly educated and interested in European policy issues) do relatively well in getting out the vote. As many national polls are conducted with a view to national, not European eleections, they do not take this mobilisation factor into account – which means that a projection based on these polls underestimates the actual performance of the Greens.

However, it is unclear how strong this turnout factor will really be. First of all, for some countries the current projection is already based on polling data collected specifically for the European election. Secondly, European elections have been gaining importance in the public perception in general, which means that the turnout of voters from other parties could also be higher this time, reducing the Green advantage. And finally, the fact that the Greens significantly outperformed their polls in 2019 was also due to the special dynamics of a climate-centred election campaign, fuelled by the transnational Fridays for the Future protests. At least so far, nothing similar is in sight for 2024.

Left largely stable

With 35 seats (+2), the Left group also made only minor gains since January. Modest advances in France, the Netherlands and Belgium were countered by losses in Portugal.

With these results, the Left group would roughly maintain the number of seats it has in the current European Parliament. In terms of mobilisation, however, the Left is the exact opposite of the Greens: Left-wing parties traditionally do slightly worse in European elections than in national ones and are therefore often overestimated in national polls. But again, it is unclear how strong this effect will be this year.

The far right loses momentum

The big winners in this European election could be the far-right ECR and ID parties, both of which are expected to make significant gains compared to the current Parliament. However, their momentum has slowed down considerably in recent weeks.

Among the ECR member parties, the Polish PiS in particular falls further behind after its defeat in the last autumn’s national election. In the baseline scenario of the projection, the group is still able to increase its number of seats compared to January (78 seats / +3), but this is only due to one prominent new member: The previously unaffiliated French far-right party Reconquête, which is expected to win six seats in the European elections, joined the ECR in early February.  In the dynamic scenario of the projection, this entry had already been taken into account before and the ECR has lost some seats compared to January.

Anti-AfD protests show success – but far-right still stronger than ever

The ID group has weakened even more in recent weeks and would now only have 85 seats (–4). This is largely due to the German AfD: Since hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets against the party across Germany in January, it has also lost a lot of support in the polls. ID’s Italian and Estonian affiliates have also fared slightly worse recently. On the other hand, the Dutch PVV, led by Geert Wilders, has seen a surge since its victory in the national elections at the end of 2023, and Portugal’s Chega is running a succesful campaign ahead of the national elections on 10 March.

Even if the two European far-right groups have not made any further gains in the projection since January, it would be wrong to underestimate their expected impact in the upcoming European elections. The polls still suggest that the groups to the right of the EPP will be stronger than ever in the European Parliament.

Several newcomer parties

Little change has taken place among the non-attached parties since January. Only the entry of the French Reconquête into the ECR has caused them to drop significantly in the projection, leaving them with 36 seats (–7).

There was much more movement among the “other” parties, i.e. the parties that are not currently represented in the European Parliament and don’t belong to a European party, so that they cannot be clearly assigned to a political group (42 seats / +3). Compared to January, several new parties are now on the table:

  • In Germany, the Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW/–), which split from the Linke (EL) in January, is now appearing in the polls for the first time. With an expected five seats, the BSW is one of the strongest newcomers, but its search for partners in the European Parliament could prove difficult. Given the rift with the German Linke, the BSW is unlikely to join the Left group. Instead, it may try to form its own parliamentary group or, failing that, simply remain non-attached.
  • In Romania, the right-wing populist party SOS România could win seats in the European Parliament for the first time. The party espouses irredentist nationalism and demands, among other things, the return of former Romanian territories that now belong to Ukraine. In the European Parliament, it intends to join the ID group.
  • From Hungary, the far-right MHM could enter the European Parliament. The MHM, which is similarly anti-Ukrainian, has contacts with other European parties that are either on the right or to the right of the ID. However, plans to form a parliamentary group with these parties are likely to fail, so the MHM is likely to remain non-attached.
  • The Hungarian satirical party MKKP is also likely to remain non-attached.
  • In Latvia, the right-wing populist LPV could win a seat for the first time. Given the party’s strong opposition to the Russian government and support for Ukraine’s accession to the EU, joining the ECR would be its most plausible move.

However, some “other” parties have also lost support recently. In particular, the new Dutch centre-right party NSC has dropped sharply after pulling out of national coalition negotiations. Some new far-right populist parties, such as Denmark’s DD, have also fallen in the polls. Finally, a few parties have now left the “other” column because they formally joined a European political party or a group in the European Parliament. Among these are Vǎzrashdane from Bulgaria (ID), Možemo from Croatia and DSVL from Lithuania (both Greens/EFA). 

Fidesz in search of a parliamentary group

The dynamic scenario of the seat projection assigns each “other” party to a parliamentary group and also takes into account other possible group changes. The resulting picture is quite uncertain in detail, but may be closer to the actual distribution of seats after the European elections than the baseline scenario.

In this regard, a key question is which grouping the Hungarian governing party Fidesz, led by Viktor Orbán, will turn to. Orbán himself wants to join the ECR, and has received support for this from the Polish PiS. However, several other ECR member parties – such as the Czech ODS or the Swedish Sverigedemokraterna – vehemently oppose this due to Orbán’s anti-Ukraine stance and are even threatening to leave the group. Giorgia Meloni’s FdI, which governs in Italy and dominates the ECR, wants to postpone the decision until after the European elections.

When push comes to shove, however, the ECR’s strategic rapprochement with the EPP is likely to be more important to Meloni than the additional seats that Fidesz has to offer. It therefore seems more plausible that Fidesz will eventually end up in the ID group, which has already shown itself to be open to such a move. If the ID also unites all the smaller pro-Russian right-wing populist parties that will win a seat for the first time, it could become the third largest group in European Parliament.

Alliance options: Much speaks for a grand coalition

With regard to alliance options in the new Parliament, the current projection shows a similar picture to that of January: The centre-left alliance of S&D, RE, Greens and Left would be far from its current majority. But also a centre-right alliance of EPP, RE and ECR would fall just short of a majority and would therefore always depend on dissenters from other groups or non-attached MEPs. A right-wing alliance of EPP, ECR and ID could achieve a majority, but would be in contradiction to the EPP’s traditional cordon sanitaire against authoritarian and anti-integration parties. There is therefore much to suggest that the “grand coalition of the centre” will become even more important in the next Parliament – that is, a cooperation between the EPP and the S&D, joined by the RE, the Greens and/or parts of the ECR, depending on the issue. 

Thus, the Parliament will still be able to function despite the rise of the far right. However, things will not be quite the same as they have been over the past five years: On the one hand, without the alternative of a centre-left majority, the S&D will lose an important lever to put pressure on the EPP. On the other hand, the EPP is likely to try to include the ECR more when building majorities, thus bypassing the Greens and the left wing of the S&D and RE.

Whether this will actually happen is, of course, up to the European voters. The seat projection presented here is only a snapshot of the political mood, and there are still almost exactly 100 days to go until the European elections.

The overview

The following table breaks down the distribution of seats in the projection by individual national parties. The table follows the baseline scenario, in which each national party is attributed to its current parliamentary group (or to the parliamentary group of its European political party) and parties without a clear attribution are labelled as “other”.

In contrast, the dynamic scenario of the seat projection assigns each “other” party to the parliamentary group to which it is politically closest, and also takes into account other possible future group changes of individual national parties. In the table, the changes in the dynamic scenario compared to the baseline scenario are indicated by a coloured font and a mouseover text.

hier.In the absence of pan-European election polls, the projection is based on an aggregation of national polls and election results from all member states. The specific data basis for each country is explained in the small print below the table. For more information on European parties and political groups in the European Parliament, click here.

EP today3772140102178685949
Jan. 2433451418616975894339
Feb. 2435481358517678853642

DE 3 Linke 13 Grüne
1 Piraten
1 Volt
14 SPD 5 FDP
3 FW
29 Union
1 Familie

17 AfD 2 Partei 5 BSW
1 Tier
8 EELV 9 PS 17 Ens 7 LR 6 Rec 27 RN


17 PD 6 Az-+EU 7 FI
24 FdI 7 Lega 14 M5S
ES 2 Sumar
1 Pod
1 Bildu
4 Sumar
19 PSOE 1 PNV 25 PP 6 Vox
1 Junts


5 Lewica 3 PL2050
19 KO
3 KP
18 PiS

5 Konf

12 PSD 4 USR 7 PNL

3 GL 3 PvdA 4 VVD
2 D66
13 PVV
BE 3 PTB 1 Groen
1 Ecolo
2 Vooruit
2 PS
2 MR
1 CD&V
1 LE
3 N-VA 4 VB

3 Piráti

1 TOP09

EL 3 Syriza
8 ND 1 EL
3 KKE 1 PE
1 Spart

5 DK

11 Fidesz 2 MHM

7 PS 1 IL 7 PSD
5 CH

SE 2 V 1 MP 8 S 1 C
4 M 5 SD

2 Grüne 5 SPÖ 2 Neos 5 ÖVP



2 V

DK 1 Enhl. 3 SF 4 S 2 V
1 M
1 K

2 LA
1 DD

1 D
4 Smer
3 Hlas
FI 1 Vas 1 Vihreät 4 SDP 2 Kesk 4 Kok 3 PS


3 FF 4 FG

1 SD
1 Možemo 3 SDP

1 Most
1 DP
1 LP

1 DP 1 LRP
1 Prog 1 SDPS 1 LA 2 JV
1 NA

1 S!
SI 1 Levica

2 GS 5 SDS
1 NSi


1 SDE 1 RE
1 KE
3 Isamaa






3 PL
3 PN

Timeline (baseline scenario)

26/02/2024 35 48 135 85 176 78 85 36 42
08/01/2024 33 45 141 86 169 75 89 43 39
06/11/2023 43 43 137 90 170 78 76 38 45
11/09/2023 42+1 46 144+3 90+1 157+5 77 72+2 36+1 41+2
17/07/2023 41 48 136 94 160 79 70 36 41
22/05/2023 49 50 137 92 162 79 67 33 36
27/03/2023 44 42 137 94 162 78 68 38 42
01/02/2023 50 42 135 96 168 78 65 37 34
06/12/2022 51 44 136 93 166 79 64 37 35
12/10/2022 52 42 127 100 169 79 63 35 38
20/08/2022 52 47 134 98 170 75 63 27 39
22/06/2022 54 44 133 101 165 77 64 31 36
25/04/2022 59 39 139 97 157 78 64 38 34
01/03/2022 53 36 139 98 158 78 62 45 36
04/01/2022 51 39 142 99 165 73 62 34 40
08/11/2021 50 42 144 96 155 75 72 36 35
13/09/2021 54 42 141 98 160 70 75 33 32
21/07/2021 52 45 133 97 167 71 74 31 35
24/05/2021 50 50 125 95 167 74 73 33 38
29/03/2021 52 46 136 96 164 71 73 34 33
02/02/2021 52 45 135 94 184 70 71 21 33
09/12/2020 52 47 136 93 188 67 73 20 29
12/10/2020 51 49 127 96 193 67 71 21 30
14/08/2020 50 53 145 88 196 65 64 20 24
25/06/2020 48 55 143 91 203 64 63 20 18
26/04/2020 47 53 151 88 202 66 66 19 13
10/03/2020 51 58 138 88 188 67 82 21 12
09/01/2020 49 58 135 93 186 65 82 24 13
23/11/2019 48 57 138 99 181 62 82 22 16
23/09/2019 49 61 139 108 175 56 82 24 11
30/07/2019 47 64 138 108 180 57 82 22 7
EP 2019 40 68 148 97 187 62 76 27

The “EP 2019” line indicates the distribution of seats as of July 2, 2019, when the European Parliament was constituted following the election in May 2019.
The table shows the values of the baseline scenario without the United Kingdom. Until September 2023, the seat projection is based on 705 seats, thereafter on 720 seats. In the figures for September 2023, the transition is marked by superscript numbers.
An overview of the values including the United Kingdom for the period up to January 2020 can be found here. An overview of older projections from the 2014-2019 electoral period is here.
The full names of the parliamentary groups and of the national parties appear as mouseover text when the mouse pointer is held motionless on the designation in the table for a short time. If a party is attributed to a different parliamentary group in the dynamic scenario than in the baseline scenario, this is also indicated in the mouseover text.

Attribution of national parties to parliamentary groups

Baseline scenario: For the projection, parties that are already represented in the European Parliament are assigned to their current parliamentary group, unless they have explicitly declared that they will change group after the next European election. National parties that are not currently represented in the European Parliament, but belong to a European political party, are attributed to the parliamentary group of that party. In cases where the members of a national electoral list are expected to split up and join different political groups after the election, the projection uses the allocation that seems most plausible in each case (see below). Parties for which the allocation to a specific parliamentary group is unclear are classified as “other” in the baseline scenario.
According to the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, at least 23 MEPs from at least a quarter of the member states are required to form a parliamentary group. Groupings marked with an asterisk (*) would not currently meet these conditions according to the projection. After the European election, they would therefore have to win over additional MEPs in order to be able to constitute themselves as a parliamentary group.
Dynamic scenario: In the dynamic scenario, all “other” parties are assigned to an already existing parliamentary group (or to the group of non-attached members). In addition, the dynamic scenario also takes into account other group changes that appear politically plausible, even if the respective parties have not yet been publicly announced them. To highlight these changes from the baseline scenario, parties that are assigned to a different parliamentary group in the dynamic scenario are marked in the table with the colour of that group; moreover, the name of the group appears in the mouseover text. The attributions in the dynamic scenario are partly based on a subjective assessment of the political orientation and strategy of the parties and can therefore be quite uncertain in detail. From an overall perspective, however, the dynamic scenario may be closer to the real distribution of seats after the next European election than the baseline scenario.

Data source

If available, the most recent poll of voting intentions for the European Parliament is used to calculate the seat distribution for each country. In case that more than one poll has been published, the average of all polls from the two weeks preceding the most recent poll is calculated, taking into account only the most recent poll from each polling institute. The cut-off date for taking a survey into account is the last day of its fieldwork, if known, otherwise the day of its publication.
For countries where the last specific European election poll was published more than a fortnight ago or where significantly fewer polls for European than for national parliamentary elections were published in the last two weeks, the most recent available poll for the national parliamentary election or the average of all national or European parliamentary polls from the two weeks preceding the most recent available poll is used instead. For countries where there are no recent polls for parliamentary elections, polls for presidential elections may be used instead, with the presidential candidates’ polling figures assigned to their respective parties (this concerns France and Cyprus in particular). For member states for which no recent polls can be found at all, the results of the last national or European elections are used.
As a rule, the national poll results of the parties are directly converted to the total number of seats in the country. For countries where the election is held in regional constituencies without proportional representation (currently Belgium and Ireland), regional polling data is used where available. Where this is not the case, the number of seats is still calculated for each constituency individually, but using the overall national polling data in each case. National electoral thresholds are taken into account in the projection where they exist.
In Belgium, constituencies in the European election correspond to language communities, while polls are usually conducted at the regional level. The projection uses polling data from Wallonia for the French-speaking community and polling data from Flanders for the Dutch-speaking community. For the German-speaking community, it uses the result of the last European election (1 seat for CSP).
In countries where it is common for several parties to run as an electoral alliance on a common list, the projection makes a plausibility assumption about the composition of these lists. In the table, such multi-party lists are usually grouped under the name of the electoral alliance or of its best-known member party. Sometimes, however, the parties of an electoral alliance split up after the election and join different political groups in the European Parliament. In this case, the parties are listed individually and a plausibility assumption is made about the distribution of seats on the joint list. This concerns the following parties: Italy: SI (place 1 and 3 on the list) and EV (2, 4); Spain: ERC (1, 3-4), Bildu (2) and BNG (5); PNV (1) and CC (2); Poland: PL2050 (1, 3, 5 etc.) and KP (2, 4, 6 etc.); Netherlands: GL (1, 3, 5 etc.) and PvdA (2, 4, 6 etc.); Hungary: Fidesz (1-6, from 8) and KDNP (7); Slovakia: PS (1) and D (2). 
The following joint lists have already been officially confirmed: Romania: USR (1-2, 4-5, 7-9), PMP (3) and FD (6); Czech Republic: ODS (1-2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20), TOP09 (3, 6, 10, 12, 16, 18) and KDU-ČSL (4, 7, 9, 13, 15, 19).
In Spain, it is assumed that among the members of Sumar, two thirds will join the Greens/EFA and one third will join the Left group.
Since there is no electoral threshold for European elections in Germany, parties can win a seat in the European Parliament with less than 1 per cent of the vote. Since German polling institutes do not usually report values for very small parties, the projection includes them based on their results at the last European election (2 seats each for PARTEI and FW, 1 seat each for Tierschutzpartei, ÖDP, Piraten, Volt and Familienpartei). Only if a small party achieves a better value in current polls than in the last European election, the poll rating is used instead.
In Italy, a special rule makes it easier for minority parties to enter the European Parliament. In the projection, the Südtiroler Volkspartei is therefore always listed with its result in the last European election (1 seat).
The following overview lists the data source for each member state. The dates refer to the last day of the fieldwork; if this is not known, to the day of publication of the polls:
Germany: national polls, 20-24/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
France: European election polls, 7-15/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Italy: national polls, 14-26/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Spain: national polls, 21-23/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Poland: national polls, 11-22/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Romania: European election polls, 14-20/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Netherlands: national polls, 9-12/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, Dutch-speaking community: regional polls (Flanders) for the national parliamentary election, 8/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, Dutch-speaking community: regional polls (Wallonia) for the national parliamentary election, 8/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, German-speaking community: result of the last European election, 26/5/2019.
Czech Republic: national polls, 27/1-2/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Greece: European election polls, 7-16/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Hungary: national polls, 9/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Portugal: national polls, 12-23/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Sweden: national polls, 29/1-11/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Austria: European election polls, 7/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Bulgaria: national polls, 24/1-4/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Denmark: national polls, 25/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Slovakia: national polls, 12-18/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Finland: national polls, 6-16/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Ireland: national polls, 21/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Croatia: national polls, 20-23/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Lithuania: national polls, 26-29/1/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Latvia: European election polls, 14/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Slovenia: national polls, 8-14/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Estonia: national polls, 19/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Cyprus: European election polls, 16/2/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Luxembourg: Ergebnisse der nationalen Parlamentswahl, 8/10/2023, source: Wikipedia.
Malta: European election polls, 5/2/2024, source: Malta Today.

Pictures: all graphs: Manuel Müller.
Correction note, 1 March: An earlier version of this article assigned the Danish LA to the RE group in the basic and dynamic scenario. In reality, however, the LA is not represented in the European Parliament and is not a member of any European party. It has also announced that it is seeking to join the EPP after the election. The article has been corrected correspondingly.

2 Kommentare:

  1. The group affiliation of Liberal Alliance (DK) is incorrect. It has announced that it intends to join the EPP Group, not Renew Europe.

    1. That's right, thanks for pointing out the mistake. The article has now been corrected correspondingly.


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