26 April 2024

European Parliament seat projection (April 2024): EPP far ahead, third place remains contested, Greens regain ground

By Manuel Müller

EP today 3772140102177685950
Feb. 24 35481358517678853642
April 24 35511328617381833544
dynamic 395313489181869939
Baseline scenario,
as of 22/04/2024.

Dynamic scenario,
as of 22/04/2024.

Yesterday was exactly six weeks before the first polling stations open in the Netherlands, and the European election campaign is starting to gather pace. The last plenary week of the current parliamentary term has ended. The lead candidates have been nominated and will meet next Monday in Maastricht for their first major debate. And there are indications that the elections are getting closer also in the opinion polls: In almost all member states, some institutes are now asking citizens specifically about their voting intentions for the European Parliament – rather than for the national parliament, as is usually the case.

What may sound like a trivial difference actually has a certain impact on the seat projection. This is because voting behaviour in European elections differs from that in national elections: As there is no clear division between government and opposition in the European Parliament, many voters vote less tactically, often to the benefit of smaller parties. Because of the generally lower turnout, the ability to mobilise also plays an important role, favouring both Eurosceptic and strongly pro-European parties. And sometimes European electoral law differs from national law, or parties form different electoral alliances.

EPP maintains its lead

All this is now better reflected in the seat projections than before. However, looking only at the headline numbers, not much has changed in the weeks since the last seat projection at the end of February. In the baseline scenario, the European People’s Party (EPP) has 173 seats (–⁠3 compared to February), maintaining its lead over the socialist S&D group (132 seats/–⁠3). Third place remains hotly contested between the liberal RE group (86/+⁠1) and the two far-right groups ECR (81/+⁠3) and ID (83/–⁠2).

And while the Greens/EFA (51/+⁠3) have made some gains, there was little change in the Left group (35/±⁠0), the non-attached parties (35/–⁠1) and the “other” parties, which are not yet represented in Parliament and cannot be clearly assigned to a parliamentary group (44/+⁠2).

Almost unassailable

These figures already provide some clear preliminary insights with regard to the post-election decisions. Unless the polls are completely wrong (and there is no evidence that they are), the EPP’s position as the largest group in the Parliament is now almost unassailable. Since the start of regular seat projections in 2014, the gap between two parties has never been reduced by 40 seats in just six weeks – even a 20-seat jump has only happened in March 2021, when Fidesz left the EPP.

At the same time, it is becoming quite clear that the centre-left alliance of S&D, RE, Greens and Left will lose its narrow majority in Parliament. While in the outgoing legislature the four groups were able to push through some important decisions (for example on climate as well as employment and social policy) against the EPP, this will no longer be possible. The EPP will therefore not only be the strongest, but also the “pivotal” parliamentary group, without which no plausible majorities are possible either on the left or on the right.

VdL on the verge of re-election?

Of course, this also strengthens the position of the incumbent Commission president and EPP lead candidate, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU/EPP). Given her clear lead in the polls, her campaign now appears to be focusing mostly on avoiding risks – not entirely unlike the approach of former German chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU/EPP). For a long time, von der Leyen wouldn’t even commit to taking part in the lead candidate debates during the election campaign. Only after much criticism, especially from the Greens, she has now announced that she will take part in the Maastricht debate. Meanwhile, another debate in Florence has already been cancelled.

The biggest danger for von der Leyen is that the election campaign will lead to too much polarisation within her grand coalition – and that too many national parties will pledge not to re-elect her. The European liberals, for example, began targeting von der Leyen early in the campaign; Italy’s Matteo Renzi (IV/EDP), among others, has already announced that he will vote against her in the Parliament. Even more serious are various attacks from within her own parliamentary group, for example from the French Républicains.

On the whole, however, the majority of MEPs will have little interest in actually preventing von der Leyen’s re-election. Without an alternative centre-left majority, this would probably only lead to a blockade in the Parliament. This, in turn, would allow the European Council to ignore the lead-candidates procedure and present a surprise candidate, as it did in 2019. A more constructive way for the S&D, Liberals and Greens to deal with the situation would be to demand concessions from the EPP in return for their support for von der Leyen. For example, this could take the form of a coalition agreement setting out certain substantive legislative guidelines and limiting deals with the far-right groups in the next parliamentary term.

EPP loses support in Portugal

But back to the election polls. Looking at them in detail, there are numerous, albeit small, changes compared to the February projection – often as a result of the above-mentioned differences between national and European election-related polls.

In the EPP, for example, the Czech member party STAN is doing much better than before and the Dutch CDA is winning back votes from the centre-right newcomers NSC and BBB. In Portugal, on the other hand, the PSD fell back in the polls shortly after winning the national elections in March, and in Estonia, support for Isamaa is significantly lower in European election polls than in national ones.

S&D faces turnout problems

In the S&D, meanwhile, the French PS has recently gained ground, raising its profile in the European election campaign at the expense of the other centre-left parties. The Croatian SDP has also made strong gains in the run-up to the national parliamentary elections in mid-April.

In many member states, however, the social democrats have a turnout problem in European elections – including, for example, Sweden and Finland, where they struggle to get out the vote. In Hungary, political newcomer Péter Magyar is attracting attention and drawing votes away from the traditional social democratic opposition parties. In Romania, the social democratic PSD and its national coalition partner PNL (EPP) are contesting the European elections on a joint list, with each party sharing half of the seats – despite the PSD being well ahead in the national polls.

Liberals struggle

The European liberals are struggling especially in the two largest member states, where the German FDP and the French Renaissance are approaching their problems in quite different ways. In the Czech Republic, the populist ANO is also having difficulties in turning out voters. In Italy, after a long back and forth, the various liberal parties have finally decided how to present themselves in the elections: Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva and Emma Bonino’s Più Europa will run on a joint list called “Stati Uniti d’Europa” (United States of Europe) and have a good chance of winning seats. Carlo Calenda’s Azione, on the other hand, is presenting its own electoral list, which, according to current polls, would narrowly fail to enter the Parliament.

But the Liberals could also make gains in several other member states, such as the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Denmark and Austria, where slightly better national poll ratings coincide with good mobilisation for the European elections. Even Spain’s Ciudadanos, which had fallen to the bottom of the polls, could come back to win a seat in the European elections.

Greens gain ground

Traditionally, the Greens get out the vote particularly well in European elections – so it is not surprising that they are the party with the biggest gains in the current seat projection. The Swedish, Finnish and Austrian Greens, and especially the Dutch Volt, are significantly stronger in European polls than in national ones. In France, on the other hand, the Greens have seen their poll numbers drop slightly recently.

The Left, for its part, has made gains in countries such as Greece, Portugal and the Czech Republic, while its support has fallen in France and Ireland.

ECR makes gains

On the other side of the political spectrum, the right-wing ECR group is having turnout problems in Sweden and Finland, among other countries. However, its member parties made slight gains in Spain, Romania, the Netherlands and Greece, allowing the group to make up some ground in the race for third place in the Parliament.

Even further to the right, the ID group has improved its numbers in France, Bulgaria and Denmark. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, the stagnating coalition talks have slowed the PVV’s rise. In addition, both the PVV and the Belgian VB are performing worse in European election polls than in national ones.

Last-minute newcomer parties

Among the non-attached parties, there has been almost no change, with only the Greek KKE falling back slightly. Among the “others”, however, there is a lot going on – with the elections just around the corner, several new parties are making their presence felt and hoping to win their first seats in the European Parliament:

  • The newcomer who has attracted the most attention in recent weeks is the Hungarian Péter Magyar, a former insider in the Fidesz regime who has now uncovered a series of scandals and organised anti-government demonstrations with tens of thousands of people. In order to contest the European elections, Magyar took over the previously insignificant centre-right party TISZA, which is now expected to win up to three seats in the Parliament. With this, TISZA could take the place of the EPP’s standard bearer in Hungary, which has been vacant since Fidesz left the party.
  • In the Czech Republic, the centre-right Přísaha party is now slightly above the national 5% threshold. If it wins a seat, it plans to join the EPP.
  • The Romanian centre-right FD party, led by former prime minister Ludovic Orban has split from the PNL (EPP) in 2021. In an electoral alliance with the liberal USR (ALDE), the FD could win a seat in the European Parliament for the first time. However, unlike the USR, it does not want to join the RE group, but would rather return to the EPP.
  • The right-wing populist NA party from Lithuania could also win a seat for the first time. Its leader, Remigijus Žemaitaitis, has made a name for himself in the past with anti-Semitic and anti-Russian statements – a combination that is unlikely to find much favour in any group but the ECR.

There are also some other “other” parties that have recently lost support. In particular, the Dutch centre-right newcomers BBB and NSC, which both made a big splash in 2023, have recently suffered massive losses; the NSC would now not enter the European Parliament at all. The Greek far-right party Spartiátes also recently fell below the national 3% threshold. On the other hand, the German Tierschutzpartei and the Hungarian satire party MKKP (which is related to the European Pirate Party) made slight gains in the first European election polls.

Three question marks: Fidesz, Movimento 5 Stelle, BSW

The dynamic scenario of the seat projection assigns all “other” parties to one of the existing groups and also takes into account other possible, but as yet unconfirmed, group changes by other national parties. This results in a picture that is quite uncertain in detail, but overall may be closer to the actual distribution of seats after the European elections than the baseline scenario.

In particular, there are uncertainties about three major parties: The Hungarian governing party Fidesz would like to affiliate itself with the ECR, but is not welcomed by all of its members. It therefore seems more plausible that Fidesz will join the ID group, which has already issued an invitation. A possible merger of the ECR and ID into a single large far-right group, as the former Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki (PiS/ECR) has recently suggested, remains very, very unlikely.

The second big question mark is Italy’s Movimento 5 Stelle, which in recent years has transformed itself from a populist protest party into a mainstream centre-left party with government experience. In the European Parliament, the M5S would like to join the Greens/EFA group, but talks on this have not yet produced any results. This is partly due to substantive differences, for example on Ukraine policy. Another reason is probably that the M5S, with its expected 14 MEPs, would become the strongest single party in the group, upsetting its internal balance of power.

Finally, the future of the German BSW, which has split from the Linke and advocates socio-politically conservative as well as pro-Russian positions, is also open. The BSW itself claims that it will set up its own parliamentary group, that it has already found enough partners to do so, but that it does not want to say publicly who these partners are. There are some hints pointing to the M5S. What is clear, however, is that the road to an independent parliamentary group is very difficult. In the end, both the M5S and the BSW could also remain non-attached.

Intense weeks ahead

But in all of this, we should of course not forget that the European election campaign is only just beginning. The European parties – and hopefully also the European public – have a few intense weeks ahead of them, and in the end it will be up to the voters to decide the balance of seats in the European Parliament.

With the election fast approaching, this is already the last of the regular eight-weekly seat projections to be published on this blog before the election. However, there will be a short update at the end of May – stay tuned!

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 today 3772140102177685950
Feb. 24 35481358517678853642
April 24 35511328617381833544
dynamic 395313489181869939

DE 3 Linke 13 Grüne
1 Piraten
1 Volt
15 SPD 4 FDP
3 FW
28 Union
1 Familie

17 AfD 2 Partei 5 BSW
2 Tier
6 EELV 12 PS 16 Ens 6 LR 6 Rec 29 RN


18 PD 4 SUE 8 FI
24 FdI 7 Lega 14 M5S
1 Pod
1 Bildu
1 CatComù
1 Comp
1 Cs
25 PP 7 Vox
1 Junts
1 Sumar

4 Lewica 3 PL2050
20 KO
3 KP
18 PiS

5 Konf


1 FD
NL 1 PvdD 3 GL
2 Volt
4 PvdA 5 VVD
2 D66
2 CDA 1 SGP 10 PVV
BE 3 PTB 1 Groen
1 Ecolo
2 Vooruit
2 PS
2 MR
1 CD&V
1 LE
3 N-VA 3 VB

CZ 3 Stačilo
2 Piráti

1 TOP09
1 Přísaha
EL 4 Syriza
8 ND 2 EL
2 KKE 1 PE

3 DK


11 Fidesz 3 TISZA

8 PS 1 IL 6 PSD
4 CH

SE 2 V 2 MP 6 S 1 C
1 L
4 M
1 KD
4 SD

3 Grüne 4 SPÖ 3 Neos 4 ÖVP



3 V
DK 1 Enhl. 2 SF 4 S 2 V
1 M
1 RV
1 K
1 DF
1 LA
1 DD

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

IE 5 SF 1 GP
3 FF 4 FG

1 SD
1 Možemo 4 SDP

1 Most
1 DP

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

1 S!
SI 1 Levica
1 SD 2 GS 4 SDS
1 NSi


2 SDE 2 RE
1 KE
1 Isamaa






3 PL
3 PN

Timeline (baseline scenario)

22/04/2024 35 51 132 86 173 81 83 35 44
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. So far, the following electoral alliances have been confirmed: Spain: Sumar: Sumar (place 1 and 6 on the list), CatComù (2), Compromís (3), IU (4) and Más País (5); Ahora Repúblicas: ERC (1, 4), Bildu (2) and BNG (3); PNV: PNV (1) and CC (2); Romania: CNR: PSD (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17), PNL (2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18) and PUSL (10); ADU: USR (1-2, 4-5, 7-9), PMP (3) and FD (6); Netherlands: GL-PvdA: GL (1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14 etc.) and PvdA (2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 etc.); Czechia: Spolu: 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); Hungary: Fidesz: Fidesz (1-4, 6-15, from 17) and KDNP (5, 16); DK: DK (1-4, 6, 8), MSZP (5), PM (7). In some countries, the exact distribution of seats among the parties in an electoral alliance depends on regional constituency results, so that only a plausible assumption can be made in advance. This concerns the following cases: Italy: AVS: SI (1, 3) and EV (2, 4); Poland: TD: PL2050 (1, 3, 5 etc.), KP (2, 4, 6 etc.)
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: European election polls, 8-11/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
France: European election polls, 9-22/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Italy: European election polls, 4-15/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Spain: European election polls, 12/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Poland: national election polls, 9-19/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Romania: European election polls, 28/3-9/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Netherlands: European election polls, 25/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, Dutch-speaking community: European election polls, 5/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, French-speaking community: European election polls, 5/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, German-speaking community: European election results, 26/5/2019.
Czech Republic: European election polls, 8/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Greece: European election polls, 3-10/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Hungary: European election polls, 4/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Portugal: European election polls, 16/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Sweden: European election polls, 3-5/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Austria: European election polls, 28/2-5/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Bulgaria: European election polls, 5/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Denmark: European election polls, 5-13/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Slovakia: European election polls, 5/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Finland: European election polls, 25/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Ireland: European election polls, 7/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Croatia: national election results, 17/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Lithuania: national election polls, 23-28/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Latvia: European election polls, 7/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Slovenia: European election polls, 7/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Estonia: European election polls, 20/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Cyprus: European election polls, 23/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Luxembourg: national election results, 8/10/2023, source: Wikipedia.
Malta: European election polls, 12-21/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.

Pictures: all graphs: Manuel Müller.

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