Eurasia Group | Superforecaster Fridays: 2019 European Parliament elections

Superforecaster Fridays: 2019 European Parliament elections

17 May 2019
This week's superforecast
What percentage of seats will political groups that oppose further European integration hold in the Ninth European Parliament?

2019 European Parliament Elections
  • The Superforecasters currently assign a 60% probability that political groups that oppose further European integration will hold between 20% and 25% of seats in the Ninth European Parliament.
  • The odds of these political groups obtaining less than 20% has steadily dropped throughout the campaign as populist parties in Italy, Poland, and across Europe confirm their strength, while other parties like the Vox party in Spain have emerged. The participation of the UK in the EU parliament should also reinforce the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR, the Conservative Party's group), while Nigel Farage's Brexit Party—which is expected to top the election—should send some 20–25 MEPs to Brussels. Hungary's Fidesz, a suspended member of the center-right European People's Party (EPP), is toying with joining forces with some of these parties.
  • With 20 to 25% of the seats, these political groups will seriously hamper traditional pro-European groups' room to maneuver. The EPP and the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) will for the first time no longer control a majority of seats in parliament, forcing them to explore alternative alliances with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE, which should be revamped and renamed after the election to include French President Emmanuel Macron's La Republique En Marche) and even perhaps the Greens/European Free Alliance.
  • However, it seems unlikely these parties opposed to further European integration will be able to form a unified party. They hold strong disagreements on economic policy (the French Rassemblement National is protectionist, while its northern counterparts are liberal), European integration (some parties want to leave the EU, others want to change it from the inside), foreign policy (Italy's Lega is Russia-friendly, while Poland's Law and Justice is very hawkish on Russia) and even on immigration (Lega wants to redistribute migrants, not Fidesz). Lastly, many parties will not want to sit in the same group as their domestic rivals (a fact that will be compounded by the UK's participation and its three Euroskeptic parties) or be associated with “toxic” parties.
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