Europe 2009 – summary

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The overall results for the European Parliament were:

  • EPP-ED – 264
  • PES – 161
  • ALDE – 83
  • G/EFA – 53
  • EUL-NGL – 33
  • I/D – 18
  • UEN – 14
  • Other – 110

While all of the groups except the Greens lost seats, due to the reduction in size of the Parliament, these were on very different scales. ALDE and the EUL-NGL each lost 5 seats, once you take into account the parliamentary reduction. The Greens gained 13 seats. The People’s Party and Democrats gained 20, and the Socialists lost 35. This shows that there was a clear swing away from the centre-left which effectively went to both the centre-right and the Greens.

The UEN and Independence/Democracy are reduced to effective rumps. In both cases a majority of the group’s remaining seats are held by a single party. 13 of the 18 seats in the Independence/Democracy group are held by the United Kingdom Independence Party, while 9 of the 14 UEN seats are held by Italy’s Lega Nord.

It appears that Italy’s Democratic Party will join in a coalition with the Party of European Socialists, which will become the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for Europe. These 21 MEPs will lessen the losses suffered by the PES.

There appears that there will be a reorganisation of the groups of the European right, with the creation of a European Conservatives group led by the UK Conservative Party. There will be a group of MEPs left over from the dissolution of UEN and I/D. There are also a sizeable number of far-right MEPs, some of which were formerly part of Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty during its brief existence and others from parties that have never had seats before (such as the British National Party). There may well be sufficient right-wing MEPs, once the Conservative group has formed, to create some sort of far-right coalition.

In one final note, I produced an elaborate prediction just before the election predicting where every seat would go. I’ve gone back and revisited the prediction, and calculated that I correctly predicted 89.95% of the seats, or 662 seats (with 74 seats being incorrectly predicted). It’s not quite as impressive when you bear in mind that all EU countries use proportional representation, so it’s easy to guess the bulk of seats, and it’s always the last few that are up for grabs. Anyway, it’s always good to review your predictions after the election.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t agree that there was a clear swing away from the centre-left. Most European Green parties are centre-left, in Belgium for example their positions on the vast majority of topics are identical to the socialists. If you consider Socialist to Green shift as an internal centre-left switch the increase in centre-right and decrease in centre-left is very small, and also very regional:

    Centre-left win (ranked by margin)
    Czech Republic 2:7 (+5)
    Denmark 1:6 (+5)
    Belgium 6:8 (+2)
    Sweden 5:7 (+2)

    Left-right tie or +1/-1
    France 29:28 (+1)
    Greece 8:9 (+1)
    Malta 2:3 (+1)
    Netherlands 5:6 (+1)
    Austria 6:6 (even)
    Estonia 1:1 (even)
    Lativa 1:1 (even)
    Spain 23:23 (even)
    Cyprus 2:1 (-1)
    Ireland 4:3 (-1)
    Lithuania 4:3 (-1)
    Luxembourg 3:2 (-1)
    Romania 13:12 (-1)
    Slovakia 6:5 (-1)
    Slovenia 3:2 (-1)

    Centre-right win (ranked by margin)
    Italy 35:21 (-35)
    Poland 28:7 (-21)
    Hungary 14:4 (-10)
    UK 0[26]:18 (+18[-8])
    Germany 42:37 (-5)
    Portugal 10:7 (-3)
    Bulgaria 6:4 (-2)

    You can see that centre-left and centre-right parties were pretty much balanced across almost all of Europe. In fact if you consider Green and Socialist to be centre-left, you can account for almost the entire swing from centre-left to centre-right with just two countries – Italy and Poland. These two countries (with the least stable political systems in Europe) had large left to right swings, everything else in Europe balanced out.

  2. Okay sure.

    EPP-ED – European People’s Party/European Democrats – centre-right coalition. EPP is Berlusconi, Sarkozy, Merkel et al. European Democrats is pretty much just the UK and Czech conservatives, who will be leaving the group after the election.
    PES – Party of European Socialists – Centre-left, German SPD, French PS, UK and Irish Labour, etc.
    ALDE – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – Liberal democrats, including German FDP and UK Lib Dems, and Irish Fianna Fail (who only just joined the group).
    G/EFA – Greens/European Free Alliance – European Greens should be self-explanatory. EFA is the alliance of left-leaning separatist parties such as the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Basque separatists.
    EUL-NGL – European United Left/Nordic Green Left – far-left parties.
    I/D – Independence/Democracy – Right-wing eurosceptic parties. Doesn’t include far-right neofascist parties.
    UEN – Another right-wing grouping.

  3. Just saw that the Swedish Pirate will be joining the Greens in the EU Parliament, giving the coalition one more seat. Although they will be staying independent they have agreed to vote with the Greens on every issue that the party doesnt have an agenda set out.

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