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NEWS | Wednesday, 08 April 2009

Labour to maintain three MEP seats, survey predicts

A survey on the MEP elections by leading pollsters Simon Hix and Nick Vivyan from the London School of Economics and Michael Marsh from Trinity College Dublin is forecasting three seats for Labour and two for the PN, as was the case in 2004.
The survey, to be updated every week, has been commissioned by Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations and public affairs firm.
The survey,, is a prediction of the outcome of the June 2009 European Parliament elections and the resulting make-up of the next European Parliament.
According to the survey, both Labour and the PN are expected to improve their vote share over 2004.
As things stand, the PL is being tipped for a 50.6% share of the vote (2.2 points over the last election), while the PN will go up to 45% from 39.8%.
Alternattiva Demokratika, with its 2004 showing of 10%, will lose over five points, down to a predicted 4.4%.
The European People’s Party will still be the largest group in the next European Parliament, with approximately 249 seats, which is a decrease in percentage terms, from 37% to 34% of the MEPs.
The Socialist group will win approximately 209 seats, which is a slight increase in percentage terms, from 27% to 28% of the MEPs.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) will secure approximately 87 seats. A new European Conservative group, composed of the British Conservatives and their allies, may be the fourth largest group, with about 56 seats
There will be approximately the same number of anti-European and extreme right MEPs (about 50 in total) in the new parliament as in the current parliament.
Whereas in the current European Parliament the combined forces of the centre-right are larger than the combined forces of the centre-left, in the new Parliament the centre-left are centre-right will be evenly balanced: with about 41% of the seats each, compared to 38% for the left and 40% for right in the previous parliament.
Turning to the smaller groups, it is almost certain that the ALDE will be the third largest group, with 80-100 MEPs.
The British Conservatives and Czech ODS are planning to leave the EPP and form a new European Conservative group, perhaps with the remaining members of the Union for a European of Nations group.
It is assumed Italian Allianza Nazionale MEPs will join the EPP and the Irish Fianna Fail will join ALDE. If this happens, it will almost certainly be the fourth largest group in the new European Parliament, with 52-60 MEPs.
The two other groups on the centre-left will be next, with the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (EUL/NGL) with 40-50 MEPs, and the Greens/EFA (G/EFA) with 35-45 MEPs.
The Independence/Democracy (ID), composed of Eurosceptic MEPs, should be the smallest group with 10-20 MEPs, but might be joined by some of the 30 or so non-attached members, who will be elected to the new Parliament without an initial membership of one or other of the existing political groups.
On the basis of the predicted make-up of the next European Parliament, José Barroso has a good chance of being re-elected as Commission President. However, this assumes that the Liberals (ALDE) would support an EPP-Conservative coalition in support of Barroso, which is not a foregone conclusion. An alternative “progressive” coalition, of Liberals, Socialists, Greens, and Radical Left MEPs could still block the re-election of Barroso.


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