Friday, 10 January 2014

European Parliament election 2014: Predictions.

The Far-Right and Eurosceptics are set to make massive gains across Europe.

 Many people I know have asked me to do a prediction on what I think the overall result for the 2014 European Parliament elections will be. Now, because I am a pollster,I do not like to do "Predictions" without good, solid opinion polling data to back my arguments up. Hence why, although it did take me a long time to do the calculations, and it was extremely difficult finding polling data for some EU countries, I have (Eventually) managed to compile a list of which European Parties I think will gain the most seats. All of the projected polling is based on data from various different sources and various different polling companies, and so cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
After all, it is a prediction (Although a jolly good one based on facts.)

You all should hold me to account after the next EU elections if I have got these predictions entirely wrong!

European Parliament 2014 Composition:

1st party: Socialists

Leader: Martin Schulz
Seats last time: 184 seats (25% of the vote)
Seats predicted: 281 seats (31.3%, +97)
Socialist parties likely to gain seats: Labour Party, SPD, Spanish Socialist Workers Party, Labour Party (Ireland) Socialist Party (Portugal) Labour Party (Malta)
Parties likely to lose seats: Parti Socialite, Czech Social Democratic Party.
Swing: +6.3%

The Socialists were hammered in 2009, as most of the European socialist parties were coincidentally in government this time. However, since many of the Socialist parties are now in opposition, and since many people see the European Elections as a time to protest vote for fringe, extremist, or opposition parties, I can see the Socialists gaining a lot of seats, with most of the Socialist parties leading the polls in their respective countries. Martin Schulz will undoubtedly be a happy man.

2nd party: European Peoples party.

Leader: TBC
Seats last time: 270 (36% of the vote)
Seats predicted: 189 (24%, -81)
Parties likely to gain seats: CDU/CSU,  Fidesz, Union for a Popular movement, Democratic Union of Catalonia
Parties likely to lose seats: Austrian Peoples party, Citizens for Europe development of Bulgaria, Union of the Centre (Italy), Social Democratic Party (Portugal)
 Swing: -12%

The EPP has a problem. That problem is that many of its constituent party's are in government, the exact opposite problem that the Socialists have right now. A likely vote for extremist parties in many areas is also undermining the EPP vote. The vote share that the EPP could get remains highly variable. The only party in the EPP that is almost certain to gain seats is the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) in France.

3rd Party: European Alliance for Freedom

Leader: TBC
Seats last time: 0 (New Party)
Seats predicted: 63 (15.5%, +63)
Parties likely to gain seats: National Front (France) Party for Freedom, Vlaams Belang, Freedom Party of Austria, Northern League (Italy) Danish Peoples party (Denmark) Jobbik (Hungary)
Swing: +15.5%

This is the bloc of parties that is likely to cause the European Union the most problems it has faced in a long time. The alliance was created in late 2013 when the leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, and De Wilders from the Party for Freedom agreed to create a new alliance of fringe, far-right, and extremist parties that are Eurosceptic. The UK Independence Party and the AFD (Alternative for Germany) refused to join the new alliance, because they are seen as being more moderately Eurosceptic. It is this European Party which will in all likelihood make major gains this May, and cause big questions to be raised about the European Project as a whole.

4th Party: ALDE- Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

Leader: TBC
Last election: 84 Seats (11.4% of the vote)
Seats Predicted: 57 seats (8.5%,-27)
Parties likely to gain seats: N/A (Insufficient polling data)
Parties likely to lose seats: Liberal Democrats, Free Democrats (Germany)
Swing: -2.9%

Since Europe is becoming increasingly angry and nationalist, the strongly Pro-European tone struck by the ALDE parties will not strike a cord with the electorate as it did in previous elections. I expect the Liberal Parties to get battered.

5th Party: European Conservatives and Reformists

Leader: TBC
Last election: 54 seats (7.3% of the vote)
Projected seats: 40 seats (6.3%, -14)
Parties likely to gain seats: Civic Democratic Party (Czech Republic)
Parties likely to lose seats: Conservative Party, Justice and Development Party (Turkey)
Swing: -1%

David Cameron's pet project was his new Conservatives and Reformists EU group, but he was disappointed when there was little enthusiasm from other European Parties. Neither the Tory Party not Recep Tayyip Erdogans Justice and Development Party are doing particularly well in the polls at the moment, and both are in government in their respective countries, so I would expect both to lose some seats.

6th Party: Europe of Freedom and Democracy:

Leader: TBC
Last election: 32 seats (4.2% of the vote)
Projected seats: 38 Seats (5.6%, +6)
Parties likely to gain seats: UKIP
Parties likely to lose seats: N/A (Insufficient polling data)
Swing: +1.4%

Here are the so-called "Moderate" Eurosceptics. It was widely expected that Mr Farage would join Marine Le Pen and her Eurosceptic/Fascist alliance, but he did not, so good for him. The EFD should do well in the elections.

7th Party: The Left

Leader: Alexis Tsipras
Last election: 35 (4.8%)
Projected seats: 26 (4.5%, -9)
Parties likely to gain seats: Die Linke (Germany)
Parties likely to lose seats: N/A (Insufficient polling data)
Swing: -0.3%

The far left parties are not expected to do particularly well, particularly since angry, nationalist Europe seems to be shifting toward the right a lot more because of anti-EU sentiment. Still, I expect them to largely hold their own.

8th Party: The Greens

Leader: TBC
Last election: 55 (7.4%)
Projected seats: 20 ( 4.1%, -35)
Parties likely to gain seats: N/A (Insufficient polling data)
Parties likely to lose seats: N/A (Insufficient Polling data)
Swing: -3.3%

The Greens have much the same problem as the Liberals- The electorate of the EU seem to have moved away from Liberal issues and are leaning toward the right, wanting to see action on immigration and free movement. They will take a hit, but will survive.

Others: Non Inscrits/Independents.

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