New Research Predicts Outcome of Upcoming European Elections

Posted on: 23 April 2009

According to new research by Professor Michael Marsh, Professor of Comparative Political Behaviour and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, the European People’s Party will remain the largest group in the European Parliament following the European elections in June.  According to the research, conducted in association with Professor Simon Hix of the London School of Economics (LSE) with the assistance of Nick Vivyan (LSE), one of Ireland’s two Independent MEPs will loose their seat in Brussels following the June elections.

The predictions from the research are based on statistics gathered from an EU wide survey which collected the vote-shares each national party received in all previous European Parliament elections, since 1979, in all 27 member states.  As the total number of MEPs will reduce from the current 785 to 736 in the new European Parliament, the analysis suggests that most member states will have fewer MEPs after June.  The researchers suggest however, that the predictions are interpreted with caution as some economic and political factors will affect voting behaviour and turnout.

The study, available online at, predicts the European People’s Party will win approximately 251 seats in the June elections, down from 37% to 34% of MEPs.  The Socialist PSE group will win approximately 211 seats, representing a slight increase to 28% of MEPs and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) will secure the third largest representation of 85 seats, according to the researchers.  A new European Conservative group, composed of the British Conservatives and their allies, are predicted to be the fourth largest group, with approximately 64 seats.  Finally the forecast expects the number of anti-European and extreme right MEPs will remain the same in the new Parliament as in the current Parliament.

Speaking on the predictions, Professor Marsh said:” We know that European elections are essentially national contests with often important national repercussions. This is a key part of our predictive model. However, these are also elections to a significant European decision-making body, the European Parliament. We hope this website helps to focus attention on the impact of the election on European policy making and not just on national electoral competition.”

The predictions will be updated every two weeks online until the elections on 4-7 June.  The second set of predictions are now available. Visitors to the site can also vote for their choice of next President of the European Commission.