The preliminary 2019 European election results are available, and they tell us one thing: the two largest groups took the biggest hit.
Those are the European People’s Party (EPP) and Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). They are still the two largest groups in the upcoming European Union Parliament, but with numbers reduced. As one might then expect, there was a corresponding rise from some, not all, smaller groups, making the upcoming session more tricky to figure.
In the last session, the EPP had over 200 seats, making its own member, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, the president of the European Commission. Because equivalency is important, the president of the European Commission is, for all intents and purposes, the President of Europe. The EPP has held the presidency since 2004, meaning that this could be a change election. Even though they remain the largest group, it is no guarantee they will hold it now.
See the below provisional results for the 2019 EU elections.1
2019 European Election Results: State of the Groups
The center-right EPP remains the largest group in the European Parliament, despite losing several dozen seats. The center-left S&D is still second-largest, but they lost even more seats than the EPP.
ALDE&R (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), the centrist/left-leaning group, were the big winners, jumping to over 100 seats and gaining more than 40.
The Greens/EFA (European Free Alliance) group also had a good performance, growing by 17 to 69.
While the right-wing ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists) took a hit, the far-right ENF (Europe of Nations and Freedom) saw significant gains. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s Eurosceptic EFDD (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy) group increased their seat share based mainly off of their success in the United Kingdom.
Notable National Results
In France, the ENF, being driven by Marine Le Pen, came in first place with 22 seats, less than one percentage point in votes ahead of Emmanuel Macron’s ALDE&R coalition (21 seats). The Greens came in third place with 12 French seats.
Germany handed first place to the EPP with 29 seats on about 29 percent of the vote. The Green/EFA group did quite well, increasing to 21 seats in their second-place finish.
Italy saw a big win for deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini’s group, the ENF. They landed 28 seats, ten ahead of the second-place S&D, on 34.3 percent of the vote. Though Forza Italia (EPP) did not do well as a whole, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will win a seat in the European Parliament.
Just a few weeks after their national election, Spain handed another positive result to the PSOE (S&D). They came in first with 32.8 percent, far ahead of the Partido Popular on 20.1 percent. Political newcomers Vox took in 6.2 percent.
The Brexit Party rolled the competition in Britain’s last EU election, taking 31.7 percent and winning 29 seats. Coming in second were the Liberal Deomocrats (ALDE&R) at 18.5 percent and 16 seats. Both the Conservatives and Labour sustained sizable damage, with Labour dropping to 14.1 percent and the Tories to 8.7 percent. The Greens/EFA came in third in seats with 11. This follows up a poor local election result for the Conservatives.
2019 European Election Results: Coalition Building
Based on present numbers, it will be difficult for an all-left or an all-right faction to form a majority government. Aligning groups need 376 seats for a majority. An S&D + ALDE&R + Greens/EFA + GUE/NGL coalition would get close but come up about a dozen seats short. Relying upon unattached or independent members, they might be able to cobble together a thin majority.
As for the right blocs, an EPP + ENF + EFDD + ECR coalition would come up about 25 seats short. Were they to convince the ALDE&R to join them, however, it would make for a comfortable working majority, but that will take some doing. The coalition that eventually governs Europe may stretch across the middle of the spectrum.
1: “2019 European election results” (election-results.eu web site, accessed 27 May 2019)
More on European elections we have tracked at Electionarium can be found here.