Elections

A Comprehensive Guide to Seats, Groups, and the Shifting Political Landscape

Main image to the post A Comprehensive Guide to Seats, Groups, and the Shifting Political Landscape

The European Union parliament has 720 seats in total, all of which are up for election. 361 seats are needed for a majority, with no single political group likely to pass this. Each country has a certain number of members of the European parliament (MEPs), allocated broadly based on population. People vote for national parties that then form largely Europe-wide blocs in the parliament.

The political groups in the parliament are outlined below the map, starting with the most leftwing group. Before the election, polls predicted that Eurosceptic and anti-establishment parties in the ECR and ID groups were set to make significant gains.

This is the 10th election for the EU parliament, in which all 720 seats will be contested and 361 seats are needed for a majority. No single political group is likely to achieve this target.

Each country is allocated a number of MEPs based on the principle of degressive proportionality, meaning MEPs from larger countries represent more people than MEPs from smaller countries. The minimum number of MEPs from any country is six, while the maximum number is 96.

The number of seats in the EU parliament has increased compared to the outgoing parliament, meaning that some of the seat change numbers need to be treated with care. France, Spain and the Netherlands each have two more seats. Poland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Ireland, Slovenia and Latvia each have one more seat.

Within each country, the number of MEPs elected from each political party is proportional to the number of votes it received.

While seats are allocated by parties within each nation, most MEPs then join a series of transnational political groups – there are now seven, from the rightwing ID group to the Left group – based on shared ideals. Each group requires a minimum of 23 MEPs from at least a quarter of EU countries.

None Estimate, when when voting is finished and there is an estimate of a country’s results based on polling institutes;

None Projection, for when there is an estimate of the full EU parliament composition;

None Provisional, for when a country’s official election authority has published its first voting results but the final result is not known, and when the full EU parliament’s composition depends on such provisional national figures;

None Final, for when a country’s official election authority has published full results;

None Constitutive, for when the full EU parliament’s composition is officially confirmed.

Although the seat allocations per party per country will be final once the count is concluded in each member state, the seats per parliamentary grouping at country and EU levels will be provisional until all parties have decided which, if any, parliamentary grouping they will join, which may take days or weeks.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09