EU Elections: The new balance of power in the European Parliament

Written by The Parliament Magazine on 3 June 2019 in News
News

The historic end of the European Parliament’s so-called Grand Coalition has opened the door to the EU’s Greens and Liberal groups.

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They are ready to extract a high price from both main centrist parties in return for their support in delivering a parliamentary majority.

This potential four-party core coalition in the Parliament is primarily due to the loss of centrist seats to the Liberals and a so-called ‘Green Wave’ by European Greens that saw them gain 17 seats to take fourth place in the elections with 69 MEPs.

The scale of the expected surge in populist support failed to materialise, despite right-wing victories predicted for France, Italy, Germany and Poland. Populist parties won some 112 seats in the new Parliament, up by 34 on the 2014 showing.


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The populists lost ground in the Netherlands and Austria, while gaining new MEPs in Spain and Belgium. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party clinched top place in the UK’s election count with almost 32 percent of the vote.

Despite Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance alliance coming second to Marine Le Pen’s RN, the French President’s MEPs and those from the Romanian USR-PLUS coalition will see the Parliament’s reconstituted ALDE group in a ‘kingmaker’ position with 109 MEPs, up 40 from the previous election.

With voter turnout passing the 50 percent mark for the first time in more than 25 years, coupled with the loss of the centrist EPP/S&D majority coalition, Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt felt emboldened enough to say, “Europe is back… and it’s popular”.

The historic end of the European Parliament’s so-called Grand Coalition has opened the door to the EU’s Greens and Liberal groups.

They are ready to extract a high price from both main centrist parties in return for their support in delivering a parliamentary majority.

This potential four-party core coalition in the Parliament is primarily due to the loss of centrist seats to the Liberals and a so-called ‘Green Wave’ by European Greens that saw them gain 17 seats to take fourth place in the elections with 69 MEPs.

The scale of the expected surge in populist support failed to materialise, despite right-wing victories predicted for France, Italy, Germany and Poland. Populist parties won some 112 seats in the new Parliament, up by 34 on the 2014 showing.

The populists lost ground in the Netherlands and Austria, while gaining new MEPs in Spain and Belgium. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party clinched top place in the UK’s election count with almost 32 percent of the vote.

Despite Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance alliance coming second to Marine Le Pen’s RN, the French President’s MEPs and those from the Romanian USR-PLUS coalition will see the Parliament’s reconstituted ALDE group in a ‘kingmaker’ position with 109 MEPs, up 40 from the previous election.

With voter turnout passing the 50 percent mark for the first time in more than 25 years, coupled with the loss of the centrist EPP/S&D majority coalition, Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt felt emboldened enough to say, “Europe is back… and it’s popular”.

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