The Labour Party is set to gain one European Parliament seat to their current three, while PN is expected to drop to just two, according to projections published by the EU’s executive this morning ahead of the MEP Elections in May.
The PL is currently polling at 62.7% and the PN at 36.4%, with AD and PD distinctly off-the-pace, polling at 0.5% and 0.4% respectively; with the figures gathered based on local polls and sources considered credible according to an established set of criteria which the EP ruled had the correct methodology and margin for error.
The projections indicate that one of David Casa, Roberta Metsola, or Francis Zammit Dimech will lose their seat, while creating a more open field within the PL race.
Embattled PN Leader Adrian Delia has long insisted that the election results would have no bearing on the stability of his tenure, however, the lack of inroads made in the first year and half of his leadership may further expose ever deepening chasms within the party.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has continued to downplay his party’s electoral success, telling supporters yesterday that the record result recorded in the 2017 general election would result in a 3-seat split between the two parties.
Eurosceptic parties are set to make massive gains with two groups seeing their share rise to 14% from 10%, despite the loss of Brexit campaigners the UK Independence Party, in particular, Italy’s League adding 21 seats, Germany’s AfD, gaining 11, and Marine Le Pen’s French National Rally, adding six.
The polls have also suggested that Italy’s 5-Star movement could gain eight seats to 22 in May
The number of seats belonging to Eurosceptic forces is likely to be higher than the 153 projected as it does not include parties with no current pan-EU family like Germany’s Anti-Islam Alternative for Germany. Hungary’s Fidesz party, led by Viktor Orban, is also counted among the mainstream conservative grouping.
Traditional parties will still retain dominance crucial to the broad centrist majority in the EU, despite gains of about 40% for eurosceptic or fringe parties, which would likely introduce more policy uncertainty within the parliament.
The centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), which houses the PL, is set to take a significant hit with their projected seats dropping from 25 to 19 percent, partly due to the loss of 73 British seats following Brexit.
The European People’s Party (EPP), to which the PN belongs, will remain the EP’s largest party holding 183 of the 705 seats, down by 3%.
The German Christian Democrat CDU/CSU alliance led by Chancellor Angela Merkel would remain the biggest single party with 29 seats, but only just ahead of Italy’s League, the far-right group now in government in Rome.
More details on the poll can be found here.