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Center-Right to Dominate in European Elections

The center-right is set to dominate again in the European Parliament after elections in June, a new report predicts.

Center-right parties will do well in European elections in Germany, Poland and the UK while making losses in several smaller states, according to a study for public affairs company Burson-Marsteller, which is based on the premise that parties in government will do badly and that large parties in opposition will do well. The centre-right EPP-ED, which is currently the biggest group in the European Parliament, is expected to get 285 (39%) seats in the 732-seat assembly. The socialists are predicted to come in with 217 (30%) seats and the liberals with 73 (10%) -- exactly the order of the three main groups in the parliament today. However, the study, carried out by Professor Simon Hix of the London School of Economics and Professor Michael Marsh of Trinity College, also predicts some important changes. The eurosceptic EDD group is "unlikely to secure enough MEPs to form a group" and there "may be as many as 50 non-attached MEPs," according to the report. Also, if the votes fall the way the report predicts, the liberals will play a pivotal role in EU legislation, meaning they could side with the socialists on environmental issues and with the conservatives on economic issues. If the liberals form an alliance with the centre-right, they would have over 50 percent of the seats in the parliament so they could apply some interesting political leverage when the Parliament chooses top positions in the EU such as the presidents of the European Commission and the Parliament. (EUobserver.com)

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