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Eurosceptics forecast to hold more than 1/5 of EP seats

Eurosceptic forces are expected to command more than one fifth of the seats in the European Parliament following Mayʼs elections, according to official projections, says a report on the Financial Times website ft.com.

With less than 100 days to go until the elections this May 23–26, the first official projections from the European Parliament (EP) show that 153 seats will be won by existing Eurosceptic groups, which include Poland’s Law and Justice party, Italy’s Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s right-wing Northern League, and France’s Rassemblement National (National Rally, formerly National Front).

May’s pan-European elections are among the most eagerly watched in recent years, amid fears that anti-EU forces across Europe could coalesce in the Parliament to disrupt the functioning of the union.

Hungary’s ruling populist Fidesz party, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, still belongs to the European People’s Party (EPP), the mainstream conservative group, but is sympathetic with some Eurosceptic policies, especially on immigration, noted ft.com. The projections show that mainstream forces in the center-right and center-left will suffer at the expense of insurgent groups, it added.

As the Parliament’s dominant group, the EPP is due to slip from 217 seats to 183, projections shows, while the Social Democrats will decline from 186 seats to 135.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party, still on the fence about joining the liberal ALDE group (projected to make moderate gains), is on course to win 20 seats.

The EP poll is based on a compilation of national polling from across the EU’s 27 member states (i.e. without the U.K.), ft.com reported.