Party-groups and ideological cleavages in the European Parliament after the 2019 elections

Ben Crum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Before the elections of May 2019, Eurosceptic populists were expected to make significant gains at the expense of the established party groups in the European Parliament. That would make the parliament much more polarized, undermining the consensus orientation that usually characterizes its proceedings. This chapter considers the outcome of the elections and its response to the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen for Commission President to examine whether these expectations have been borne out. Certainly, for the first time, the combined seat share of the two biggest groups, EPP and S&D, fell below 50 per cent and the extreme right Eurosceptics of the ID group did grow in size. Also, the election process of the new Commission President suggested that the new European Parliament may indeed rely on more floating coalitions. Still, once the Commission is in place, decision-making is expected to continue to be run by a broadly pro-integration coalition. The Eurosceptic opponents remain far removed from constituting a blocking minority. As the established groups in the political centre continue to command more than two-thirds of the seats, they remain at the heart of the consensus-building machine of the European Parliament.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssessing the 2019 European Parliament Elections
EditorsSylvia Kritzinger, Carolina Plescia, Kolja Raube, James Willem, Jan Wouters
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780367816926
ISBN (Print)9780367365936
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies


  • European Parliament
  • party groups


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