European Parliament election poll: Romania’s PSD falls to second place in voting intentions for the first time

Aurel Dragan 19/04/2019 | 14:12

European Parliament elections are closing in and the political landscape in Romania looks like it’s significantly changing. While at EP level the poll shows the European People’s Party (EPP) group would get 180 seats (24 percent), European Socialists 149 seats (19.8 percent) and Liberals 76 seats, in Romania polls show that the leading Social Democrat Party (PSD) would lose the first place to the National Liberal Party (PNL).

The figures come from a compilation of representative surveys conducted by national public opinion polling institutes in the Member States and public Kantar aggregates on behalf of the European Parliament. The new information is extracted from 43 opinion polls dedicated to European elections held in 21 countries.

The information in the previous set of estimates, published on March 29, was also updated with UK figures to facilitate comparison with the new scenario of its participation in the European elections in May. Parties are attributed only to existing political groups or where they are already affiliated to an associated European political party. All new parties and movements, who have not yet declared their intentions, fall into the “others” category.

In the EP, the fourth place would go to European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), with 66 seats and 8.8 percent of total EP mandates, followed by the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), with 62 seats (8.3 percent), Greens (57 seats), European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL 46 seats) and Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) with 45 seats and 6 percent of mandates. There would also be 8 non-attached members, and 62 other MEPs.

Following the agreement reached on April 10 during the EU summit, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is set to take place by October 31, 2019 at the latest. This means that the UK now has the legal obligation to participate in the European elections, unless its parliament ratifies PM Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement by May 23. In order to enter into force, the UK withdrawal agreement in the European Union will require the approval of the European Parliament by a simple majority of votes.

If Brexit takes effect by May 23, the elections will result in a European Parliament with 705 members, compared to the current 751, as the UK would no longer take part in the elections. In this case, out of the current 73 European Parliament seats held by the British, 46 will disappear and the other 27 will be redistributed to those Member States that are under-represented in the European Parliament.

The report was developed by Kantar Public together with the European Parliament and the national partners of Kantar Public (IMAS in Romania).

PNL leads in Romania

The first place in terms of voting intentions is held by PNL, with a score of 25.2 percent. It is not a significant change in numbers for the liberals since polls conducted in February 2018, as the party has kept its score around 25 percent.

But the PSD is taking a beating, as it falls to second place for the first time.  The polls indicate a score of 21.5 percent for PSD, which is a huge drop from the 45 percent score that it had a year ago.

The alliance between USR (Uniunea Salvati Romania) and Plus (former PM Dacian Ciolos’s party) came third with 17.7 percent of voting intentions, followed by ALDE (Alianta Liberal Democrata) with 12.7 percent. The landscape is completed by Pro Romania (former PM Victor Ponta’s party) with 11.2 percent, UDMR with 5.1 percent and PMP with 4.7 percent.

In this configuration, PNL would have 9 seats in EP, PSD would have 8, USR Plus 6, ALDE 4, Pro Romania 4 and UDMR 1.

The results of May 26 elections will probably not be exactly as the voting intention poll shows, but it remains clear that the two main political parties will have a much closer result than the one recorded in the Romanian Parliament elections that took place in 2016.

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