Projection: Populist Lega Set To Become Second Largest Party In EU Parliament


A newly released projection has revealed that sovereigntist parties are likely to score huge gains in the European Parliament elections in May and that the populist Italian Lega could become the second largest political party.

The projections, released by the European Parliament, show the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) parliamentary group are likely to be the overall winners with 183 seats but the various sovereigntist and populist factions will grow to 153 seats and would form the second largest force in the parliament behind the EPP, Il Giornale reports.

Populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s Lega is set to make massive gains according to the projection that claims the party will go from just six seats to around 27, making the party the second largest national party represented in the chamber behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Lega’s coalition partners, the Five Star Movement, are also expected to gain eight new seats for a total of 22, while the conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) are projected to win four seats.

The biggest loser is projected to be the left-wing Socialists and Democrats (S&D) parliamentary group who are expected to see a huge decline in votes and to lose around 51 seats from their current 186, putting them well behind the sovereigntists.

As Salvini and Lega look to rise in May’s elections to a major force, German media has gone on the offensive against the populist leader with magazine Stern releasing an article slamming him saying, “His rhetoric opens valves for pent up frustration – and for hatred.”

The article also notes the great success of Salvini saying, “after years of stagnation Salvini is at least someone who provokes and gives Italy a voice. He works on a psychological level.”

Aside from stopping mass migration, Salvini has also championed increasing Italy’s declining birthrates and has had several high profile meetings with other populist and sovereigntist leaders over the last several months including French populist Marine Le Pen, Polish Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jarosław Kaczyński and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.