The EP Party System After the 2004 Elections

  • Tapio Raunio
Part of the EU Election Studies book series (EUES)

The sixth elections to the EP consolidated the position of the centre-right groups in the Parliament. The electoral triumph achieved by the European People’s Party (EPP) in 1999, ending the 20-year reign of the Party of European Socialists (PES) as the biggest party in the EP, was repeated with the EPP again emerging as the largest party in the chamber. The group of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) managed to attract new member parties after the election, giving the group its highest seat share after the fi rst direct elections held in 1979. However, the right-wing groups do by no means form a coherent bloc capable of cooperation across the various policy issues that are on the EP’s agenda, and hence the left-wing groups, particularly PES, will remain relevant in terms of building winning coalitions in the chamber. The progress made by Euro-sceptical lists in several countries received a lot of attention in the media, but anti-EU representatives continue to be marginalised in the chamber.


Party System Winning Coalition National Party Committee Work Direct Election 
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© Tapio Raunio 2005

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  • Tapio Raunio

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