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Europe, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Politics, Portugal, Spain

Radical left could become 3rd force in EU parliament, polls show

The radical left could become the third force in the European parliament, after the conservatives and social democrats, according to recent polls.

Syriza in Greece leads with 26.2 % support, followed by Portugal, Spain and France. With a month to go to the European Parliament elections, polls suggest the Parliamentary Group of the European United Left (GUE – NGL) could increase the number of MEPs from 35 members to between 50 and 60, potentially overtaking the liberals (ALDE).

Led by Greece’s opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, the biggest gains for the radical left will be in southern Europe, led by Greece where all projections show his party Syriza in the lead. According Pollwatch, which compiles European surveys in all member states, the Greek coalition stands as the first force in Greece with 26.2 %.

Portugal comes second with polls giving 15.9% to the Communist- led CDU, and the Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc), with 9.8 % and 6.1% respectively, and the GUE / NGL believes the results “will approach or exceed 20%. ”

In Spain, Plural Left, of which the largest component is the communist-led United Left coalition indicate it will garner at least 11.8% in the May 25 elections, a rise from two to six deputies and 3.77 % in 2009. The coalition includes the Catalonian Iniciativa per Catalunya (ICV), Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (EUiA) and OpcióVerda-Els Verds, the Galician Anova-Irmandade Nacionalista, Espazo Ecosocialista Galego and the Basque Etzkerreko Ekimena-Etorkizuna Iratzarri, as well a national parties Construyendo la Izquierda-Alternativa Socialista (CLI-AS) and Federación Los Verdes.

In Italy, home of the once largest communist party in western Europe, the radical left is the weakest. The Lista Tspiras has united the Left Ecology Freedom party headed by a former communist and now governor of Puglia, and Communist Refoundation party, and a group of intellectuals with a common manifesto sponsored by SYRIZA leader. Within a month, the Lista Tspiras gathered more than 230,000 signatures, exceeding the 150,000 required by Italian law to register for the European elections. Although it started strongly, reaching 5.5% of the vote, it currently stands at 3.7%. However, it is optimistic that it can achieve over 7%.

In France, the Front de Gauche (Left Front, bringing together the Communist Party and Parti de Gauche) is projected to win eight seats, three more than in 2009, but the Parti de Gauche (Left Party) of Jean -Luc Mélenchon, who received some 4 million votes in the last presidential elections, reportedly expects a score of nine or ten deputies. There were divisions within the Front de Gauche over the municipal polls when the Communists joined lists of the ruling socialist party. However, now “relations are strong”, according to sources within the Parti de Gauche.

Germany‘s Die Linke (Left Party) is expected to fall from eight to seven seats, according to the poll. However, the Tsipras campaign believes that the third political force in the EU’s largest member state can achieve “the same seats as in 2009 or even surpass them.”

“Significant results” are also expected in Ireland and Slovenia, according to the Tspiras campaign.

Find out about the campaign programme here

Who Alex Tspiras is standing against in his bid for European Commission President

Sources include El Publico 

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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