The Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group's election campaign was "successful", its lead candidate has claimed despite polls indicating that the faction has now lost seats. (EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA)


S&D campaign for EP elections ‘successful’ despite seat losses, lead candidate claims


The Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group’s election campaign was “successful”, its lead candidate has claimed despite polls indicating that the faction has lost seats.

Nicolas Schmit, the spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) for S&D’s parent Party of European Socialists (PES), praised the electioneering work of his colleagues.

“We have shown that our campaign has been successful,” he told a celebration bash in the centre of Brussels on June 9.

“Okay, okay,” he added. “We have not become the first party in the European programme — as much as I know for the moment.

“But we will be a strong second. And without us, there is no majority possible. And this is an important achievement.”

He added that the group was entering a “new chapter” of fighting for a centre-left programme within the European Parliament, while marginalising those on the Right.

“This is now our next mission,” he said.

“Now, I launch an appeal to all democratic forces in the next European Parliament, to join forces, to come together. And to not look at the extreme. Not look at those who want to destroy Europe.

“It is our mission, as Social Democrats, to put on the table our vision, our ideas, about a strong Europe. We will not give in on that.”

While Schmit’s claim that a majority will be impossible without S&D is questionable on a purely numerical basis, it appears likely that any such majority would be unattractive to the likely election winner, the European People’s Party (EPP).

The most recent projections have estimated that EPP, S&D and Renew Grand Coalition would survive, with the three groups expected to hold somewhere in the region of 400 seats between them.

It is unclear how well this result would bode for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who faces opposition within her own EPP party over her stance on a number of issues, including the European Union’s Green Deal.