Parties of the left, including Sinn Féin, will be the largest single group in the next European Parliament, taking power from centre right parties that include Fine Gael, according to the latest poll.
However, a whopping 29% of the seats could be taken by parties that are critical of or opposed to the European Union who are poised to take seats from the three big political groups that between them hold close to three-quarters of the seats at the moment.
Ireland loses one of its 12 seats in this election and, according to predictions, this will result in Fine Gael winning three rather than their current four seats in the new, bigger constituencies.
Labour, which won three seats in the 2009 vote but effectively lost one when Nessa Childers left the party last year, will win two seats with Ms Childers running as an independent in Dublin predicted to lose hers.
The prize for the Socialists if they become the largest group in the Parliament could be that their nominee, German MEP and president of the Parliament Martin Schultz, becomes the next president of the European Commission.
Fianna Fáil, which was in government during the last elections, on current showing will retain their three seats, as will independent Marian Harkin in the west.
The two remaining seats could go to Sinn Féin.
The European People’s Party, whose member parties are in government in more EU countries than any other, will see the biggest drop in seats losing nearly a quarter, 72 of their current 274. While the Socialists will pick up 27 to bring them to 221, the liberal group, ALDI, to which Fianna Fáil is allied will lose seats in Britain and Germany.
The group to which Sinn Féin belongs, the European United Left/Nordic Green Left, are set to pick up seats in France, Germany, Greece, Spain, and as Ireland.
The poll which will test ratings every two weeks until the poll in May has been developed by VoteWatch Europe in partnership with Burson-Marsteller and uses a system devised by three leading political scientists including Michael Marsh of Trinity College Dublin.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved