The relative size of the political groups in the European Parliament is shown for each of the nine parliamentary terms since the first direct elections in 1979. The data, in percentages of total seats, refer to the constituent session (in July) at the beginning of each parliamentary term.
The colours used to denote political groups in the current parliamentary term are also used retrospectively for previous terms, so that the history of today’s groups can be traced back. However, it should be understood that the names and constitutions of political groups, and indeed their membership, can change frequently. So, whilst we can often identify substantial continuity between the current groups and their predecessors, they cannot in all cases be regarded as the same group with an unbroken history. The category ‘others’ includes a number of groups which no longer exist.