There is only one issue in today’s European parliament elections. How strong will the nationalist parties of the far right emerge? This has been the main talking point of the election campaign in the European media which see the parties of the Eurosceptic, far-right as a threat, not just to the way the EU operates but to its future.

Opinion polls forecast that radical right parties are set to finish first in nine member-states, including Belgium, The Netherlands, France and Austria. They are forecasted to finish second or third in Germany, Spain, Portugal and Sweden. This suggests they have been increasing their strength, but nobody expects the far-right groupings in the European parliament to secure a majority, which would cause huge problems for European Commission.

The leader of France National Rally, Marine Le Pen has toyed with the idea of far-right grouping in parliament made up of the nation-first European Conservatives Reformists (ECR) group and the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, but they are divided on major issues like the Ukraine. The ID group, consisting of France’s National Rally, Italy’s Lega and Austria’s FPO are seen as pro-Kremlin, whereas the ECR, which includes Poland’s Law and Justice party considers a victory for Ukraine as vital for Europe’s security.

What unites the two groupings are migration and rolling back environmental legislation, the latter not being such a bad idea. Applying the brakes on the so-called green transition, which has become the main policy objective of Brussels, would be no bad thing even if it is pursued by the reviled populist right, as it has a very high cost for European citizens and businesses. Climate change measures and net zero objectives will make Europeans poorer and erode the competitiveness of European businesses, considering that their main competitors are not following suit.

If the pollsters are correct, the populist right, even in the highly unlikely event that their groupings unite, will not have the numbers in the new parliament to block regulations and directives proposed by the commission. The ID is expected to increase its MEPs from 59 to 67, while Germany’s recently expelled AfD could elect 17; ECR is on course to take 85 seats. With the forecasted total of 169 seats the far-right groupings will not have great power in the 720-seat parliament – even if the 12 MEPs of Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party joins them – which will still be controlled by the groupings of the mainstream parties.

The mainstream groupings such as the European People’s Party, the Socialists and Democrats, Renew and the Greens, are all expected to secure fewer seats, but not by so many that the balances within parliament will change. It is interesting to note that the Greens are forecasted to lose a third of their 72 seats. As most of the mainstream parties have jumped on the climate change bandwagon this should come as no surprise, but this has also helped the hard right parties which are opposed to the green legislation to attract new voters.

Cyprus could add one seat to the ID or ECR groupings, as our own nationalist, far-right party Elam is being forecasted to elect one MEP. It will be a closely fought battle with Diko which is one or two percentage points behind it in most polls. Much has been made by the mainstream parties and the media about the prospect of Elam winning a seat in the European parliament, but the reality is that it would be of no political consequence. Like in most other European countries, we do not want to see the strength of the far-right boosted in these elections even though, for now at least, it poses no direct threat to the union.