Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    For the Russian authorities, the threat of Navalny lies in the message not the man

For the Russian authorities, the threat of Navalny lies in the message not the man

The arrest of Alexei Navalny for organising an ‘unauthorised’ anti-corruption rally on 12 June represents the latest in a long line of run-ins with the authorities and simply adds to his credentials as one of Russia’s leading opposition figures, writes Sean Roberts. However, the real issue for the Kremlin is his anti-corruption message and its contagious spread across the […]

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    Prelude to a crisis? Why France has an abstention problem in legislative elections

Prelude to a crisis? Why France has an abstention problem in legislative elections

Emmanuel Macron’s La République en marche (LREM) are set to win a large majority of seats in the second round of the French legislative elections on 18 June. But perhaps the biggest story from the first round was the low turnout, with abstentions passing the 50 per cent mark. Alexandros Alexandropoulos suggests that declining turnout in French legislative elections […]

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    Britain’s surprising election: Austerity and inequality make for angry and unpredictable voters

Britain’s surprising election: Austerity and inequality make for angry and unpredictable voters

The unexpected result of the general election is just another case of voters punishing governments for their handling of the economy, writes Jonathan Hopkin. He argues citizens have had enough of an economic system that deliberately benefits only the few. Established political parties have failed to provide a vision for change, and so new political leaders who do so […]

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    How ‘groupthink’ in Theresa May’s Downing Street delivered another round of UK political chaos

How ‘groupthink’ in Theresa May’s Downing Street delivered another round of UK political chaos

The UK’s political turmoil has continued with the Conservatives’ disastrous 2017 campaign. But what led to the multiple miscalculations involved? Patrick Dunleavy argues that it forms part of a wider pattern of mis-governing from the centre of Whitehall that has characterised Theresa May’s leadership style from the outset.

Credit: Number 10 / Jay Allen (Crown Copyright)
All British Prime Ministers end […]

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    The French legislative election: Outlook for the first round on 11 June

The French legislative election: Outlook for the first round on 11 June

Following the election of Emmanuel Macron in May, French voters will be called to elect their new parliament on 11 and 18 June. While legislative elections are often considered to be ‘second order elections’ in the French system, Marta Lorimer argues that this year’s elections will be particularly important because they will determine whether Macron will have the parliamentary […]

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    Who will turnout and who will not? The indicator that could make or break GE2017 poll predictions

Who will turnout and who will not? The indicator that could make or break GE2017 poll predictions

Why do polling predictions for the UK’s general election vary so widely? Patrick Sturgis and Will Jennings argue that turnout might prove the be the pollsters’ Achilles heel in this occasion. Getting its weighting right is likely to be both more difficult and more consequential than it was in 2015, because the age gap in party support has increased since the […]

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    Why the Conservatives may not be the party of sound finances after all

Why the Conservatives may not be the party of sound finances after all

The 2017 Conservative Manifesto promises “a strong economy built on sound public finances”. In this third and final article on the political economy of that manifesto, Abby Innes explains why the Conservative Party has, over its years in government, demonstrated a poor understanding of what free markets actually require.
The Conservative Manifesto promises it will be the party of sound […]

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    Macedonia has a new government: What next for the crisis-ridden state?

Macedonia has a new government: What next for the crisis-ridden state?

A new government was finally appointed in Macedonia on 31 May, over five months after elections took place in December. Jovan Bliznakovski assesses the challenges facing the country’s new prime minister, Zoran Zaev, and the potential for his government to bring an end to the political crisis that has plagued the country since 2012.

Following five months of political uncertainty since […]

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    Croatia’s local elections: Key takeaways and the duels to watch in the second round

Croatia’s local elections: Key takeaways and the duels to watch in the second round

Croatia held a first round of voting in local elections on 21 May, with the second round scheduled for 4 June. Tena Prelec assesses the results of the first round and previews some of the key mayoral races to watch as voters go back to the polls. The elections will be particularly noteworthy as they will give an indication of […]

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    Cabinets and concrete floors: The women in Macron’s cabinet strengthen the case for gender parity in government

Cabinets and concrete floors: The women in Macron’s cabinet strengthen the case for gender parity in government

The first cabinet appointed by new French President Emmanuel Macron contained a 50-50 gender balance, with eleven out of the twenty-two cabinet members being women. Karen Beckwith writes that Macron’s decision to appoint a gender-balanced cabinet should not have come as a surprise. Drawing on research in seven separate democracies with her colleagues Susan Franceschet and Claire Annesley, she illustrates […]

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    Against the odds: The improbable journey of Die Linke through unified Germany

Against the odds: The improbable journey of Die Linke through unified Germany

Opinion polls suggest that as many as six independent parties could cross the electoral threshold and enter the Bundestag in Germany’s federal elections in September. In advance of the elections, we will be running a series profiling each of these parties. In the first article of the series, Ross Campbell writes on the German Left Party (Die Linke), which has […]

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    How Portugal’s leaders exploited the bail out to pass measures they already supported

How Portugal’s leaders exploited the bail out to pass measures they already supported

During the Eurozone crisis, states receiving a bailout were required to implement spending cuts and other reforms in return for financial assistance. But to what extent did the governments of these states use the opportunity to advance their own policy agendas? Drawing on interviews with Portuguese politicians, Catherine Moury and Adam Standring argue that both the crisis and the bailout […]

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    Kosovo’s early elections are reviving its ‘war’ and ‘peace’ camps

Kosovo’s early elections are reviving its ‘war’ and ‘peace’ camps

Kosovo is due to hold early elections on 11 June, following a vote of no confidence in the government. Krenar Gashi writes that the elections have encouraged a recalibration of Kosovo’s party system, with the revival of the division between so called ‘war’ parties and ‘peace’ parties that has its roots in the aftermath of the Kosovo War in […]

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    A Pyrrhic victory in Yerevan? Understanding Armenia’s one party dominance

A Pyrrhic victory in Yerevan? Understanding Armenia’s one party dominance

Only six weeks after parliamentary elections that saw the ruling Republican Party of Armenia retain its power, a municipal election in the Armenian capital Yerevan resulted in an even larger victory for the incumbent party. But as Richard Giragosian writes, the election result did little to obscure serious shortcomings in the voting process, with allegations of vote buying and […]

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    One hundred days of Martin Schulz: The rise and fall of a ‘Gottkanzler’?

One hundred days of Martin Schulz: The rise and fall of a ‘Gottkanzler’?

Angela Merkel’s CDU secured a surprise victory over the SPD in state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on 14 May. Julian Göpffarth assesses where the result leaves the SPD’s leader, Martin Schulz, ahead of the country’s federal elections in September.

Martin Schulz. Credits: Olaf Kosinsky / Skillshare.eu
It has been not much more than a hundred days that Martin Schulz has been the […]

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What will President Macron mean for UK universities?

Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election will have a significant impact on European politics across a wide number of policy areas. Anne Corbett assesses what Macron’s presidency could mean for higher education in the UK and for bilateral relations between the UK and France.

Oxford, Corpus Christi college. Credits: Diliff (CC BY-SA 3.0)
On 21 February this year, the […]

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Why populism is a threat to electoral integrity

Following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, a great deal of political commentary has focused on the rise of populism and its possible impact on Western democracies. Pippa Norris argues that populism heightens the risk of electoral malpractice in three distinct ways: by damaging public trust in democracy, by undermining international standards of electoral integrity, and by […]

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    Understanding the campaign dynamics of the French presidential election

Understanding the campaign dynamics of the French presidential election

Now that the dust has settled on Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election, what lessons can be derived from the campaign? Thomas Vitiello assesses both rounds of the election, highlighting the key campaign dynamics that ultimately shaped the result.

Credit: French Embassy in the United States (CC BY SA 2.0)
In French politics, there is a saying that “in […]

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We haven’t heard the last of the Le Pens

Marine Le Pen secured a far higher share of the vote in the second round of the French presidential election than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, managed in 2002. But as David Lees writes, Marine may soon come under pressure from within her own party, with many of her followers sceptical about the nature of her campaign.

Emmanuel Macron won […]

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    Macron’s victory: A historic break with the past, or simply the postponement of real change?

Macron’s victory: A historic break with the past, or simply the postponement of real change?

Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! movement will attempt to win a majority in the French legislative elections in June, but if he fails to achieve this, his power to implement substantial policy changes may be limited. Nick Parsons writes that winning the presidency was a relatively easy task in comparison to what he will face in June, and that Marine Le […]

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