Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    Experts react: Macron and Le Pen advance to the run-off in the French presidential election

Experts react: Macron and Le Pen advance to the run-off in the French presidential election

France held the first round of its presidential election on 23 April, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen making it to the second round. The centrist Macron is projected to have won 23.8 percent of the vote, while the Front National’s leader Le Pen came second with 21.5 percent. For the first time since the 1970s, no candidate from […]

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    The transformation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: From radical outsider to populist leader

The transformation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: From radical outsider to populist leader

A late surge in support for the left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has added an extra layer of drama to France’s presidential election ahead of the first round of voting on 23 April. With Mélenchon now polling close enough to the leaders that he has a chance of making it to the second round, Marco Damiani traces his political career […]

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    Friends with benefits? Nine things worth knowing about the links between centre-left parties and trade unions

Friends with benefits? Nine things worth knowing about the links between centre-left parties and trade unions

Many European parties have a formal or informal relationship with trade unions. While such alliances can often prove beneficial for parties, they can also generate disagreement between unions and politicians, as events in the UK’s Labour Party have often illustrated. Based on a new study, Tim Bale outlines nine key points for understanding the relationship between centre-left parties and unions.

A […]

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    Italy’s looming election: Will the Five Star Movement really form the next government?

Italy’s looming election: Will the Five Star Movement really form the next government?

Italy will hold its next general election no later than spring 2018, with Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) currently ahead in most of the recent polling. Daniele Albertazzi argues that despite intense media speculation about what a victory for the M5S could mean for Italy and its participation in the euro, the picture is far from clear and […]

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    A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

The French presidential campaign has been a rollercoaster of twists and turns so far. But with just a few days to go until the first round of voting on 23 April, does the contest have further surprises in store? Marta Lorimer outlines the possible scenarios and highlights the issues you should keep an eye out for.

 

A four horse race? Photo: The […]

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No hope in Turkey

There is no silver lining to be sought in the aftermath of the Turkish constitutional referendum, suggests Dimitar Bechev. Erdoğan thrives on polarisation: the pattern of labelling those who do not support him as ‘traitors’ will continue for the foreseeable future. The relative success of the ‘No’ vote in the big urban centres must have hurt Erdoğan, but the near 50 per cent […]

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    Today’s referendum is the most critical vote in modern Turkish history

Today’s referendum is the most critical vote in modern Turkish history

Today, Turkey is holding a referendum on whether to approve constitutional amendments that would substantially increase the power of the country’s President. Soli Özel and Sezin Öney write that the result is bound to transform the country in one way or another, and that a Yes vote would effectively consign Turkey’s century old parliamentary system to history.

Credit: alexeyklyukin/flickr (CC […]

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    Immigration, a consensual issue in the French presidential campaign?

Immigration, a consensual issue in the French presidential campaign?

Since the end of the 1970s, when labour migration was halted, immigration has been the hot potato of French politics, argues Sarah Wolff. Ever since its electoral breakthrough in 1982, the Front National has capitalised on the anxieties of the French society towards globalization, the economic and financial crisis as well as the disappointment with the current European project, […]

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    Turkish constitutional referendum preview: A polarised society at a crossroads

Turkish constitutional referendum preview: A polarised society at a crossroads

Turkey will hold a key referendum on 16 April over constitutional amendments that would substantially increase the power of the country’s President. Ilke Toygür previews the vote, writing that the outcome remains difficult to predict, with polls showing a tight race and many voters still undecided.

Ballot paper for the referendum, Credit: BirGün Gazetes
While the final countdown for the Turkish constitutional […]

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    The ‘grey zone’ of Vichy France: Understanding Marine Le Pen’s latest comments on the Second World War

The ‘grey zone’ of Vichy France: Understanding Marine Le Pen’s latest comments on the Second World War

The leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, has generated controversy by denying French responsibility for the persecution of Jews during the Second World War. Hugh Mcdonnell examines the ‘grey zone’ of French collaboration with the German occupation, writing that Le Pen’s comments contrast strikingly with previous efforts to ‘detoxify’ her party.

On 9 April, Marine Le Pen, the leader […]

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    The French presidential elections and the death of social dialogue

The French presidential elections and the death of social dialogue

What role do trade unions have to play in the French presidential election? As Nick Parsons writes, when François Hollande won the last presidential election in 2012, he promised to establish a ‘social dialogue’ under which actors such as trade unions would be consulted over government policy. But the failure of this strategy, underlined by the extensive protests held […]

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    Experts react: Aleksandar Vučić wins Serbia’s presidential election

Experts react: Aleksandar Vučić wins Serbia’s presidential election

Serbia held a presidential election on 2 April, with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić projected to have won the contest in the first round. We asked some of our contributors for their response to the election, what the result means for Vučić, and where it leaves the country moving forward.

Dimitar Bechev: “Vučić’s election paves the way to the consolidation […]

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    Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?

Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?

The German social democrats (SPD) have experienced rising support in opinion polls following the selection of Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, as the party’s candidate for chancellor at the upcoming federal elections in September. Julian Göpffarth asks whether the re-emergence of the SPD will lead to a more polarised contest, with a clear choice between […]

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    Put Le Pen and Macron to one side – it’s the June legislative elections that will decide how France is governed

Put Le Pen and Macron to one side – it’s the June legislative elections that will decide how France is governed

France is due to hold the first round of its presidential election on 23 April, with Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron currently predicted to make the second round of voting on 7 May. As Françoise Boucek writes, however, despite the presidential contest generating all of the headlines, the legislative elections scheduled for 11 and 18 June will be […]

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Election reaction: The status quo wins in Bulgaria

Bulgaria held parliamentary elections on 26 March, with preliminary results indicating that GERB, led by Boyko Borisov, had emerged as the largest party. Dimitar Bechev analyses the results, writing that despite the Bulgarian Socialist Party building on their success in last year’s presidential election to run GERB close, the results showed the resilience of the status quo in the […]

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Armenia’s watershed election: More free, but less fair

As Armenia prepares for a parliamentary election on 2 April, the coming contest has already been marred by pronounced polarisation and deep division. With Armenia moving to a full parliamentary form of government, writes Richard Giragosian, the election will be particularly significant and could very well shape the future of the country.

Armenia is preparing to hold a watershed election for […]

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    A few reasons why Le Pen could win the French presidential election, and a few more why she’ll still fall short

A few reasons why Le Pen could win the French presidential election, and a few more why she’ll still fall short

We are now entering the last month of campaigning before the first round of voting in the French presidential election on 23 April, with Marine Le Pen still leading in many opinion polls for the first round, but behind in polling for the second round. Ben Margulies assesses some of the key factors in her favour, and several more […]

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    Bulgaria heads to the polls – and the tide may be turning against Boyko Borisov

Bulgaria heads to the polls – and the tide may be turning against Boyko Borisov

Bulgarians will vote in a parliamentary election on 26 March. Dimitar Bechev argues that this time, the tide may be turning against Sofia’s most established politico and former PM Boyko Borisov, as polls suggest a neck and neck race between his centre-right party GERB and the Socialists. However, the next government will likely encompass a broad coalition and the real winner […]

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    A weaker economic case, but a stronger political one – how Yes could win a second referendum in Scotland

A weaker economic case, but a stronger political one – how Yes could win a second referendum in Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stated on 13 March that she intends to seek a new referendum on Scottish independence. Stuart Brown assesses how this second referendum campaign might play out. He writes that the Yes side would have a far more problematic economic picture to contend with than they had in 2014, but that the political argument for […]

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    Final look at the Dutch election: A campaign of limited drama looks set to produce a remarkably fragmented parliament

Final look at the Dutch election: A campaign of limited drama looks set to produce a remarkably fragmented parliament

Dutch voters will go to the polls today for parliamentary elections against the backdrop of a diplomatic spat between the Netherlands and Turkey. Hans Vollaard writes that until the Turkish incident, the campaign had been surprisingly low-key, but the polling suggests an unprecedented level of fragmentation in parliament, with no party likely to win more than 30 seats.

The campaign […]

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