Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    Caught between mainstreaming and radicalisation: Tensions inside the populist Vlaams Belang in Belgium

Caught between mainstreaming and radicalisation: Tensions inside the populist Vlaams Belang in Belgium

The Flemish party Vlaams Belang is often regarded as one of the most successful radical-right parties in Europe, but it has experienced a drop in support in recent years. Teun Pauwels and Emilie van Haute write on tensions between the party’s current leadership and a faction led by Filip Dewinter, which supports taking a more radical line on issues […]

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    Forget about Strasbourg, it’s Rome that will make or break the Five Star Movement

Forget about Strasbourg, it’s Rome that will make or break the Five Star Movement

On 9 January, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe rejected a request from Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) to join the group in the European Parliament. Daniele Albertazzi states that although the incident constituted an embarrassment for the M5S at the European level, a far more pressing priority for the party will be to ensure it can […]

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    Hungary in 2017: Could the left and far-right unite to keep Orban out of power?

Hungary in 2017: Could the left and far-right unite to keep Orban out of power?

Hungary is due to hold its next parliamentary election in early-2018, with this year likely to see a progressive build-up of political activity prior to the start of the campaign. Abel Bojar previews what 2017 could have in store for the country’s political parties, noting that the government’s record on cronyism and corruption may well be the most serious […]

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    Poland’s parliamentary crisis could reach a tipping point by mid-January

Poland’s parliamentary crisis could reach a tipping point by mid-January

An occupation of the main legislative chamber and street demonstrations at the end of December, prompted by the exclusion of an opposition deputy following his protest against new parliamentary media rules, has precipitated a major political crisis in Poland. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that although the government has withdrawn its planned media regulations, the sit-in continued throughout Christmas with the […]

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Look ahead to 2017: The German federal election

To mark the end of the year, we’ve asked our contributors to preview some of the potential stories of 2017. In this contribution, Kai Arzheimer looks ahead to the German federal election, which is due to be held in the autumn.

In September 2017, Germans will go to the polls to elect the members of their national parliament, the Bundestag. In […]

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    The rejection of Romania’s first female and Muslim PM leaves the Social Democrats in a difficult position

The rejection of Romania’s first female and Muslim PM leaves the Social Democrats in a difficult position

Despite winning Romania’s parliamentary election on 11 December, the country’s Social Democrats (PSD) had their proposed candidate for prime minister rejected by Romania’s president, Klaus Iohannis. Mihnea Stoica writes that the PSD now faces a difficult situation as any attempt to remove Iohannis from office would likely prove counter-productive.

Less than three weeks ago, Romania’s Social Democrats (PSD) won the […]

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    Montenegro’s ‘stabilitocracy’: The West’s support of Đukanović is damaging the prospects of democratic change

Montenegro’s ‘stabilitocracy’: The West’s support of Đukanović is damaging the prospects of democratic change

This autumn’s parliamentary election in Montenegro was marred by an atmosphere of instability and fear stemming from allegations of a coup d’etat being under way and by the temporary discontinuation of mobile phone messaging services. Srđa Pavlović argues that the endorsement of the country’s prime minister, Milo Đukanović, by the EU and US is exacerbating distrust in western institutions among Montenegro’s civil […]

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    Social roots: How Romania’s Social Democrats won the 2016 election

Social roots: How Romania’s Social Democrats won the 2016 election

Romania’s Social Democrats (PSD) emerged as the largest party from the country’s parliamentary elections on 11 December. Clara Volintiru and George Stefan assess the roots of their success, writing that the party managed to mobilise supporters in areas where it has a strong local presence, but that there is now a growing generational divide which could shape Romanian politics […]

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    Macedonia’s election has opened the door to finally tackling the country’s corruption problem

Macedonia’s election has opened the door to finally tackling the country’s corruption problem

Macedonia held elections on 11 December which took place against the backdrop of a major political crisis. Misha Popovikj assesses the results of the election, writing that although it remains unclear which parties will be able to form the next government, there has been a clear shift in the balance of power which opens the door to tackling corruption among elected […]

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    Was Austria’s presidential election really a vote against populism?

Was Austria’s presidential election really a vote against populism?

Austria’s presidential election on 4 December saw a surprisingly large victory for Alexander Van der Bellen over Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the populist right-wing FPÖ. However, as Eva Zeglovits, Hubert Sickinger and Jakob-Moritz Eberl write, the level of support received by Hofer suggests the FPÖ could nevertheless be well placed to win the next federal elections.

Vienna was crowded […]

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    Romania’s election: In spite of the PSD’s comeback, anti-establishment sentiment is stronger than ever

Romania’s election: In spite of the PSD’s comeback, anti-establishment sentiment is stronger than ever

Only a year ago, Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) were in deep trouble over corruption allegations, whose magnitude was exposed after a deadly incident in a Bucharest night club. How did the PSD, then, end up winning the 11 December parliamentary elections? Mihnea Stoica explains that the hesitation showed by the technocratic PM Dacian Cioloș to shake up the country’s administrative […]

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    The eternal chancellor? Merkel’s biggest obstacle to reelection will be uniting her own party

The eternal chancellor? Merkel’s biggest obstacle to reelection will be uniting her own party

Angela Merkel has been formally confirmed as the CDU’s candidate for chancellor in the 2017 German federal elections. Julian Göpffarth assesses the key challenges that lie between Merkel and reelection, arguing that perhaps the most important priority will be to bring together members of the CDU who are increasingly critical of her leadership.

Germany’s Iron Lady, Madame Non, Mutti – Angela […]

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    Netherlands election preview: Will Geert Wilders follow Trump and win power?

Netherlands election preview: Will Geert Wilders follow Trump and win power?

The Netherlands will hold its next general election on 15 March 2017. As Tjitske Akkerman outlines, there has been speculation that Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) could emerge as the largest party, with the PVV currently leading in opinion polls. Nevertheless, Wilders’ status as a political outsider is likely to make it extremely difficult for the PVV to […]

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    Macedonian election preview: Will the vote provide an answer to the country’s political crisis?

Macedonian election preview: Will the vote provide an answer to the country’s political crisis?

Macedonia has experienced a wave of unrest and demonstrations since the start of 2015. With elections due to be held on 11 December, Viktorija Mano writes that the vote will provide an opportunity for the people of Macedonia to voice their concerns at the ballot box, but that it remains questionable whether the contest will be enough to ease […]

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    Alexander Van der Bellen’s victory: A vote for stability in Austria

Alexander Van der Bellen’s victory: A vote for stability in Austria

Given that polling companies predicted a tight race again in Austria’s presidential election on 4 December, Alexander Van der Bellen’s relatively comfortable victory came as a surprise to many observers. Marcelo Jenny provides an early analysis of why Van der Bellen proved successful and assesses what the wider implications are for the country.

After the longest electoral campaign in the […]

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    Austria’s presidential election: Van der Bellen has won, but there is little reason for complacency

Austria’s presidential election: Van der Bellen has won, but there is little reason for complacency

On 4 December, Alexander van der Bellen won Austria’s presidential election, defeating Norbert Hofer of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria. Fabio Wolkenstein assesses the result, writing that although the populist right may be defeated for now, returning to ‘politics as usual’ would be a serious mistake for the country’s mainstream politicians.

Alexander van der Bellen won the re-run of […]

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    François Fillon’s nomination was the worst case scenario for Marine Le Pen

François Fillon’s nomination was the worst case scenario for Marine Le Pen

Should François Fillon face off against Marine Le Pen in the second round of the 2017 French presidential election, which candidate would have the edge? John Gaffney assesses the key policy differences between the two candidates, arguing that Fillon’s victory in the French centre-right’s primary was probably the worst possible outcome for Le Pen.

It has been the received view […]

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    Having won the French centre-right’s primary, does François Fillon have what it takes to beat Marine Le Pen?

Having won the French centre-right’s primary, does François Fillon have what it takes to beat Marine Le Pen?

François Fillon has been selected as the French centre-right’s candidate for the 2017 presidential election. But with the nomination secured, what challenges lie ahead? Marta Lorimer suggests that although Fillon’s programme proved popular with voters in the primary, he may need to broaden its appeal to have similar success in the presidential election itself.

On 27 November, the two-month race […]

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    Fillon vs Juppé: What policy differences are there between the French centre-right’s candidates?

Fillon vs Juppé: What policy differences are there between the French centre-right’s candidates?

In the first round of the primary to select the French centre-right’s candidate for the 2017 presidential election, François Fillon unexpectedly came out in first place, ahead of favourite Alain Juppé, and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was subsequently eliminated. Françoise Boucek assesses the policy differences between Juppé and Fillon ahead of the second round due to be held […]

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Explaining the pro-Corbyn surge in Labour’s membership

In the course of a year and a half, Labour Party membership has increased massively. The number of full members has moved from 190,000 in May 2015 to 515,000 in July 2016 – an influx of 325,000 new members. Monica Poletti, Tim Bale and Paul Webb explore how we can explain the pro-Corbyn surge in this growth.
As part of our ESRC-funded […]

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