Elections, party politics and government across Europe

The 18 April 1948 Italian election: Seventy years on

Italy’s election on 4 March was far from the first Italian election campaign to have generated high levels of interest across the rest of Europe. Effie G. H. Pedaliu writes on the seventieth anniversary of one of Italy’s most significant and controversial elections: the 1948 Italian general election, which pitted the country’s Christian Democrats against the Popular Democratic Front […]

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    Déjà vu, Montenegrin style: Milo Đukanović wins Montenegro’s presidential election

Déjà vu, Montenegrin style: Milo Đukanović wins Montenegro’s presidential election

Milo Đukanović was elected President of Montenegro in elections on 15 April. As Jovana Marović explains, the result was far from a surprise given Đukanović and his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) have dominated Montenegro’s politics since the 1990s. And with the country’s opposition divided, it is hard to imagine that a strong and credible alternative to the DPS […]

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    Emmanuel Macron’s speech to the French bishops: A poisonous gift?

Emmanuel Macron’s speech to the French bishops: A poisonous gift?

On 9 April, French President Emmanuel Macron made a speech at the Bishops’ Conference of France, raising questions about the country’s traditional divide between Church and State. Arthur Ghins writes that the speech was an invitation to mutual trust rather than mutual suspicion, and that it should be seen as a welcome development as long as Catholics are not […]

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Finding a way out of the Catalan labyrinth

Almost four months after regional elections, Catalonia still has no government, and there is no end in sight in the stand-off over Catalan independence. Astrid Barrio and Bonnie N. Field write that there remain major international and judicial impediments to forming a new government, as well as notable splits in opinion within the pro-independence movement on the best strategy […]

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    Hungary’s election: Viktor Orbán tightens his grip over Hungarian politics

Hungary’s election: Viktor Orbán tightens his grip over Hungarian politics

Hungary’s election on 8 April saw the Fidesz-KDNP alliance led by prime minister Viktor Orbán secure another two-thirds majority in the country’s parliament. Eamonn Butler writes that if there is to be any radical shift in Hungarian politics, the focus will need to be on building a proper political alternative to Fidesz – a task that is near impossible in the current […]

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A Global Agenda for Labour

The share of workers belonging to unions has declined in many countries, and new patterns of employment, such as the rise of the so called ‘gig economy’, are making unorganised labour the norm in a large number of industries. For Pranab Bardhan, this weakening of labour organisations has been a factor in enabling the growth of inequality and the […]

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Are the Polish opposition’s prospects really so hopeless?

Poland’s liberal and centrist opposition has struggled to challenge the country’s Law and Justice government since losing the 2015 Polish election. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the opposition lacks convincing leadership and has failed to offer a credible and attractive alternative to Poles on the issues that they care most about. But the right-wing ruling party will go into local […]

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    Breaching the social contract: Why the success of Golden Dawn in Greece points to a crisis of democratic representation

Breaching the social contract: Why the success of Golden Dawn in Greece points to a crisis of democratic representation

Golden Dawn made large gains in the May 2012 Greek elections and has largely maintained this position in the three Greek elections held since, making it one of the most electorally successful far-right parties in Europe. But what lies behind this success? By comparing the political situation in Greece with that of Spain and Portugal, Daphne Halikiopoulou and Sofia Vasilopoulou demonstrate how support for the […]

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    Experiments in the laboratory of populism: The 2018 Hungarian election

Experiments in the laboratory of populism: The 2018 Hungarian election

Parliamentary elections will be held in Hungary on 8 April. Theresa Gessler and Johannes Wachs preview the vote, noting that although the governing Fidesz party has a sizeable polling lead, the contest promises to be closer than the last parliamentary election four years ago.

Hungary has emerged as a trendsetter for Europe’s populist right. As Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz […]

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Understanding Italy’s new ‘bipolar populism’

Italy’s parliament is reconvening today following the Italian election on 4 March, with a high degree of uncertainty still existing over the nature of the country’s next government. Maria Chiara Vinciguerra assesses how Lega and the Five Star Movement came to be the greatest winners from the election, and the long-term implications of the result for political stability in […]

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    After Italy’s vote: The case for a deal between the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement

After Italy’s vote: The case for a deal between the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement

Italy’s election produced a fragmented result and there has been intense speculation over the potential government that could emerge from negotiations. Andrea Lorenzo Capussela and Gianfranco Pasquino argue that in a tri-polar parliament dominated by populists of different descriptions, a cabinet centred on some form of understanding between the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement would be the […]

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    What local socio-economic conditions can tell us about the patterns of support in Italy’s election

What local socio-economic conditions can tell us about the patterns of support in Italy’s election

The 2018 Italian election had a notable geographic split in voting behaviour, with Lega having more support in the north of the country and the Five Star Movement proving more successful in the south. Monica Langella digs deeper into the regional variations underpinning the result by carrying out an analysis of the link between local socio-economic factors and support […]

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What Italy’s election result means for Europe

Italy’s election produced a hung parliament and it remains unclear what type of government will emerge from coalition negotiations. Iacopo Mugnai writes that regardless of the nature of the next Italian government, the Italian election result had broader significance for European politics. He argues that the recent French, German and Italian elections have confirmed the decline not only of […]

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    Understanding the role of immigration in the Italian election result

Understanding the role of immigration in the Italian election result

Much of the response to the 2018 Italian election result has focused on the role of immigration in boosting support for the Five Star Movement and Lega. James L. Newell writes that the immigration issue is unlikely to diminish in importance over the coming years. The country’s ageing population and a ‘brain drain’ from many Italian regions could make […]

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Italy’s election: The path to political radicalisation

The success of the Five Star Movement and Lega in Italy’s election was a shock for many observers across Europe. Roberto Orsi writes that the country is now on a path toward further political radicalisation, driven by the failures of previous Italian political leaders and discontent at wider processes of globalisation.

Rome skyline, Credit: Laura & Alessandro (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The result […]

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What happened in Italy on Sunday and what will happen now?

Italy’s election on 4 March saw major advances for the Five Star Movement and Lega, but the picture remains uncertain in terms of the formation of a government. James L. Newell assesses the reasons underpinning the result and what might happen next in the negotiations over the coming weeks.

The two great winners from the 2018 Italian election were […]

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    Italy’s election wasn’t just a populist takeover – it was also about the demise of the left

Italy’s election wasn’t just a populist takeover – it was also about the demise of the left

The Five Star Movement and Lega have been viewed as the key winners from the Italian general election on 4 March, but as Davide Vittori writes, the election was also about the decline of the Italian left. Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, which until recently had avoided the fate of other centre-left European parties, suffered a major drop in support, […]

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Let’s talk about circumcision

A proposal to ban circumcision for non-medical reasons in Iceland has generated a heated debate over whether banning the practice would amount to an attack on religious freedom. Kai Möller outlines his own opposition to male circumcision, and argues in favour of an open debate over the issue in which both sides are respected and there is an attempt […]

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    Italy’s election: Assessing where the parties stand on the key issues

Italy’s election: Assessing where the parties stand on the key issues

Italy goes to the polls on 4 March to elect a new government. Where do each of the main parties stand on the key issues? Eleonora Poli assesses the party platforms on the Italian economy, migration, and defence, noting that the fragmented political picture will make it exceptionally difficult for any long-term government to emerge that can rule the […]

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    The Italian election: Continuity, change, and Berlusconi’s rebirth

The Italian election: Continuity, change, and Berlusconi’s rebirth

Opinion polls predict that on 4 March Italians will award most seats to a centre-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, who seems set to return as the pivotal figure in the country’s politics, despite a recent conviction for tax fraud that means he is currently banned from holding public office. Andrea Capussela seeks to explain Berlusconi’s revival, linking his […]

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