Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    Romania’s local elections: Why has the ‘old guard’ done so well?

Romania’s local elections: Why has the ‘old guard’ done so well?

The fall of Victor Ponta’s PSD government in November 2015 was supposed to usher in a new era of politics for Romania. However, local elections held on 5 June resulted in victories for the PSD across the country, including in Bucharest, with several politicians who are either under investigation, or even (in one case) currently in jail, being elected. […]

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  • Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande at the presidential inauguration on 15 May 2012 at Élysée Palace. Credits: Cyclotron / Wikimedia
    Permalink Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande at the presidential inauguration on 15 May 2012 at Élysée Palace. Credits: Cyclotron / WikimediaGallery

    The 2017 French presidential election: The race has started… and so far it has more candidates than voters

The 2017 French presidential election: The race has started… and so far it has more candidates than voters

On 23 April and 7 May 2017, French citizens will vote for President François Hollande’s successor. While in most cases the names of the official candidates are yet to be disclosed, several leading political figures have already announced their intention to run in the election. Marta Lorimer discusses the possible candidates and what recent polling says about their chances.

On […]

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    Montenegro’s decade of independence: Tracing a state back to its origins

Montenegro’s decade of independence: Tracing a state back to its origins

May 2016 marked ten years since Montenegro achieved its independence from Serbia, the final act in the demise of Yugoslavia. Petar Marković traces the country’s short history and analyses the celebrations from a political theory perspective. His analysis highlights that, in spite of projecting an image of multi-ethnic cohesion and political stability, problems affecting Montenegro’s economy and society remain […]

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Matteo Renzi’s election prospects: a work in progress

Matteo Renzi has been Italian Prime Minister since 2014, but has faced a number of challenges in retaining his support ahead of the next general election. James L. Newell writes that much will be revealed by the results of local elections in June, where Renzi’s party faces significant challenges, and beyond that by the usual problems of managing the […]

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    History shows that Greece is able to implement meaningful reform

History shows that Greece is able to implement meaningful reform

Rest assured that the creditors’ preferred tune of ‘Grexit’ will be playing again this July, writes Matthias Morys. Reviewing Greece’s economic history, he argues that past experience shows that Greece is able to implement meaningful reform, but it also indicates that external pressure is crucial in unlocking the reform potential. 

Greece is heading for another showdown with its creditors. With […]

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    Poland’s rock star-politician: What happened to Paweł Kukiz?

Poland’s rock star-politician: What happened to Paweł Kukiz?

A year ago rock star and social activist Paweł Kukiz caused a sensation when he finished a surprise third in the first round of the Polish presidential election. He held on to enough support for his new Kukiz ‘15 grouping to secure representation in the legislature after the October parliamentary election. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that Kukiz ‘15 has retained […]

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    The Italian troublemaker: How Renzi’s European strategy is putting him at odds with Angela Merkel

The Italian troublemaker: How Renzi’s European strategy is putting him at odds with Angela Merkel

Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has voiced criticism of EU decision-making in recent months in relation to both the migration crisis and fiscal policy rules. Lorenzo Piccoli writes that although Renzi’s European policy is partly rooted in seeing off the challenge of Eurosceptic parties within Italy, he is also intent on playing a more assertive role at the European […]

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    What turnout can we expect in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

What turnout can we expect in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

Voters in the UK will go to the polls on Thursday, with some of the most high profile contests involving the elections of devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Kenneth Bunker looks at what we might expect turnout to be in the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh elections.

With the devolved legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales all […]

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    A long goodbye to the grand coalition: Austria’s presidential election

A long goodbye to the grand coalition: Austria’s presidential election

Following the first round of Austria’s presidential election, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Green-affiliated independent candidate Alexander van der Bellen will contest the second round of voting on 22 May. However for the first time in the country’s post-war history, the next President will not be backed by either of Austria’s two traditionally dominant parties, […]

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    What the UK could learn from Ireland’s EU referendum campaigns

What the UK could learn from Ireland’s EU referendum campaigns

Ireland has held several referendums on EU issues, with both the Treaty of Nice and the Treaty of Lisbon being rejected by the electorate, before subsequently being approved in second referendums. Gavin Barrett outlines five lessons the British government could learn from the Irish experience, including the feasibility of the UK holding its own second referendum should the country […]

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    Serbian parliamentary election 2016: A gamble that almost backfired

Serbian parliamentary election 2016: A gamble that almost backfired

On 24 April, Serbs were called to the polls only two years after the previous parliamentary contest, half-way through the government’s mandate. Reports in the international press focused on the elections being a test for the ruling party’s ‘pro-European’ positions against the advancement of the nationalist far right. Tena Prelec argues that this is only part of the picture, and […]

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    Italy’s off shore oil referendum: Another lost opportunity

Italy’s off shore oil referendum: Another lost opportunity

On 17 April, a referendum was held in Italy on rules governing off shore drilling licenses. As Biagio Carrano and Irene Monasterolo write, this relatively niche issue nevertheless produced a full-blown political contest, involving heavy infighting inside the government coalition. They argue that these events illustrate the Italian government is still more concerned with protecting the interests of powerful […]

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    Austria’s presidential election: The next president will likely be an active one

Austria’s presidential election: The next president will likely be an active one

Austria will hold the first round of its presidential election on 24 April, with a run off being held if necessary on 22 May. Ahead of the vote, Marcelo Jenny previews the contest, noting that the lack of a clear frontrunner has livened up the political debate considerably as compared to previous contests. 

Based on campaign promises and poll predictions, […]

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    Albert Rivera is emerging as the clear winner from Spain’s political deadlock

Albert Rivera is emerging as the clear winner from Spain’s political deadlock

Spain’s anti-austerity party, Podemos, has announced that it will hold a grassroots referendum among its supporters to determine whether to back a proposed coalition led by the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). Should this last attempt to reach an agreement fail, it is expected that new elections will be held in the summer. Benito Cao writes on the […]

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    Upcoming elections in the UK: Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

Upcoming elections in the UK: Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

For the first time since the 1960’s, the entire of the UK will vote in an election other than a referendum or General Election, with Scotland, London, Wales, and Northern Ireland going to the polls. Here, Kenneth Bunker, from the Democratic Dashboard team, examines recent results in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and looks ahead to the elections in May.

On […]

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    EU referendum: Leave’s nationalism takes different forms on the right and on the left

EU referendum: Leave’s nationalism takes different forms on the right and on the left

Nationalism is a key element of the Leave campaigns, says Michael Lloyd. But it takes very different forms on the right and left – and indeed in England and Scotland. On the right, nationalism draws on a nostalgic view of the Commonwealth. On the left, it subscribes to an English exceptionalism that believes a federal Europe is incompatible with the struggle […]

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You can’t get it all: Italy’s public finances

The Italian government will present its public finance projections by 10 April. Lorenzo Codogno writes that fiscal policy is expected to be strongly expansionary in 2016, but courtesy of flexibility clauses, the government will likely avoid entering into the EU’s so called ‘Excessive Deficit Procedure’ in May. He argues however that a fiscal problem looms large in 2017, while […]

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    The Panama Papers could bring down Iceland’s government and bring the Pirate Party to power

The Panama Papers could bring down Iceland’s government and bring the Pirate Party to power

The leak of several million confidential documents created by the corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca – the so called ‘Panama Papers’ – has particular implications for Iceland, with the country’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Minister of the Interior all linked to the affair. Benjamin Leruth writes that the government is now under severe pressure to call early elections […]

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Poland: A change so good, it makes you want to cry

Poland’s Law and Justice government, which came to power in October last year, has carried out a number of reforms which have attracted international attention, notably judicial and media reforms which have been the subject of an inquiry by the European Commission. Magdalena Mikulak argues that the government’s vision of change has left little room for alternative views and […]

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    Three key choices facing Spain as the country continues to search for its next government

Three key choices facing Spain as the country continues to search for its next government

Spain held elections on 20 December last year, but negotiations between the major parties have so far failed to produce a coalition. Oriol Costa and Laia Mestres identify three tough choices facing the country’s political actors, noting that while new elections may end up being the easiest path out of the deadlock, there is no guarantee the next result […]

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