Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    German election campaign series: CDU/CSU – “For a Germany in which we live well and enjoy living”

German election campaign series: CDU/CSU – “For a Germany in which we live well and enjoy living”

German voters will go to the polls on 24 September for federal elections. But what do the country’s parties want? What are the possible coalitions? And who has the best campaign strategy to sell their proposals to the electorate? In the first of a series of articles analysing each of the main parties’ campaign pledges, Julian Göpffarth assesses the programme […]

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Is social democracy facing extinction in Europe?

One of the more surprising aspects of Labour’s strong performance in the UK’s general election is that it came at a time when social democratic parties have experienced falling support in other countries across Europe. Davide Vittori asks whether the exceptionally poor results of parties such as the French Socialist Party in recent elections herald the end of social democracy […]

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    How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

The migration crisis has recently re-surfaced as a major issue in Poland, as its right-wing government came under pressure from the European Commission to comply with the EU’s relocation scheme. Aleks Szczerbiak argues that most Poles are keen to avoid the problems they feel West European countries have experienced through admitting large numbers of migrants. With the opposition uncertain how to respond, […]

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    Prime Minister Edi Rama takes total control in Albania, but who can keep him in check?

Prime Minister Edi Rama takes total control in Albania, but who can keep him in check?

Albania held parliamentary elections on 25 June, with the ruling Socialist Party led by Edi Rama winning a majority of seats. Max Fras gives his take on the outcome, arguing that while Rama’s victory will be a positive development for Albania’s EU accession aspirations, his now dominant position could pose a risk to the country’s democratisation process.

After parliamentary elections in […]

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    The rise of Germany’s AfD: From ordoliberalism to new right nationalism and into the Bundestag?

The rise of Germany’s AfD: From ordoliberalism to new right nationalism and into the Bundestag?

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 are running a series profiling each of these parties. In the second article of the series, Julian Göpffarth traces the rise of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which narrowly missed […]

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    Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead

Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead

The Catalan government has announced plans to hold a referendum on independence from Spain on 1 October. However, the Spanish government has argued that such a referendum would be unconstitutional and it is still unclear whether the vote will take place. We asked four academics to give their views on whether the vote should be held, and what it would potentially mean […]

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    Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Now that Emmanuel Macron has won a large majority in the French parliament, there are few obstacles preventing him from implementing his ambitious reform agenda. But what exactly will Macron’s reforms involve and are they likely to be successful? Philip Rathgeb and Fabio Wolkenstein draw a parallel between Macron’s agenda and the ‘Third Way’ politics of Gerhard Schröder. But […]

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    Albania’s election: A country in need of a new political narrative as it aims to open EU accession talks

Albania’s election: A country in need of a new political narrative as it aims to open EU accession talks

Albania will hold a parliamentary election on 25 June. The election was originally scheduled for 18 June, but was pushed back seven days following a prolonged political crisis. Andi Hoxhaj previews the vote, highlighting that while the country has made substantial improvements with respect to socio-economic reforms, its lack of political stability has held back attempts to pursue closer […]

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    Macron won a huge majority, but he is supported by only one in five voters

Macron won a huge majority, but he is supported by only one in five voters

Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) completed their victory of the French legislative elections on 18 June, although the size of the majority was not as large as had been predicted following the first round of voting a week earlier. Nick Parsons highlights that although Macron can now claim legitimacy to push forward with a number of ambitious reforms, […]

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    Romania’s political crisis reflects severe tensions within the country’s Social Democratic Party

Romania’s political crisis reflects severe tensions within the country’s Social Democratic Party

Only six months after winning parliamentary elections, Romania’s Social Democratic Party is in turmoil following an attempt by the party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, to remove the current Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu. With the party set for a key parliamentary vote on whether to keep the Prime Minister in power, Mihnea Stoica suggests that both Grindeanu and Dragnea’s political futures are […]

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    Tactical Europeanisation: Why Serbia’s decision to appoint an openly gay PM is no great leap forward for LGBT rights

Tactical Europeanisation: Why Serbia’s decision to appoint an openly gay PM is no great leap forward for LGBT rights

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has nominated Ana Brnabić as the country’s next Prime Minister. Brnabić, whose appointment is now largely a formality, will be Serbia’s first female and openly gay Prime Minister. Koen Slootmaeckers argues that while many observers outside the country have portrayed the appointment as a step forward for LGBT rights in Serbia, the decision says far more […]

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    Italy’s municipal elections: The beginning of the end for the Five Star Movement?

Italy’s municipal elections: The beginning of the end for the Five Star Movement?

Despite leading many opinion polls at the national level, Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) suffered a disappointing result in the first round of municipal elections on 11 June. Fabio Bordignon argues that the result should not be translated into national support as the party faces several obstacles that prevent it from effectively fighting local elections. The most likely picture […]

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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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