Zuzana Čaputová took office as Slovakia’s new President on 15 June. Her election victory in March, coupled with her party’s coalition topping the polls in the European elections in May, has been portrayed by many observers as a rejection of populist politics. Michael Rossi argues that this perception is misleading: voters have not delivered a blow against populism, or […]
The late-2000s economic and financial crisis is widely credited with facilitating the success of new political parties in Europe. Hugo Marcos-Marne, Carolina Plaza-Colodro and Tina Freyburg argue that voting for new parties cannot be understood as a mere economic response. Rather, populist attitudes can make citizens perceive of new parties as a real alternative to traditional forces in times […]
An unexpectedly decisive European Parliament election victory gave Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party a major boost ahead of parliamentary elections later this year, although doubts remain over whether it will retain its majority. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that simply uniting the main anti-government parties in an ideologically diverse electoral alliance was clearly not enough for the opposition, which still […]
Right-wing populist parties made only modest electoral gains in the EP elections, but their influence is now unprecedented
Martin Selmayr, the Secretary-General of the European Commission, has stated that the ‘populist wave’ some analysts predicted could appear in the 2019 European Parliament elections was ‘contained’. Mattia Zulianello argues that this greatly overlooks a substantial increase in the influence of right-wing populism over European politics.
In the period preceding the European elections, many journalists and analysts were anticipating that […]
Polling indicates that Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz is highly likely to win another election victory in the 2019 European Parliament elections. Endre Borbáth and Johannes Wachs write that the real question in the election is not so much whether Fidesz will win, but rather how the party’s relationship with the European People’s Party will develop following the vote.
Hungary’s relationship with […]
Sweden’s European Parliament election will be held on 26 May. Linda Berg and Jonathan Polk explain that as the elections will come less than a year after the country’s last general election, there may be an expectation they will be more ‘second order’ than usual. Yet, a trend towards higher turnout for EP elections in Sweden, increasingly favourable public […]
Brexit is not a major issue for people voting in the European Parliament elections in the rest of the EU. But Britain’s struggle to leave the EU may make staying in the bloc more attractive, says Sara Hagemann. Nonetheless, given the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure, Eurosceptic parties may be able to exploit hopes that a favourable exit deal […]
European Parliament elections are often regarded as being ‘second-order’ contests, but is this always the case? Outlining results from a new study in Denmark, Derek Beach explains that when parties run strong campaigns, EU issues are debated in a visible way, and there is a high level of media coverage, these second-order dynamics can be broken. As such, a […]
How not to fight an election – lessons for Europe’s centre-right from the 2019 Spanish general election
The Spanish general election held on 28 April saw the Spanish Socialists, led by Pedro Sánchez, win the largest share of the vote. Yet as Javier Astudillo Ruiz explains, developments on the right of the political spectrum captured many of the headlines. He writes that the results offered a lesson for European centre-right parties of how not to fight […]
Can the rise of Eurosceptic and extremist parties be blamed on the mobilisation of people who previously had abstained from the polls? An analysis of the 2009 and 2014 elections to the European Parliament suggests that support for Eurosceptic parties would be largely unaffected by changes in voter turnout, write Uwe Remer-Bollow, Patrick Bernhagen and Richard Rose. Extremist parties would even have lost […]
Ireland’s European elections will be held on 24 May, with local elections also being held on the same day. Rory Costello writes that despite the importance of the Brexit negotiations for Ireland, the European election campaign has so far been surprisingly low-key, reflecting the degree of stability that has returned to the country’s politics since the turbulence of the […]
The European Parliament elections in Croatia will be held on 26 May. As Tena Prelec explains, turnout is expected to be low, but the results will set the stage for presidential elections later this year and the country’s next parliamentary elections in 2020.
Croatia, the EU’s youngest member state, will take part in its third European Parliament election on 26 May. European […]
Voters across Europe are set to go to the polls for European Parliament elections on 23-26 May, but how much do citizens really know about how the EU works? Florian Stoeckel presents findings from a new survey of citizens in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. He writes that while the EU’s democratic deficit is a major debating […]
The European Parliament elections will be the first major test at the polls for Emmanuel Macron since being elected president in 2017. These elections come after six months of street protests that have derailed a reform programme the president is now anxious to get back on track. The elections are set to be a tightly fought battle for supremacy […]
Politics in Malta is characterised by deep polarisation between the country’s two main parties and high levels of voter turnout in elections. Wouter Veenendaal explains that these two features are directly tied to the country’s small size, as is the prevalence of clientelism and corruption. All of these elements were evident in the response to the murder of Maltese […]
The last European Parliament elections in 2014 took place during a period of significant tension over the Greek debt crisis. As Zoe Alipranti explains, this time around, the European Parliament elections in Greece are unlikely to feature such a high level of polarisation over Europe. Syriza has drifted away from its radical Euroscepticism, and although substantial dissatisfaction persists among […]
With Angela Merkel set to step down as German Chancellor, many members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had hoped for the party to shift away from centrist politics toward a more conservative platform. Luuk Molthof argues that this would not only be a strategic mistake for the CDU, but would also overlook the continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style […]
The emergence of the radical right party Vox was one of the main stories of the 2019 Spanish general election. Rubén Ruiz-Rufino presents an analysis of the link between support for Vox and the use of land in Spanish provinces. He highlights that citizens living in regions with high levels of agriculture appear more likely to express support for […]
The so called ‘centrist paradox’ refers to the idea, proposed by David Adler, that an observed decline in support for democracy across the world has occurred primarily among centrist voters, rather than those who lie at the extremes of the policy spectrum. Elli Palaiologou argues that this theory is based on a flawed assumption that all individuals located between […]