Elections, party politics and government across Europe

Greek elections: The view from across Europe

Greece held legislative elections on 7 July. The preliminary results indicated New Democracy had won a majority of seats, with Syriza in second place. Stuart Brown presents an overview of analysis and reactions from across Europe.

“As if the four years of Syriza had not existed, traditional politics has imposed itself again on Athens”

El País describes the result as the “end of […]

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    Book Review: The Populist Radical Left in Europe edited by Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis

Book Review: The Populist Radical Left in Europe edited by Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis

In The Populist Radical Left in Europe, editors Giorgios Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis bring together contributors to explore populist radical left movements across Europe, discussing examples including Greece’s Syriza, Spain’s Podemos, Slovenia’s Left Party, France’s La France Insoumise and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, among others. This is an engaging and engaged work of political science, writes Anton Jäger, that provides a necessary moment of reflection on […]

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    Lessons from Ciudadanos: How liberal parties struggle to deal with the radical-right

Lessons from Ciudadanos: How liberal parties struggle to deal with the radical-right

Ciudadanos received the third highest vote share in the Spanish general election in April, however several key figures recently resigned from the party, citing leader Albert Rivera’s decision to pivot toward the right of the political spectrum and engage with the radical-right party Vox. Ben Margulies writes that the affair highlights some of the difficulties new liberal parties like […]

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    Could it happen there again? The authoritarian roots of cultural threat, welfare chauvinism and party choice in Germany

Could it happen there again? The authoritarian roots of cultural threat, welfare chauvinism and party choice in Germany

Is there a link between authoritarian personality traits and support for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany? Drawing on recent survey evidence, Markus M. L. Crepaz demonstrates that those classified as ‘authoritarian’ are 30% more likely to vote for the party than non-authoritarians even when controlling for other factors. However, these findings do not suggest that authoritarianism is […]

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    Book Review: Politics Rules: Power, Globalization and Development by Adam Sneyd

Book Review: Politics Rules: Power, Globalization and Development by Adam Sneyd

In Politics Rules: Power, Globalization and Development, Adam Sneyd confronts the neglect of politics in government and mainstream development circles, stressing the importance of careful, ‘disinterested’ political analysis. While suggesting that there may be no easy way out of the trap of ideology, Gavin Fridell welcomes the book as a thought-provoking and engaging guide that plots conceptual and practical ways to go beyond narrow […]

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    Outlook for Italy: Fiscal policy and instability in the government remain key sources of risk

Outlook for Italy: Fiscal policy and instability in the government remain key sources of risk

Lega finished a sizeable distance ahead of their coalition partners, the Five Star Movement, in the recent European elections. Dennis Shen writes that although Lega’s leader, Matteo Salvini, has stated he has no intention of pushing for snap elections in the short-term, the prospect of instability in the current coalition, as well as a deteriorating fiscal picture, will be […]

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Greek election preview: The end of the road for Syriza?

Greece will hold a snap election on 7 July. Zoe Alipranti writes that it is widely expected New Democracy will finish in first place ahead of Syriza, as occurred at the recent European elections. She explains that although greater political stability might be entrenched in the short-term, the next government will be tasked with trying to revive the Greek […]

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    The modest performance of radical left parties in the European elections reflected their limited transnational cooperation

The modest performance of radical left parties in the European elections reflected their limited transnational cooperation

The GUE/NGL group saw its share of seats in the European Parliament decline at the 2019 European elections. Vladimir Bortun argues that a general lack of transnational cooperation between radical left parties was one of the key factors underpinning their disappointing performance.

The 2019 European elections represented a significant electoral step back for radical left parties. Their group in the […]

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    What the Commission’s 2019 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans

What the Commission’s 2019 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans

At the end of May, the European Commission published its annual reports on the EU candidate countries and potential candidates in the Western Balkans. Blerim Vela explains what the reports illustrated about the functioning of national parliaments in the region. The Assembly of North Macedonia appeared to be the best-functioning, while the Assembly of Serbia had deteriorated most.

On 29 […]

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    Slovakia’s ‘progressive turn’ is a rejection of corruption – not a stand against populism

Slovakia’s ‘progressive turn’ is a rejection of corruption – not a stand against populism

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 […]

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    Who votes for new parties? Economic voting, political ideology and populist attitudes

Who votes for new parties? Economic voting, political ideology and populist attitudes

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 […]

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    What did the European elections tell us about Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

What did the European elections tell us about Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

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 […]

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    The Czech Republic’s European elections: Out with the old, in with the new?

The Czech Republic’s European elections: Out with the old, in with the new?

The European elections in the Czech Republic saw a number of new MEPs elected, with the Pirate Party and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy among the main winners. Monika Brusenbauch Meislova assesses what the outcome of the vote means for Czech politics.

The Czech Republic is known for having a low level of public trust in the EU […]

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    Right-wing populist parties made only modest electoral gains in the EP elections, but their influence is now unprecedented

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 […]

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European Parliament elections preview: Hungary

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 […]

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European Parliament elections preview: Sweden

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 […]

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How will Brexit affect the EP elections in the EU27?

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 […]

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The 2019 EP elections – just another protest vote?

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 […]

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    How not to fight an election – lessons for Europe’s centre-right from the 2019 Spanish general election

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 […]

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    Elections to the European Parliament: What if more people voted?

Elections to the European Parliament: What if more people voted?

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 […]

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