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Tag Archives: elections

Riding the populist wave: Europe’s mainstream right in crisis

Mainstream right parties play a crucial role in the politics of all West European countries, yet they receive a fraction of the academic attention dedicated to parties on the left or far right. Drawing on a new book, Tim Bale and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser explain how Europe’s mainstream right has become squeezed by a ‘silent revolution’ through which postmaterialist, liberal and cosmopolitan values have gained prominence, and a ‘silent counter-revolution’ driven by populist and...

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Rumble in the capital: What to expect from the Berlin state election

Alongside Germany’s federal election on 26 September, two state elections will also be held on the same day in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Marco Bitschnau previews the vote in Berlin, where the German Social Democrats now have a lead in the polls following a late surge in support. It is mid-September and all eyes in Germany are glued to the upcoming federal election. And for good reason, one must say: in contrast to previous years, the 2021 campaign season has been a...

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German federal election: Are we witnessing the revival of the SPD?

The German Social Democrats have experienced a rapid rise in support and now hold a lead in the opinion polls ahead of Germany’s federal election on 26 September. Uğur Tekiner explains how the party has managed to successfully build momentum behind their chancellor candidate, Olaf Scholz. With just a few weeks of campaigning to go until Germany’s federal election, the race between the main German parties is heating up. The federal election will be the first since 1949 in which the...

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How the Italian radical right has framed immigration during the pandemic

Recent opinion polls suggest that two radical right parties – the League and the Brothers of Italy – could top the vote in the next Italian general election. Giovanni de Ghantuz Cubbe assesses how both parties have framed the issue of immigration during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Italy, the issue of immigration is most often raised by two parties in particular: Matteo Salvini’s League and the right-wing Brothers of Italy party. This is unsurprising as the strong politicisation of...

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For much of the British electorate, Europe is now the issue that determines party allegiance

Are voters motivated by policy preferences or partisan identities? Bryan Schonfeld and Sam Winter-Levy present findings from a study of how British voters responded to the Conservative Party’s sudden change in Brexit policy following the 2016 EU referendum. They find evidence that voters are sufficiently policy motivated to shift their allegiances if they disagree with their party on important issues. Ever since the 2016 referendum, British voters have been leaving their old parties...

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Understanding the populism of the Five Star Movement – and its continuity with the past

Italy’s Five Star Movement has now been in government for over three years, but the party still defies easy classification. Drawing on a new study, Antonio Benasaglio Berlucchi examines how the party is defined by its electoral base. The emergence of the Five Star Movement (M5S) as Italy’s largest party in the 2018 Italian general election was seen by many as the de facto end of the country’s ‘Second Republic’ – a period of alternation in power between the centre-left and centre-right...

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West European politics is undergoing a ‘worldview evolution’ structured by authoritarianism

Populist radical right parties are often assumed to draw a greater share of their support from older voters. Drawing on a new book, Erik R. Tillman explains that this assumption may be incorrect. He argues that West European politics is undergoing a ‘worldview evolution’ in which orientations toward the structure of society increasingly shape party support. In this new context, younger voters who score highly on measures of authoritarianism appear more likely to back the populist...

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What the 2021 election manifestos tell us about the views of German parties on the EU

Angela Merkel will step down as German Chancellor following the country’s federal elections on 26 September. But what direction might Germany’s EU policy take in the post-Merkel era? Minna Ålander, Julina Mintel and Dominik Rehbaum assess what lessons can be learned from the main party manifestos. The German political landscape has changed substantially over the past decade. While the once dominant catch-all parties have gradually lost voters and members, the formation of the...

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Can the class cleavage still explain support for left-wing parties?

The electoral strength of left-wing parties has traditionally been linked to the size and nature of a country’s working class and the existence of strong organisations such as trade unions. But are these ‘class cleavage’ factors still important in today’s politics? Drawing on a new study, Vincenzo Emanuele finds that while the characteristics of the working class are still a significant predictor of votes for the left, the importance of the organisational dimension has largely...

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Sweden’s political crisis: How we got here and what’s next

Sweden is facing a political crisis after the country’s Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, lost a vote of no confidence on 21 June. Magnus Blomgren writes that with few obvious solutions, a new election is the most probable outcome.   Historically, Sweden is known for its stable parliamentary system – even though the country’s constitutional design indicates otherwise. Sweden’s ‘negative parliamentarism’ and numerous minority governments might appear at first glance to be a recipe for...

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