Posts in "Elections" Category

An uncertain government, but a government at last

spain-parliament

This week marked the one-year anniversary of the provisional Spanish Government. On the 27th of October 2015, the Official Journal announced the dissolution of parliament and called for elections to be held on the 20th December. After two elections, it seems that by the end of the week, Spain will have at least a new Prime Minister, thanks to the abstention by the Socialist Party (PSOE).

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What’s next for Spain?

spanish-flag

The major Spanish parties can no longer use the regional elections in Galicia and the Basque country as an excuse for not forming a national government. The spotlight has been put on the weakened socialist party, as the citizens in both ‘communities’ have grown tired of seeing the parties failing to come to an agreement throughout the country.

On Sunday, 25 regional elections took place in two ‘communities’ characterised by very different political situations.

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Berlin 2016 – A state election with national impact

reichstag

Latest update from the German state election includes: SPD Mayor remains in office, Grand coalition lost voters’ trust, AfD attracted non voters, FDP back in Parliament, pirates out.

Government parties suffer
The incumbent mayor Michael Müller and his SPD won the state elections with 21.6% of the votes. Müller succeeded the popular Klaus Wowereit in office in 2014 and governed in a grand coalition since. Both parties, the social democratic SPD and the conservative CDU, achieved their worst result in history in a Berlin state election. The Left Party and the Greens gained almost equal number of votes (15.6% and 15.2%), the liberal FDP re-enters the Parliament.

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Brussels Brexit Briefing – 2nd August

Westminster

As we enter the summer break in the UK and across Europe, Brexit fervour at last seems to be dying down.

The big news in the last week has been the appointment, by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, of former French Foreign Minister and EU Commissioner, Michel Barnier, to lead the EU’s Brexit negotiations. Mr Barnier, who led the Commission’s overhaul of EU banking laws in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown, is already being seen as a provocative appointment by many in the UK media, given France’s firm stance on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

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Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is put to the test

Bundeskanzler Werner Faymann in Rom

Local elections in Italy

The rise of the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement (M5S), founded by comedian Beppe Grillo in 2009, has now become a challenge to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s power.

In June, citizens voted to elect mayors and town councillors of several cities across Italy, including Rome, Turin, Milan and Bologna.
These are the main results of the elections:
• M5S, which has largely been seen as a protest movement in the past years, has now become Italy’s second largest party
• M5S won in 19 out of 20 cities, where its candidates stood for mayor
• There was a general loss of consensus for Matteo Renzi’s centre-left party (Democratic Party, PD), although it held onto power in Milan, Italy’s financial capital and in the northern city of Bologna, by beating the centre-right candidates

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Spaniards give centre-right a second chance

Spain flag

Spain’s conservative People’s Party (PP) strengthened its position in parliamentary elections on 26 June, the second such poll in just over six months.

Arise in support for the centre-right had been predicted, but the increase, of 14 seats, was unexpected. The PP was the only party to win more MPs.

But the PP did not win an absolute majority, and needs an agreement with other parties to govern. However, the results give the PP more legitimacy, and a path to power – possibly backed by the centrist Citizens party (C’s) and with the acquiescence of the Socialists (PSOE).

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Super Sunday shakes the centre in Germany

Leaders' Meeting on refugee flows along the Western Balkans route

The results of the ‘Super Sunday’ regional elections in Baden-Wurttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt have shaken up German politics.

In all three states, the parties of the incumbent minister-presidents came out on top in what were personality-driven elections. But each will be forced to build new coalitions to form a government.

The Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured), and her centre-left Social Democrat coalition partners, suffered substantial losses.

With the next federal elections only 18 months away, the results will have significant consequences for German and European politics.

Download our briefing (PDF)

Words  Christian Thams (Burson-Marsteller Berlin)
Photo  (c) European Union, 2016

Crunch time in Spain

Spain flag

Never in Spain’s political history has the formation of government been followed with such interest and anxiety.

Spaniards continue to monitor statements from political leaders for signs of a decisive moment. None has arrived.

But the results of the election on 20 December are already transforming Spain’s politics and institutions.

When the new parliament meets next week, the old certainties of left- and right-wing ideology will be gone. Four parties will each have 40 or more MPs, a situation that has created a wide range of possibilities – none of which are easy to achieve – when it comes to forming a government.

So who will govern Spain?

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Spain braces itself for unpredictable four-way electoral battle

Rajoy

Spain’s rollercoaster parliament is coming to an end.

It began with increased taxes and cuts to public service budgets. Popular protests and the formation of new political groups shook the landscape.

And yet the centre-right People’s Party (PP), led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (pictured), has delivered signs of economic improvement. The markets are calm; the streets peaceful. Spain continues its long struggle towards recovery.

And now the rollercoaster is set to begin again.

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France’s regional polls launch race for the presidency

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

First came the shock, then the relief for France’s political establishment.

The country’s regional elections – usually a mid-term test of opinion, electing bodies with no legislative power – became the latest manifestation of the growth of the authoritarian and populist National Front (FN).

Despite stunning results in the first round, support for the party was not sufficient to allow it to win control of any of France’s regions.

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