April 12, 2023
A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in Europe, usually posted on Wednesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week.
Tall ships in Turku, Finland. Photo credit: WIkimedia/Andrei Niemimäki (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Upcoming Europe Elections
United Kingdom, Local Elections in Some Parts of England: May 4, 2023, followed by general elections due in 2024
The United Kingdom holds local elections in some parts of England in May, a test for new PM Rishi Sunak (the fourth prime minister to hold office since the 2019 general elections).
Dominic Penna and Ben Butcher, The Telegraph (April 13, 2023): Local elections 2023: Date and the results to watch out for
Nick Eardley, BBC (April 12, 2023): Local elections 2023: What to expect from May’s polls in England
Greece Parliamentary Elections: May 21, 2023
Greece has set parliamentary elections for May 21, 2023, a week after Turkey goes to the polls. The incumbent center-right government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his center-right New Democracy is facing a number of challenges, including a scandal involving domestic surveillance of political opponents and a train crash that killed dozens of people.
Nektaria Stamouli, Politico (April 11, 2023): Greek parliament votes to ban extreme-right party from elections
AP (April 11, 2023): Greece: Thaw with Turkey should continue after elections
Montenegro Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 11, 2023 (following presidential elections in March and April 2023)
In Montenegro’s recent presidential election, incumbent Milo Djukanovic, who has been president or PM for 33 years, lost to former economy minister Jakov Milatovic. Next up, the country holds snap parliamentary elections in June.
The last elections, the fifth since independence from Serbia in 2006, took place in August 2020. Although the pro-Western Democratic Party of Socialists, which has been in power for 30 years, won the most seats, they did not win a majority, and a coalition of opposition parties united to form a government, but that proved short-lived. Several other governments have risen and fallen, and the political situation remains unstable.
Devin Haas, Emerging Europe (April 6, 2023): In Montenegro, a changing of the guard
AP (April 6, 2023): Milatovic Confirmed Victorious In Landslide Montenegrin Election
Past Europe Elections
Bulgaria Snap Parliamentary Elections: April 2, 2023 (fifth election in two years)
Bulgaria held its fifth election in two years, but the results could continue the ongoing political stalemate.
Dimitar Bechev, Politico (April 13, 2023): Bulgaria: No light at the end of the tunnel
Tom Junes, Balkan Insight (April 11, 2023): Fifth Election Leaves Bulgaria’s Political Stalemate in Place
Finland General Elections: April 2, 2023
Finland held general elections in the context of its bid to join NATO after ending a long-standing policy of neutrality. Incumbent Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats placed third, behind the conservative National Coalition Party and the nationalist Finns Party, which placed first and second respectively. National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo will have the first shot at forming a government.
Tapio Raunio, London School of Economics (April 6, 2023): The pendulum swings to the right again in Finland
Estonia Parliamentary Elections: March 5, 2023
Estonia’s center-right, pro-west Reform Party came in first place in the March 5 elections, and has formed a coalition to keep the current prime minister, Kaja Kallas, in power.
Laura Kayali, Politico (April 9, 2023): Estonia’s Kaja Kallas secures government coalition agreement
France Elections: 2022
France held presidential and legislative elections in 2022. Emmanuel Macron was re-elected president, defeating right-wing Marine Le Pen by a significant margin. The next presidential election is not due until 2027.
Silvia Amaro, CNBC (April 12, 2023): Macron bypassed parliament and angered French citizens, setting up the far right for a bounce
Nicolas Camut, Politico (April 11, 2023): China hawks tell Macron: You don’t speak for Europe
John Keiger, The Spectator (April 8, 2023): Macron’s France is at a turning point
Henry Samuel, The Telegraph (April 6, 2023): Marine Le Pen ‘would beat Emmanuel Macron in re-run of French election’
Europe Elections Coming Up in 2023
Several European countries hold elections that determine who runs the government: Cyprus (fun fact: Cyprus is the EU’s only full presidential system), Monaco, Estonia, Andorra, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Poland, and Spain.
In addition, Montenegro and Slovakia appear on track to hold snap elections. And Bulgaria could hold its fourth general election in three years.
Moreover, a number of other countries in Europe could hold snap elections at short notice – it happens.
Austria, Salzburg State Elections: April 23, 2023
Kosovo Partial Local Elections: April 23, 2023
United Kingdom, Local Elections in Some Parts of England: May 4, 2023
Albania Local Elections: May 14, 2023
Germany, Bremen State Elections and Local Elections in Schleswig-Holstein: May 14, 2023
United Kingdom, Local Elections in Northern Ireland: May 18, 2023
Greece Parliamentary Elections: May 21, 2023
Spain Local Elections and Various Regional Elections: May 28, 2023
Latvia Indirect Presidential Election (by parliament): May 31, 2023
Greece Local Elections: May 2023 (due)
Montenegro Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 11, 2023
Luxembourg Local Elections: June 11, 2023
Spain, Regional Elections in Various Regions: June 25, 2023
Norway Local Elections: September 11, 2023
Slovakia Snap Parliamentary Elections: September 30, 2023 (proposed – requires parliament to change constitution to allow)
Germany, Hesse and Bavaria State Elections: October 8, 2023
Luxembourg General Elections: October 8, 2023
Switzerland Federal Parliamentary Elections: October 22, 2023
Bulgaria Local Elections: October 2023 (due)
Finland, Åland Elections: October 2023 (due)
Portugal, Regional Elections in Madeira: October 2023 (due)
Poland Parliamentary and Local Elections (due – earlier elections possible): November 11, 2023
Spain General Elections: December 10, 2023 (due – early elections possible)
Switzerland Indirect Presidential Election (by parliament): December 12, 2023
Andorra Local Elections: December 2023 (due)
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