November 25, 2020
Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in Europe, usually posted on Wednesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.
The Belém Tower in Lisbon, the departure port for mariners during the Age of Exploration. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Rehman Abubakr (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Upcoming Europe Elections
Romania Parliamentary Elections: December 6, 2020
Romania has scheduled parliamentary elections for December 6, 2020, following local elections that took place on September 27, 2020. Since communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fell in 1989, Romania has become a free democracy, but politics are volatile – the office of the prime minister has changed hands eight times since 2014. Corruption and weak rule of law remain serious problems. More
Simona Fodor, Romania Insider (November 24, 2020): No special pensions: Romanian MPs announce resignations two weeks before the parliamentary elections
Andra Timu and Irina Vilcu, Bloomberg (November 19, 2020): Romanian PM Says He’ll Keep Populists at Bay, Despite Virus
The Economist (November 24, 2020): “Collective” follows tenacious investigative journalists in Romania
Portugal Presidential Election: January 24, 2021 and Local Elections: September or October 2021
Portugal will hold a presidential election on January 24, 2021. After that, local elections are due in September or October. The two main parties, center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) and leftist Socialist Party (PS), regularly alternate in power. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa from PSD won the 2016 presidential election. He is running for re-election, and due to his popularity and strong polling numbers, likely to win. More
The Portugal News (November 24, 2020): Elections for Presidency scheduled for January
Netherlands Parliamentary Elections: March 17, 2021
Netherlands is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on March 17, 2020. The current government is a coalition of four liberal and center-right parties. The biggest is VVD, whose leader, Mark Rutte, is heading his third government as prime minister. While Rutte has been under fire from other political parties, including members of his own coalition, he enjoys high approval ratings from Dutch voters, including for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. More
Al Jazeera (November 24, 2020): Leader Thierry Baudet quits far-right party over Nazi controversy
France Regional Elections: March 2021 (due – delay possible due to COVID-19)
France is due to hold regional elections in March 2021, but the prime minister has proposed a three-month delay due to COVID-19. Voters will elect regional councils throughout France and France’s overseas departments. These come ahead of the 2022 presidential election, in which far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen has already announced her candidacy.
Jannick Alimi, Le Parisien (November 25, 2020 – in French): Regional elections: it is already war between the Greens and the Socialists
François Valentin, The National Interest (November 22, 2020): How Emmanuel Macron Could Face a 2022 Populist Upset
Mira Kamdar, The Atlantic (November 24, 2020): France Is About to Become Less Free
Finland Municipal Elections: April 18, 2021
Finland is due to hold municipal elections on April 18, 2021. Following the 2019 parliamentary elections, a left-leaning coalition came into government nationally.
Helsinki Times (Noveber 25, 2020): Latest poll by Helsingin Sanomat finds virtually no swings in voter support
Cyprus Parliamentary Elections: May 23, 2021 (due)
Cyprus is due to hold parliamentary elections on May 23, 2021. Following independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, but tensions between the Greek and Turkish-speaking communities ramped up, with the UN consequently establishing a buffer zone in 1964 between the Greek-speaking south and T1urkish-speaking north. In 1974, the country became divided in practice following a coup and a Turkish military intervention. Although the Republic of Cyprus is the only internationally-recognized government on the island, in reality, it only controls the south. The self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which only Turkey recognizes, controls the north.
George Psylides, Cyprus Mail (November 25, 2020): MPs’ clean-up measures ready before May elections
United Kingdom Local Elections (including Mayor of London and Scottish and Welsh parliaments): May 6, 2021
The United Kingdom (UK) will hold local elections on May 6, 2021. Voters will elect various local councils, plus the mayor of London, plus Scottish and Welsh parliaments. The Scottish elections are particularly high-stakes because if the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) wins a majority, they will pressure the government in Westminster to allow another referendum on independence. More
Nicholas Cecil, London Evening Standard (November 24, 2020): Shaun Bailey narrows poll gap on Sadiq Khan in London mayoral race… but still has mountain to climb
SW Londoner (November 20, 2020): Who are the candidates for the 2021 London Mayoral election?
Alarming amount of chatter about Scottish independence now, the prospect of a second referendum is starting to feel all but depressingly inevitable. A broken promise from the SNP (“once in a generation”) but so much has changed now. #PMQs
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) November 18, 2020
Germany Parliamentary Elections: September 26, 2021
Germany is due to hold several sets of elections next year, culminating in the federal parliamentary elections that will determine who succeeds Angela Merkel as chancellor. Additionally, five states hold elections. The year 2021 is thus a “Superwahljahr” (Super election year) in Germany. More
DW (November 25, 2020): German government sets date for next election: September 26, 2021
Hungary Parliamentary Elections: By Spring 2022 (or earlier)
Hungary is due to hold parliamentary elections by Spring 2022, although snap elections are possible. Prime Minster Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has become increasingly authoritarian, to the concern of many both in Hungary and in the international community.
Fanni Kaszás, Hungary Today (November 25, 2020): Newest Proposal to Election Law Can Force Opposition to One Party List
AP (November 24, 2020): Hungary: Planned Election Law Change Could Hamper Opposition
Emma Anderson, Politico (November 24, 2020): George Clooney in spat with Hungary’s Viktor Orbán
Past Europe Elections
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mostar Local Elections: December 20, 2020
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) held local elections on November 15, 2020. Mostar, a city divided between Bosniaks and Croats in Croat-dominated Herzegovina, will hold municipal elections for the first time ever since 2008. In fact, Mostar has had no city council for the last seven years, which has been a disaster for citizens because basic municipal services aren’t being provided. The elections are taking place in the context of gridlock and ethno-nationalism. More
Valentin Inzko, the high representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, has hailed the results of the local elections that saw the opposition win the Balkan country's two major cities earlier this month, dealing a blow to long-ruling nationalists.https://t.co/dtYQYdeoyo
— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@RFERL) November 26, 2020
Srecko Latal, Balkan Insight (November 23, 2020): Next Sarajevo Mayor Raises Hopes of Bosnia’s Civic Rebirth
Dino Jahic, Voice of America (November 22, 2020): Dayton Accords 25 Years Later: Bosnia Got Blueprint for Peace but not for Its Future
The Economist (November 21, 2020): After a quarter of a century of peace, Bosnia remains wretched
Lithuania Parliamentary Elections: October 11, 2020 (Second round October 25, 2020)
Lithuania held parliamentary elections in October 2020. A center-right coalition led by Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS–LKD) defeated the incumbent populist Farmers and Greens. Following the elections, a coalition of four parties – all led by women – formed a government, with Ingrida Šimonytė as the country’s first female prime minister.
Liudas Dapkus, AP (November 24, 2020): Lithuania’s parliament OKs new PM, then closes due to virus
Shivangi Thapa, She The People (November 19, 2020): Lithuania All Set To Make One Of The World’s Most Gender-Balanced Cabinet
World Politics Review (November 19 2020): Lithuania’s Conservatives Return to Power by Ditching Austerity
Montenegro Parliamentary Elections: August 30, 2020
Montenegro held parliamentary elections on August 30, 2020, the fifth since independence in 2006. 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. Zdravko Krivokapic from For the Future of Montenegro will be the next prime minister. The political base of the new coalition is generally pro-Moscow.
Mladen Dragojlovic, Independent Balkan News Agency (November 23, 2020): Montenegro: New Government to be presented by Friday
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