Upheaval in Europe?

There are some important elections taking place and coming up in Europe that, particularly post-Brexit and post-Trump, are worth keeping a close eye on to see how other populist movements and politicians fare.

Most immediately, Austria is in the process of electing a new president, again. Austria already had this exact election a few months ago, but the results were contested and so another election is taking place now. One of the candidates is very far to the right, which could have consequences beyond Austria if he is elected.

Italy is not having an election, but a constitutional referendum, which has become a more general referendum on the incumbent in practice, despite the relatively strong support for the actual changes in question.

In France, various rounds of party elections are making the eventual front-runners more clear on all sides, with the biggest question still being who could beat Marine Le Pen in the general election. It certainly won’t be the sitting president, who has decided he will not seek re-election. There are of course many issues at play in this election, including the rare organised participation of France’s Catholic population.

The Netherlands, also, is not having an election, but rather a referendum on one of the EU’s Ukraine policies, that in effect could end up being a referendum on participation in the EU itself, again, with potentially significant consequences.

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