How rising populism could shake up European elections

Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian, 28.12.2018

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It is the biggest electoral contest in Europe, but frequently leaves many voters indifferent. Turnout in European parliament elections has been declining ever since the first votes in 1979.

Could this time be different? The next European elections will take place in May 2019, less than two months after Brexit day, and never before have the elections been labelled so decisive by so many European leaders. [...]

European elections – in reality a series of national elections – test the temperature of domestic politics. "Many use the European elections to show a yellow or a red card to the government," says Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre. He thinks gains for anti-EU parties would "create pressures at the national level" meaning that the EU's divided 27 governments are even less likely to agree on the fraught issues of eurozone reform or migration. [...]

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