Foreign Elections

Specter of Coup Haunts Venezuela

“Venezuela appears to be sliding toward a more volatile stage of unrest after anti-government forces looted weapons during a weekend raid on a military base and frustration over what some see as an ineffectual opposition leadership boils over,” Reuters reports.

“Last week’s installation of an all-powerful new legislative body run by leftist President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialist Party loyalists, despite massive protests and a global outcry, has left many Venezuelans feeling there are no more democratic options to oppose the government.”

Netanyahu Says He Won’t Be Toppled

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has rejected criminal suspicions leveled against him in recent days, amid speculation that his tenure will end soon,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

“Netanyahu lashed out – in private conversations with Knesset members – at the press, the opposition and members of his own party, whom he accused of conspiring to unseat him.”

Said Netanyahu: “They are trying to get me and attempting to topple the Right. This is not new. They have been trying for many years. I don’t see us going to elections now.”

He added: “I have nothing to fear. I don’t think I have a problem.”

Macron Proposes Overhaul of French Parliament

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the country was ready to embark on a “radically new path” after presidential and parliamentary elections swept him and his new centrist party into power, AFP reports.

“The 39-year-old French leader, elected in May, laid out a series of proposals including a new law that will reduce the number of lawmakers in both houses of parliament by one third. He also proposed that the electoral system be changed to allow more proportional representation ‘so that all tendencies are fairly represented (in parliament).'”

Abe Plunged Into Crisis After Tokyo Election Loss

“Scandal-hit Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces one of his biggest tests since coming to power in late 2012, after his ruling party lost to an upstart outfit in an election for Tokyo’s assembly,” Bloomberg reports.

“The Liberal Democratic Party lost more than half its seats to end up with 23, the lowest number ever in the capital, in a vote that could be a harbinger for national elections. Voter turnout was up about eight percentage points on the previous poll four years ago.”

Macron’s Party Set for Parliamentary Landslide in France

“The centrist party of French President Emmanuel Macron looks set to win a landslide victory in the second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday,” the BBC reports.

“A party needs 289 seats to control the 577-seat National Assembly. LREM is predicted to win more than 400. Mr Macron won the presidential election last month and he is now hoping to secure a solid majority to help push through his planned reforms for the country.”

“He formed his party just over a year ago, and half of its candidates have little or no political experience.”

Washington Post: “Macron rose from relative obscurity to score a landslide victory in the presidential election in May, becoming the first winning candidate in decades to come from neither the traditional center-right nor center-left parties. But now, something even more momentous is happening: Macron is leading a total overhaul of an ossified political system.”

Macron Set for Huge Parliamentary Majority

Reuters: “President Emmanuel Macron’s fledgling party is set to trounce France’s traditional main parties in a parliamentary election and secure a huge majority to push through his pro-business reforms, projections after the first round showed on Sunday.The vote delivered a further crushing blow to the Socialist and conservative parties that had alternated in power for decades until Macron’s election in May blew apart the left-right divide.”

How Theresa May Lost It

Politico: “Halfway through Britain’s seven-week snap election campaign, some in Theresa May’s team came to the conclusion that they had a problem — the candidate. At a gathering of senior staff in Conservative campaign headquarters in central London, one of May’s top operatives told the sitting prime minister that she risked crashing and burning like Sarah Palin did in 2008… To the operative, May was overly controlling and her inexperience would tell during a short, intense campaign. May listened with good grace but changed nothing.”

Young Voters Strike Back In Britain

“As Britain took stock on Friday of the stunning results of a snap election that wiped out the parliamentary majority of Prime Minister Theresa May and her governing Conservative Party, one narrative bubbled up to the surface: The youth had spoken,” the New York Times reports.

“The election results were fueled partly by a higher turnout rate among young British voters who had long been angry at the results of the referendum last year to leave the European Union, known as Brexit. That vote, overwhelmingly supported by older Britons, was seen by many younger people as a threat to their jobs, their ability to study abroad and their desire to travel freely across the bloc’s borders.”

“In other words, the vote by young Britons on Thursday had a whiff of payback.”

U.K. Turnout Models Ignored Surge In Youth Vote

Nate Silver: “The 2017 election therefore seems to be a case of an overcorrection. The pollsters apparently did a good enough job of weighting the raw samples properly, which got them fairly close to the right outcome. Then on top of that, some of them gave extra weight to the Conservatives through their turnout models. As a result, they discounted signs of a youth-driven Labour turnout surge. As was the case in the U.S. with Bernie Sanders, younger voters turned out in a big way for Labour’s left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn.”

“It’s one thing for a pollster to get an outcome wrong because voters fail to turn out when they say they will. But if voters tell you they’re going to turn out, you ignore them, and they show up to vote anyway, you really don’t have much of a defense.”

May Reaches Deal to Form New U.K. Government

After losing her majority in yesterday’s elections, British Prime Minister Theresa May “has struck a deal with the Democratic Unionists that will allow her to form a government,” the Guardian reports.

“It follows extensive talks with the DUP late into the night. Party figures say they have been driven on by their dismay at the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister.”

The AP notes May’s “plan of calling an early election in the hopes of getting a bigger majority than she enjoyed during the previous parliament backfired in Thursday’s general election.”

Bloomberg: What happens now?

Polls Open In U.K. Election

“Polling stations across Britain opened for national elections amid heightened security Thursday as one senior police official said the country was living through ‘unprecedented times’ following a series of terror attacks in recent weeks,” the AP reports.

“Authorities asked people to be alert and report any concerns to police as voters choose 650 lawmakers for the House of Commons. Atrocities near Parliament, a Manchester concert venue and London Bridge have left Britain on high alert, with the official threat level at severe, the second-highest rating, indicating an attack is ‘highly likely.'”

The final Ipsos MORI poll: Conservative 44%, Labour 36%, Liberal Democrats 7%, UKIP 4%, and Greens 2%.

British Election Campaign Resumes

Reuters: “After the third militant attack in Britain in less than three months, Theresa May said Thursday’s election would go ahead but said Britain had been far too tolerant of extremism.”

“While British pollsters all predict May will win the most seats in Thursday’s election, they have given an array of different numbers for how big her win will be, ranging from a landslide victory to a much more slender win without a majority. Some polls indicate the election could be close, possibly throwing Britain into political deadlock just days before formal Brexit talks with the European Union are due to begin on June 19.”

Conservative Party Collapses in Britain

A new YouGov poll in Britain finds that Labour is closing the gap with Tories and now stands just three points behind Theresa May’s Conservative party, 42% to 39%.

“The poll points to a remarkable change in fortunes for the Tories, which had a 24-point lead over Labour when the snap general election was called in April.”

A new ICM Unlimited/The Guardian poll also shows the Tories just three points ahead, 33% to 30%.

Said one Tory candidate to HuffPost UK: “It’s a completely different experience to what it was four weeks ago. It’s made my job a hell of a lot harder. It’s a completely different experience. I’m pretty fucked off.”