Events to look out for in March 2011: Elections

March will be a promising month, kicked off on the heels of a paradigm shifting election in Ireland. As can be read in this article from the FT citing Cian O’Callaghan, “The two largest parties in Ireland for the first time ever are now on either side of the political divide. In line with the European norm, our largest party is now Christian Democratic and our second-largest party is Social Democratic. Civil war politics is now finished.”

However, this is not the only European election this month. The next elections will be provincial and will take place in the Netherlands, in two days, on the 2nd of March. These, will be immediately followed by the Welsh referendum on devolved government the next day. These will be followed by two and a half weeks of calm until the 20th of March, at which point the first round of French cantonal elections will coincide with the Saxony-Anhalt state election for the Landtag (Parliament of the Lander), where again, Merkel may take a beating. Finally, the month will end with another super sunday, as the second round of French catonal elections will coincide with the Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate state elections to the Landtag (Parliament of the Lander) on the 27th. Finally, as I have mentioned before, a cloud hoovers over Portugal where its unpopular minority government is exposed to a fatal vote of confidence as soon as the opposition believes it appropriate (read: “politically convenient”). As such, March will be a month filled with plenty democratic preoccupations throughout Western Europe.

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