It’s the voters turn to say what they think.
In France it looks as if an other incumbent who has presided over the Euro crisis, another supporter of Euro austerity, is about to lose office. Latest polls shows Mr Sarkozy trailing Mr Hollande by between 6% and 11%. If Mr Hollande wins, expect rapid moves to bring him on board for the austerity treaty of late last year, sweetened by some kind 0f Growth package to be agreed with Germany and the Commission. Do not expect a radical change in the EU’s approach to the Euro.
In Greece the two larger parties of past elections and the last Parliament saw much lower poll ratings in recent months. Pasok, the current ruling party, saw its rating slump from 38% in January 2011, to around 14% in the last permitted polls. New Democracy has had a smaller fall, from 30% to 23%. They do not allow polls close to the election. There is speculation that the two main parties, who both broadly support the loan and EU policy, will neither win a majority, and may not be able to form a coalition together to supervise the EU agreement. Expect uncertainty if as expected there is a Parliament with a variety of parties represented, as they seek to establish a new government and maybe form a new policy in relation to the EU loans and requirements.
In London it looks as if Boris will win the Mayoralty. It will be a triumph for him personally, running on his lower tax ticket with strong messages on law and order, and the EU. It will be consolation for the Conservatives on a night when they themselves have forecast losses of Councillors elsewhere. Labour is expected to pick up a good number of seats around the country. In 2008 when these Councils were last contested, the Conservatives polled 44%, the Lib Dems 25% and Labour 24%. Current pollls show Labour doing much better, at the expense of both Coalition parties.
However, Labour’s night could be spoiled if they lose London again, and if they also lose Glasgow to the SNP, where pundits say opinion is shifting against Labour, the incumbents. In 2008 nationwide the three main parties shared 93% of the vote.
Some think Greens, UKIP, English Democrats, Independents and others may poll better this time. At the moment they only have a handful of Councillors. The English Democrats are defending the position of one elected Mayor, in Doncaster. They achieved that breakthrough following conduct of a Labour Council which was criticised by Labour itself in a traditional Labour area. I do not expect the English Democrats and/or UKIP to win control of any Councils.