Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Armenia, Serbia, Greece, France

Four countries were holding national elections today (sorry, I have no views on Schleswig-Holstein or the Italian local councils).

In Armenia, President Sargsyan's party has got 44% of the votes, up 33% from the 2007 election, and will presumably stay in power with their coalition partners who got 29%, though I suppose they could take their pick of partners from the three parties which craped into the parliament with 5-6% of the vote. Shout out to my former colleague Levon Zourabian, who was running the campaign for former president Ter-Petrossian's party, which came third with just over 6%.

In Serbia exit polls show President Tadić a nose ahead of his right-wing challenger Tomislav Nikolić in the presidential election (29% to 28%), but his party several points shy of the top spot (23% to 27%). That will go to a second round in two weeks. Last time round, in 2008, Nikolić was ahead on the first round by 40% to 35%, but Tadić pulled off a major recovery and won by 50% to 47% in the second round. There are several minor parties in the mix who will try to play king-maker, though the expectation is that enough will line up with Tadić to keep him in power.

In Greece, the exit polls are pretty catastrophic for the two main parties, New Democracy and the left-wing PASOK. ND are down from 33% in 2009 (itself a historic low) to around 20%; PASOK have crashed from 44% to around 15%, and may have even come third behind the far-left Syriza who have trebled their vote from 15%. The Greek system is proportional with the quirk that the largest single party gets a bonus of 50 of the 300 total seats, but this will not be enough to give ND a majority. The Communists are on 9% or so, possibly behind the right-wing Independent Greeks who may be on 10%. The far-right Golden Dawn are next on 7% and the leftish DIMAR on 6%. LAOS, a right-wing party which was in the out-going coalition, is stuck with the Greens and Dora Bakoyannis's new liberal party on 3%. I imagine the most likely outcome is that the outgoing ND-PASOK coalition continues - they should just about have enough seats between them - though perhaps they will co-opt some new partners, and PASOK will demand what it can get. I am not a huge fan of the ND leader Samaras who will probably end up prime minister. (See results from Ekathimerini.)

And I'm watching the live coverage from France, where François Hollande has won the Presidential election, the first time the Socialists have won since 1988. It was tight enough at the end - 51.9% to 48.1% for the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy - but actually it's a better margin than either Mitterand or Giscard managed in their contests in 1974 and 1981. I saw Sarkozy's concession speech, notable for his efforts to calm a still-enthusiastic crowd, and am standing by for Hollande's victory speech (which I imagine will be characteristically solid but unexciting) as the crowds rejoice in the Place de la Bastille (where I have an obscure family connection). It does seem to me, though, that with a result this close there is every chance that the Socialists will fail to get a clear majority in the coming parliamentary elections, and that the National Front will enjoy their potential as kingmakers in swing constituencies. (NB that the Socialists promise to bring in proportional representation to avoid this sort of thing in future.)

Isn't it sensible to hold elections on Sundays, and to close the polls at 8 pm?

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