Other elections to get stuck into now the race for the White House is over

The battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gripped the world. We feverishly ate up each new development on the brutal campaign trail, obsessing over every detail that unfolded. When you’ve got Gary Johnson as a Google Alert you know that you’ve become a bit consumed by it all.

Now that Trump has been declared victorious and the race is over, we can’t help but feel a little bit … empty. How are we going to fill our days if not by dissecting the body language of each candidate and speculating who will come out on top?

If you don’t know where to channel all this election energy, we’ve got you covered, because here are all the most exciting upcoming political battles for you to keep an eye on.

Perhaps what is most interesting in a lot of these cases is how there are echoes of Trump: will more right-wing, controversial candidates enjoy the same level of success as the president-elect?

Austria – December 16 2016

Many of the problems in Austria sound all too familiar, with unemployment and immigration topping the bill. Their far-right candidate Norbert Hofer represents the Freedom Party, and lost the close election in May.

However, this was not the end of it all. Instead, the election has been dogged by scandal: the result was overturned due to postal ballot rules being broken, and a second presidential election has been called for December 2016.

Hofer is known for his nationalist rhetoric and carrying a gun with him on the campaign trail.

His opponent is the independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, who has the support of the Green party and was briefly president-elect before the Constitutional Court of Austria annulled that round of voting.

It is remarkably close between the two candidates, and December’s election could go either way. With the new political climate being shaped by Brexit and Trump, will Hofer be more successful second time round?

The Netherlands – March 15 2017

The Netherlands election has the potential to be very similar to that of the US. Why? Because of Geert Wilders, the famously outspoken leader of the right-wing Dutch Freedom Party.

He’s a Eurosceptic and anti-immigration – remind you of anyone? Dutch prosecutors are calling for him to be fined €5,000 for hate speech and discrimination after leading a chant at a 2014 rally calling for fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.

Wilders will go up against Mark Rutte, the incumbent prime minister from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, who is currently first in the polls.

However, Trump’s success has people worried, as it could lead the way for the rise of far-right political parties preaching their brand of nationalism.

France – April 23 2017

The Trump comparison in this election comes in the form of Marine Le Pen, leader of the country’s far-right anti-immigration National Front. She told the BBC in a recent interview that Trump “made possible what had previously been presented as impossible”. Perhaps Trump’s victory is paving the way for parties like the National Front to come into power?

The incumbent Francois Hollande is the country’s most unpopular president in history, and there seems to be no leftist candidate who will be able to win the public’s hearts. This leaves ripe ground for popular opinion to swing away from him and further towards the more conservative right.

Le Pen is thought likely to make it to the second round of voting, but centrist Alain Juppe from the Republicans party is widely tipped for victory.

The UK – May 2017

Okay, this is cheating a little bit because the UK is only set for local elections. But with the current political climate, they will definitely be interesting. Will Ukip continue rising from strength to strength, or will the public prove convinced by Theresa May’s Conservative leadership?

And anyway, we might see a general election sooner than May 2020 if there is yet more political turmoil and May gets a vote of no confidence. Hey, after the 2016 we’ve had, we’re not ruling anything out.

South Korea – December 20 2017

If you’ve managed to tear yourself away from any news that isn’t American, you might have seen the recent scandals shaking South Korea.

Current president Park Geun-hye is the first sitting president of the country to be questioned by prosecutors, as it is suspected that she let her long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil manipulate power from behind the scenes. Choi has been arrested on charges of fraud and abuse of power, and the turbulent events have sparked thousands of protesters taking to the streets in Seoul demanding Park’s resignation.

With the country in the grips of such turmoil, the December election is definitely one to keep an eye on. Park has 15 months left in her term, but if she steps down before its end, an election will have to be called within 60 days.


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