Teddy here, starting a weekly Saturday update of politics from around the world!
First, we should look at where the next elections are. Tomorrow, there are elections in little Monaco; but I'd like to focus on some larger nations that are more crucial to world affairs. Italy is the next "big" country coming up. Italy goes to the polls on the 25th.
Support levels have moved around slightly but have been somewhat static since the campaign began.
The Radicals are a left-wing party to the left of the Socialists. The various parties that make up the Radicals decided to merge into a single party for this election. They currently sit at 4.63% (last 10 polls averaged) but need 5% to make the threshold. The Moderates are lead by Mario Monti the current Prime Minister of Italy. Monti is running for a seat in the Senate. The Moderates are an alliance of a number of existing parties including one that backs Monti himself. The Populists are a new party not part of any alliance, that has grown up over the past few years. They are opposed to politics as they have been done. The Conservatives are the group lead by Berlusconi, though officially he will not take power if they do win. The Socialists are an alliance that has won elections in the past, and has lead all the polls in Italy for over a year.
Italy has a unique election system. The winning party gets 344 seats. The remaining parties all share 281 seats. This ensures the Government has 55% of the seats. This means the Socialists are on course for a Majority government. The Senate, however gives 55% of the seats per province, thus, it is quite possible that nobody will reach a majority in the Senate. This is where Monti is hoping for a win, as he hopes that he can hold the balance of power and thus force himself into any governing coalition.
NOTE: a kind reader from Italy has pointed out a few factual errors in the comments section.
Other areas have some stories of interest.
A large poll was recently taken in Northern Ireland. Polls in NI are very rare, and you can go an entire election cycle of 4 years without seeing a single one. This poll asked how voters would vote on the issue of if NI should be a part of the United Kingdom or part of Ireland. There are two "Nationalist" parties in NI, Sinn Fien and the SDLP. SF is the more 'radical' party, and the overwhelming landslide majority of it's members said they'd vote to join Ireland. The SDLP however was the real shocker in the poll, as a very narrow majority of it's members said they'd vote to remain within the United Kingdom. What if anything comes of this remains to be seen.