As this year draws to a close I thought it'd be important to look ahead at what will and could happen next year.
Elections could happen at any time in Quebec and Ontario, due to both having minority governments. Each is big enough for it's own entire post, so I will save my commentary for a later date.
The first election of interest in the new year will be the South Australian election in March. The Liberals are expected to win here turfing a Labor government.
In May we have a series of good elections to follow. Starting on the 22nd with the UK local election; this will be a thermometer indicating the relative strength of the major parties.
This election will also serve as the kick-off to the EU wide elections to the European Parliament.
Those elections will end on the 25th of the month with elections in Belgium. Polls indicate not much in the way of change, except that all parties appear to be losing a bit to various others and independents. The main Flemish regional party (think of them like the Bloc Quebecois) however has slightly increased it's polls, and continue to lead all parties on a nationwide basis, currently at 17.6% to 12% for the Christian Democrats.
Sometime in the Spring, Hungary will hold it's elections. This could well happen at the same time as the above European elections. The main so-called "racist party" is either steady or down in the polls, depending on the poll, while the Greens have also lost steam. Two new Centre-left parties also look set to grab a few seats. The main competition however is between the former party of the Communist dictatorship, and the current government, which has been accused by some of being a dictatorship itself. Current polls have the government leading by 10 points, but, missing out on a majority of votes. Since Hungary uses a parallel system, both FPTP and Proportional Representation, it is still possible for the government to win a majority on a minority of vote, and they currently are at the "magic" 40% level that is seen as needed for a majority under FPTP systems with multiple parties.
Not much of a break after the European elections before we end up in an election in Tasmania. Despite that state's use of proportional representation, all signs point towards a majority government for the Liberals, who will, if they keep up with the polls, easily take a majority of that state's 25 seats. Depending on very minor vote changes, the results will either look like one of the two images below.
You may think I'm doing something similar to what I did with the UK map, show you the one on the left to grab your attention then say "naw, the real math says this", but this time, it's the opposite. Using the ratio method, the real math tells me that despite taking upwards of 24% of the vote, Labor would tie the Greens, at 16% of the vote. This is possible because each seat is divided into 5, therefore taking between 25%-15% of the vote will still result in just a single seat. The image on the right is the ratio method with Labor adjusted up 2%; this provides an end result that is proportional to the expected vote totals.
Sweden kicks off the Autumn voting season with an election in September. All recent polls spell doom for the government. Of the 4 parties currently in the conservative government, most polls show only 3 of them making the threshold, with some showing only 2. Compare this to the socialist alliance, where each of the parties is expected to gain seats. Perhaps the biggest gain will be to the so-called "racist" Swedish Democrats, who sit outside of either alliance. The socialists are expected to win by a large enough margin that they will have a majority.
October 27th will be a busy day.
First up is an election in New Brunswick. The NDP here could win a few seats; though I again question the tactical and strategic choices of that party's leader, due to his choice to run in Fredericton, the weakest "urban" NDP area outside the Miramichi. Regardless, the party is polling extremely well, looking set to take 24% of the vote, effectively tied with the governing PC Party. Polls say the Liberals should take a majority, however, and given voting traditions in the Atlantic I believe them. I would not be surprised if the NDP ended up with a half dozen seats; but I'd also not be surprised if they ended up with 0.
The same day will see Toronto vote. This will be an effective "Referendum on Rob Ford", a topic I think we've discussed already, so I will move on.
In November we see another "referendum", this time a real one, in Scotland, where that country will be voting on Independence from the UK. It may seem confusing for a country to be voting on becoming a country, but then again, the UK is a confusing place to begin with. Regardless, polls show that the results will be a "no".
Lastly, at the end of November, is an election in Victoria; that is the Australian state not the Canadian city. Polls have given Labor a slight edge here, but it is too close to call for certain this far out.
There are, of course, other elections this coming year, including one in Lebanon I may cover. If you are interested you can see the full list yourself by going here. I'll try to keep you updated on elections that I feel you may find interesting.