Letter from …

Tel Aviv

Letter from … Israel

Marcus Roberts  |  12 February 2015

Let’s face it. As important for Britain as election 2015 may be, so far it has not been the most interesting spectacle. #IlovetheNHS versus #longtermeconomicplan does not always surprise and delight. Israel’s election, on the other hand, is worlds apart. In this we have the suddenness of the snap poll as Binyamin Netanyahu’s patience with coalition …

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Adrian Teal

Letter from… Sydney

Bruce Hawker  |  5 November 2014

As backbench pressure mounts on David Cameron to either strike some sort of deal with Nigel Farage or co-opt his policies, it is time to ask: what is the prime minister’s campaign director, Lynton Crosby, planning? The answer might be found by looking at Crosby’s campaign history. In 2001 he was directing Australian prime minister …

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Manuel Valls

Letter from … Paris

Gérard Grunberg  |  2 October 2014

Ideological divisions within the French Socialists are nothing new for a party whose refounding moment in 1971 saw it seek to make a clear break with capitalism. But, today, these divisions have taken on new gravity, for three main reasons. The first is that, up until now, these divisions have been expressed above all when …

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Ewa Kopacz

Letter from … Wrocław

Michal Syska  |  17 September 2014

After the fall of communism, central and eastern European states faced the challenge of building pluralist party systems, requiring authoritarian communist parties to adapt. Most underwent a reorientation towards social democracy and in time became the strongest leftwing parties in their respective states – including in Poland. Here the postcommunist social democratic left, represented by …

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Isaac Herzog

Letter From … Tel Aviv

Hilik Bar  |  15 July 2014

The political commentator Yossi Verter recently suggested in the Haaretz newspaper that the chair of the Israeli Labor party, Isaac Herzog, ‘gives the impression of being a figure who could endanger Benjamin Netanyahu’s election to a fourth term as prime minister’. There are stirrings in the air to suggest just that possibility. One of the sad hallmarks of …

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Verity Firth. Balmain preselection. Primary.

Letter from … Sydney

Tamsin Lloyd  |  4 June 2014

Balmain is an inner-Sydney state constituency with 50,000 voters. Traditionally Labor heartland, it has changed under gentrification and its vote is now unusual in that it falls almost exactly into thirds – split between the Liberals, Labor and the Greens. It was one of the seats that fell at the 2011 New South Wales election, …

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Letter From … Hamburg

Marcel Lewandowsky  |  16 May 2014

Does the Federal Republic finally have its own rightwing populist party? While most other European countries have been facing successful challengers from the right – such as the Front National in France or the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs in Austria – Germany remained something of an Isle of the Blessed. In the 2013 federal election, a …

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Belgium Belgian flag

Letter from … Brussels

Christophe Sente  |  15 April 2014

One of the few centre-left parties in Europe in power, Belgium’s Socialist party, next month faces regional, national and European elections. Socialist party leader and prime minister Elio di Rupo has won credit for his contribution to the country’s political stabilisation in December 2011, concluding 500 days of negotiations towards constructing a federal political majority after the …

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Carme Chacon and Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba

Letter from … Madrid

Juan Rodríguez Teruel  |  3 April 2014

The Spanish Socialist party is stuck in a nasty paradox: its main opponent, the People’s party – in power nationally as well as in most of the regions and important cities – is performing very poorly after two years in power, dropping 25 per cent in the polls, contending with extremely weak ratings for prime …

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Matteo Renzi

Letter from … Florence

Duncan McDonnell  |  12 February 2014

At the end of a year which delivered much less than it had promised for the Italian centre-left, Matteo Renzi’s victory in the Partito Democratico leadership primaries in December provides several reasons for optimism. First of all, the simple fact that he is 39. Italy has long been a country for old men – its …

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