On holiday

I’m on holiday until the middle of June – currently in Hong Kong. So blogging will be intermittent for a while, particularly from tomorrow when I go behind the Great Firewall of China for a couple of days.

As sadly seems to be typical when I go away, there’s a lot happening in the world, so there a quite a few interesting topics that I won’t get to cover properly for a while. Among them:

Elections to the European parliament. Voting is mostly tonight, although some countries have already voted, with results not to be released until tomorrow. As usual, the results will be of interest more for what they say about the politics of particular countries than for the parliament as a whole; the latter is likely to be similar in composition to the last one, but the centre-left is hoping for a modest comeback and there will be some increase in the far-right contingent. Politico’s coverage is excellent; you can also check out my preview of the last election and my report for Crikey on its results.

Results of the Indian election. I warned in my preview that Indian exit polling was unreliable; in fact it underestimated the performance of incumbent Narendra Modi, who has slightly increased his majority. His Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress Party both made gains at the expense of non-aligned parties.

Theresa May’s resignation. The British prime minister has finally thrown in the towel, although she will remain in office until the Conservative Party elects a new leader – certain to be a diehard Brexiter. That greatly increases the chance of an early election, since there is still no majority in the Commons for a hard Brexit. You can read my report from earlier this month.

Post-election violence in Indonesia. Supporters of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto have rioted against Indonesia’s election result, leading to several deaths and hundreds of injuries. Twenty years after democratisation, the country’s old order is still not ready to give in without a fight.

Belgian election. Belgium goes to the polls today to elect a new parliament, in conjunction with the European elections. The Greens are expected to make big gains, but otherwise the new government will probably not be very different from the last one, which fell apart last year. There’s also a presidential election in Lithuania, with two very similar candidates contesting the runoff.

Final results in Australia. Last week’s Australian election is wrapping up; Macquarie is the only lower house seat that still looks doubtful, and the most likely result there is a Liberal gain from the ALP. In that event, the government will finish with 78 seats, an overall majority of five and a lead of eleven over Labor. The Senate is also mostly decided, but the final seat in Queensland looks like being very close between Labor and the Greens.

Stay tuned for coverage of these and other topics in the coming weeks, but don’t expect too much too soon.



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