Italy’s right-wing frontrunners see room to revamp national Recovery Plan

Italy’s right-wing frontrunners see room to revamp national Recovery Plan

The Brothers of Italy party, in pole position for next month's elections, sees room to revamp parts of an European Union-funded investment programme to help the economy tackle an energy crisis and soaring costs, a party official said on Monday. Prime Minister Mario Draghi's resignation has paved the way to early elections on Sept. 25, with surveys suggesting the conservative alliance led by far-right Brothers of Italy is well placed to win a parliamentary majority.  Italy is entitled to receive more than 200 billion euros ($205.40 billion) in cheap loans and grants from the fund set up to help the bloc's 27 countries recover from…
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Russia poses threat to Italian election warns head of Democratic Party

Russia poses threat to Italian election warns head of Democratic Party

Moscow could try to skew the forthcoming Italian national election by spreading fake news on social media to favour pro-Russian parties, the head of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) said on Monday. Enrico Letta, who is trailing a rightist alliance in the polls, said he wanted Italian intelligence agencies and the European Union's disinformation unit to monitor the two-month election campaign and prevent outside interference. "I am launching this red alarm for the good of the country, but also for the good of Europe," Letta told Reuters from his Rome office where he is rushing to prepare for the snap vote…
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SCENARIOS-What awaits Macron? Ruling majority, hung parliament, or cohabitation

SCENARIOS-What awaits Macron? Ruling majority, hung parliament, or cohabitation

PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron may find himself without a ruling majority during his second term and deprived of the ability to push through his economic reform agenda with a free hand after a new left-wing alliance did well in the first round of voting.  The second round will be held on Sunday. Here are three possible outcomes. ABSOLUTE MAJORITY Scared off by increasingly strident warnings against Jean-Luc Melenchon's radical left platform, voters elect more than 289 Macron-supported candidates to parliament. He will have free rein to drive through his manifesto, which includes a contested pension reform. Even…
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UPDATED: Macron fights to save his parliamentary majority and reform agenda

UPDATED: Macron fights to save his parliamentary majority and reform agenda

PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron could lose his outright majority in France's parliament and the ability to push through his economic reform agenda with a free hand after a strong showing by a new left-wing alliance in the first round of voting. Macron's centrist alliance and the NUPES coalition led by the hardleft veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon each won 26% of the vote amid record abstentions on Sunday, though it is the June 19 second round alone that will determine the division of seats. Elabe projected Macron's Ensemble! alliance would win between 260-295 National Assembly seats - with the mark…
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Referendum flop for Italy’s Salvini; right eyes local gains

Referendum flop for Italy’s Salvini; right eyes local gains

ROME, June 13 (Reuters) - Italian voters snubbed a weekend referendum on changes to the justice system, dealing a blow to Matteo Salvini, the leader of the rightist League party, who had championed the plebiscite. Results released early Monday showed just 20.9% of people cast a ballot, the lowest ever for a referendum in Italy and well below the 50% threshold needed for the result to be valid. The five questions related to a reform of Italy's notoriously inefficient judiciary, but critics said the issues were too technical for many voters. Leader of Italian party Lega, Matteo Salvini. EPA-EFE/Riccardo Antimiani "We have lost. It…
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Local elections and referenda being held in Italy

Local elections and referenda being held in Italy

Italy on Sunday is holding an important round of local elections. The councils of 978 towns and cities, including 26 provincial capitals, will be elected this weekend. Of these, 16 are currently run by centre-right administrations, four by the centre left, two by independent 'civic lists' and four are in the hands of commissioners appointed by central government. The elections are, among other things, an important gauge of voter sentiment ahead of next year's general election.Furthermore, citizens throughout the nation will be called on to vote on five referenda regarding justice issues. After recent tension between the rivals for the…
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Facing tough vote, France’s Macron dangles anti-inflation sweeteners

Facing tough vote, France’s Macron dangles anti-inflation sweeteners

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron is banking on a new package of inflation-busting sweeteners for voters to secure a majority in legislative elections this month being fought over households' squeezed purchasing power. With rampant inflation driving up the cost of living and eroding wages, Macron is struggling to build on his re-election success, finding himself on the defensive against a left-wing alliance led by hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon. A man walks past legislative election posters in Paris, France. The legislative elections will be held on 12 and 19 June 2022 to elect the 577 members for the National…
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Macron’s bloc expected to win French parliament vote

Macron’s bloc expected to win French parliament vote

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - Forty-four percent of French people polled expect President Emmanuel Macron's centrist bloc to win this month's parliamentary election, according to an Ifop-Fiducial poll for Sud Radio, albeit amid a high abstention rate. The poll, which surveyed 913 people from June 7-8, added 54% said they would abstain. Twenty-five percent expected the left-wing "Nupes" bloc to win the parliamentary election, while 22% expected the far-right Rassemblement National party to win. The election takes place on June 12 and June 19. Macron was re-elected as French president in April but he also needs a majority in the…
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Poll shows Brazil’s Lula maintains strong lead in presidential race

Poll shows Brazil’s Lula maintains strong lead in presidential race

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) - Brazil's leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is holding a strong lead against incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro for the October election, a Genial/Quaest poll Lula has 46% voter support in a first-round vote, a 16-percentage-point lead over his far-right rival, with Bolsonaro two points down from his best showing in April. In an expected run-off between them, Lula has widened his advantage to 22 percentage points and would win the election by 54% versus 32% for Bolsonaro, the Genial/Quaest poll said. Other recent polls show Lula maintaining a solid lead in the first round and winning the election…
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Poll shows French President Macron’s bloc ahead in parliamentary election

Poll shows French President Macron’s bloc ahead in parliamentary election

PARIS, June 8 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist political camp is seen as slightly ahead of its main left-wing rival in the first round of this month's parliamentary elections, an Ipsos/Cevipof poll for Le Monde newspaper showed. Macron's 'Ensemble' bloc is seen winning 28% of votes in the first round, versus 27.5% for the left-wing 'Nupes' bloc. Voting takes place on June 12 and June 19. It added that Macron's centrist camp was expected to win between 275 and 315 seats in the French parliament, where an absolute majority requires 289 seats. Macron needs a majority to help implement pro-business…
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Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats gain support ahead of September election

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats gain support ahead of September election

STOCKHOLM, June 2 (Reuters) - Support for Sweden's ruling Social Democrats has risen to a third of voters as the public seeks stability amid the war in Ukraine, an official poll showed on Thursday, but a fragmented parliament may make it hard to form a government after a national election in September. The Social Democrats, in power since 2014, polled 33.3% in the poll conducted by the Statistics Office (SCB), up from 29.1% in a previous poll last November. It was also up from the party's vote share of 28.3% at the last national election in 2018. While the government received some…
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Denmark to vote on overturning 30 years of EU defence reticence

Denmark to vote on overturning 30 years of EU defence reticence

Danish voters will on Wednesday decide whether to join the European Union's defence policy, potentially becoming the final hold-out in the bloc to sign up as Russia's invasion of Ukraine forces countries to radically reassess their security. Denmark is the only member of the 27 nation bloc not in the Common Security and Defence Policy, having secured exemptions from it and the euro currency in a 1993 referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which laid the groundwork for the modern EU. If the notoriously EU-critical Danes vote to abolish the opt-out, as polls suggest will be the case, it would mark…
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Colombia leftist Petro goes to second round with businessman Hernandez

Colombia leftist Petro goes to second round with businessman Hernandez

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian leftist Gustavo Petro came out on top in the first round of the Andean country's presidential election on Sunday and will face a surprise contender - businessman Rodolfo Hernandez - in a second round on June 19. Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement who has vowed profound economic and social change, had 40.3% of votes, national registry office tallies showed, with 99.9% of ballot boxes counted. Hernandez, the septuagenarian former mayor of Bucaramanga, who has promised to fight corruption even though he is under investigation for graft, won 28.2%. Surveys ahead of the first round…
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Colombia election on Sunday sees leftist Petro in pole position

Colombia election on Sunday sees leftist Petro in pole position

BOGOTA, May 27 (Reuters) - Colombians will choose among a leftist promising change, a center-right candidate seen as the natural successor to the incumbent leader, and an eccentric business magnate in a presidential vote on Sunday. Gustavo Petro, the leftist, has consistently led opinion polls, with around 40% of voting intentions. If no one secures more than 50% a run-off will take place on June 19, which surveys suggest Petro would win. Petro, a former mayor of capital Bogota, has promised to address profound income inequality and provide free public university education, as well opposing expansion of the oil and gas industry. …
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Drugmakers propose swift pandemic response benefiting poorer countries

Drugmakers propose swift pandemic response benefiting poorer countries

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Global drugmakers are lobbying for wealthy nations to fund a supply mechanism that would secure vaccines for low-income countries without delay in case of a new pandemic, but said the proposal was contingent on free cross-border trade. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) said in a statement on Monday that global pandemic vaccine distribution needs to be put on a new footing because the world’s poorest countries were forced to wait for shots during the current pandemic. "The industry is willing to reserve an allocation of real-time production for distribution to priority populations in lower income…
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Poll: Macron’s group slightly ahead of left-wing rival in French June parliament vote

Poll: Macron’s group slightly ahead of left-wing rival in French June parliament vote

PARIS, May 23 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron's "Renaissance" party and its allies are seen as winning next month's vote in the country's lower house of parliament, according to a poll in Le Monde paper by Ipsos/Sopra Steria/Cevipof. The poll, based on voting intentions for the first round of the June election, showed the Macron group in the lead with 28% of votes, slightly ahead of 27% given for the "Nupes" left-wing bloc featuring the hard-left La France Insoumise party and its allies from the Green Party and the Socialist Party. The vote takes place in two rounds, on June 12…
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UPDATED: Australia ousts conservatives after nine years, PM Morrison concede

UPDATED: Australia ousts conservatives after nine years, PM Morrison concede

SYDNEY, May 21 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat in an election on Saturday and the opposition Labor Party was set to end almost a decade of conservative rule, possibly with the support of independents who campaigned for greener policies. Partial results showed that while Labor had made small gains, Morrison's Liberal-National coalition had been punished by voters in Western Australia and affluent urban seats in particular. The Greens and a group of so-called "teal independents", who campaigned on policies of integrity, gender equality and tackling climate change, put on a strong showing, tapping voter anger over inaction on…
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FACTBOX-Australian democracy at a glance

FACTBOX-Australian democracy at a glance

SYDNEY, May 20 (Reuters) - Australians will vote in a general election on Saturday. The two main groups are the ruling conservative Liberal-National coalition and the opposition Labor Party, and there is a competitive cohort of independent and minor party candidates. Here are some facts on how elections work in Australia: * Australia does not have a set date for national elections, but the maximum term for the House of Representatives is three years. The election is called by the prime minister. The previous election was on May 18, 2019. * There are two houses of parliament, with the government formed by…
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Cost of living in focus as Australia’s election race hits final stretch

Cost of living in focus as Australia’s election race hits final stretch

SYDNEY, May 20 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison criss-crossed the country in a final day of campaigning, insisting he could still win Saturday's election despite polls pointing to a change of government or hung parliament. Morrison and Labor Opposition leader Anthony Albanese targeted marginal seats across four states in the final 48 hours of the six-week campaign as data showing wages growth being outstripped by inflation and record low unemployment provided fodder for competing claims on who would best manage the economy. An Ipsos opinion poll published by the Australian Financial Review showed Labor leading Morrison's ruling Liberal-National coalition 53%…
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Australian election on Saturday: What you need to know

Australian election on Saturday: What you need to know

Australians vote on Saturday in a national election, with the conservative Liberal-National coalition seeking a fourth straight term and the Labor Party seeking a return to power after nine years in opposition. Opinion polls have shown Labor leading, but the gap has narrowed in the final weeks of campaigning. THE PARLIAMENT The House of Representatives has 151 seats, 76 of which are needed for a majority to form the government. In the last parliament, the conservative coalition had 76 seats and Labor 68, with seven minor party and independent members. All seats are up for election. There are 76 senate…
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Australian election polls show race tightening in final campaign stretch

Australian election polls show race tightening in final campaign stretch

SYDNEY, May 18 (Reuters) - Australia's national election has become too close to call, polls out on Wednesday showed, as the ruling conservative coalition narrowed the gap with the main opposition Labor Party, three days before the country decides on a new government. Centre-left Labor's lead over the Liberal-National coalition has shrunk to 51-49% on a two-party preferred basis from 54-46% two weeks ago, a poll done for the Sydney Morning Herald showed. A Guardian poll indicated Labor's lead had dipped to 48-46% from 49%-45% two weeks ago. Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the pre-polling trends as "really encouraging", while Labor acknowledged…
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Germany’s CDU on track to win North Rhine-Westphalia vote

Germany’s CDU on track to win North Rhine-Westphalia vote

BERLIN, (Reuters) - Germany's conservative CDU party was on track to win a regional election in North Rhine-Westphalia, but the Green party could emerge as "kingmaker" in a potential coalition with Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats and the FDP. An exit poll by infratest dimap, published by broadcaster ARD, had the CDU taking 35.7% of votes, while the Social Democrats were on 27.0%. The SPD will try to form a coalition with the Greens and the pro-business FDP - a so-called "traffic-light coalition", Kevin Kuehnert, the SPD's secretary general, said. The Greens took 18.1% of the vote based on the exit poll,…
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Chancellor Scholz’s SPD party faces test in key state vote

Chancellor Scholz’s SPD party faces test in key state vote

BERLIN, May 15 (Reuters) - An election in Germany's most populous state on Sunday poses an early test for Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats five months after he took office with a domestic policy focus that was quickly eclipsed by the war in Ukraine. "North Rhine-Westphalia always sends an important signal for federal politics," said Nico Siegel, the executive director of pollster Infratest dimap. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) dominated North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) -- home to more than a fifth of Germany's population and to the rust-belt Ruhr region -- for most of the past half century. But the party lost to…
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Factbox: Who is running in Lebanon’s election?

Factbox: Who is running in Lebanon’s election?

Lebanon holds a parliamentary election on May 15, with candidates vying for 128 seats that are divided among 11 religious groups according to a sectarian power-sharing system. The vote takes place against a backdrop of devastating economic collapse and a boycott by leading Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri. While reform-minded independents hope to dislodge ruling factions, established parties are still expected to maintain a grip. Here are the main players: HEZBOLLAH Heavily armed, Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah is Lebanon's most powerful faction. Founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah is deemed a terrorist organisation by Western nations including the United…
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Polls open in Lebanese parliamentary election

Polls open in Lebanese parliamentary election

BEIRUT, May 15 (Reuters) - Polls opened on Sunday in Lebanon's first parliamentary election since the country's economic collapse. Voting was due to begin from 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) across 15 electoral districts, with candidates vying for 128 seats divided among 11 religious groups according to a sectarian power-sharing system. The last vote in 2018 saw the heavily armed, Iran-backed Shi'ite movement Hezbollah and its allies win 71 of the 128 seats. (Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by William Mallard)
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Analysis: Hero to hindrance: Australia PM Morrison hurts party’s election hopes

Analysis: Hero to hindrance: Australia PM Morrison hurts party’s election hopes

SYDNEY(Reuters) - Three years ago, Scott Morrison's ebullient personality as the little known and newly installed leader of Australia's Liberal Party was a big factor in its unexpected election victory. Now Prime Minister Morrison's personality is a liability, with public attacks from members of his own party and polls showing his government on track to lose to the Labor Party in a general election next week. Confronting his unpopularity on Friday, he acknowledged being a "bulldozer" but said he would change after the May 21 vote. Morrison's standing has plummeted since mid-2020, when voters' satisfaction with him was 40 percentage…
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Lebanon to vote in first election since financial meltdown

Lebanon to vote in first election since financial meltdown

Vote is first since economic collapse, Beirut port blast BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese vote on Sunday in the first election since their country's economic collapse, a test of whether Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies can preserve their parliamentary majority amidst soaring poverty and anger at ruling parties. Expectations are however low for a big shake-up of Lebanon's sectarian politics and government, despite the severity of a crisis which the World Bank says was orchestrated by the ruling class, and fury over the devastating Beirut port blast of 2020. The meltdown marks Lebanon's most destabilising crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. It has seen…
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Australia’s Morrison vows more empathy if re-elected PM

Australia’s Morrison vows more empathy if re-elected PM

SYDNEY, May 14 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised on Saturday to be more empathetic if he wins re-election, as his government continues to trail the opposition Labor Party a week before a general election. Australians go to the voting booths on May 21, with recent polls showing Morrison's Liberal-National coalition on track to lose to centre-left Labor, ending nine years of conservative government. Morrison, whose standing with voters has plunged since mid-2020, acknowledged on Friday being a "bulldozer" but said he would change after the election.  He continued that theme on Saturday, telling reporters on the campaign trail in…
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Tunisian president hints he will not accept foreign observers in next elections

Tunisian president hints he will not accept foreign observers in next elections

TUNIS, (Reuters) - Tunisian President Kais Saied indicated on Thursday he will not accept foreign observers for votes he plans this year to change the political system after having already taken control of the previously independent electoral commission. Saied has consolidated his one-man rule since seizing executive power last summer and dissolving the parliament to rule by decree in moves his foes call a coup. He has since said he will change the democratic 2014 constitution via a referendum in July and has said he wants to hold new parliamentary elections in December. "They proposed sending observers. Why? We are not an…
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Trump-backed candidates lose in Nebraska, win in West Virginia

Trump-backed candidates lose in Nebraska, win in West Virginia

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) - Donald Trump's favored candidate fell short in Nebraska's Republican primary election for governor, but the former president's pick prevailed in a congressional primary contest in West Virginia. Tuesday's elections delivered a split result for Trump, who has endorsed more than 150 candidates as he tries to shape his Republican Party ahead of a possible 2024 presidential run. In Nebraska, his choice for governor, Charles Herbster, lost to rival Jim Pillen, according to Edison Research, even though Trump had hosted a rally for him a little more than a week earlier. But in West Virginia, voters opted for Representative Alex Mooney,…
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Early voting begins in Australia election with opposition ahead in polls

Early voting begins in Australia election with opposition ahead in polls

Early voting began in Australia on Monday two weeks ahead of election day, with surveys showing the opposition centre-left Labor Party extending its lead and Prime Minister Scott Morrison suffering a fall in his approval rating. Amid a campaign dominated by cost-of-living pressure, national security and climate change, a widely watched survey conducted for The Australian newspaper showed Labor leading 54%-46% on a two-party preferred basis against the Morrison-led Liberal Party-National Party coalition government. Morrison's rating as the country's preferred leader fell a percentage point to 44%, the survey showed, leaving him narrowly in front of Leader of the Opposition…
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Strong voter turnout in Philippines as Marcos targets presidency

Strong voter turnout in Philippines as Marcos targets presidency

Philippine voters streamed to polling stations on Monday, with the prospect of a once-unthinkable return to rule of a member of the Marcos family, 36 years after strongman Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in a "people power" uprising. The presidential election pits Vice President Leni Robredo against former senator and congressman Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the dictator whose two decade rule ended in a public revolt and his family's humiliating retreat into exile. Around 18,000 posts, from the vice presidency, seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives to mayors, governors and councillors are also up…
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Explainer: A guide to the Philippines election

Explainer: A guide to the Philippines election

The Philippines holds an election on Monday to decide thousands of positions across the archipelago, including who will take over from Rodrigo Duterte and become its president for the next six years. Below is a rundown of what to expect. WHAT'S BEING DECIDED? The election will choose a president, vice president, 12 senators, 300 lower house legislators, and about 18,000 officials across 7,600 islands, including mayors, governors and their deputies. About 67.5 million of the Southeast Asian nation's 110 million population are eligible voters and most ballots will be cast on election day, with polls open from 6 a.m. to…
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Philippine police say country ‘relatively peaceful’ ahead of election

Philippine police say country ‘relatively peaceful’ ahead of election

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine police said on Sunday the country's overall situation ahead of the May 9 general election remained "relatively peaceful", despite some shooting incidents and other poll-related offences that they consider to be isolated. Filipinos will vote on Monday to choose President Rodrigo Duterte's successor, a vice president, 12 senators, hundreds of congressmen, and thousands of governors, mayors and provincial and city councillors. The presidential election is shaping up as a rematch between Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the country's late dictator, and incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, the human rights lawyer who narrowly…
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Democrats look to abortion-rights threat to boost midterm election prospects

Democrats look to abortion-rights threat to boost midterm election prospects

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - Democrats have needed something to turn around their flagging midterm election fortunes, and the U.S. Supreme Court may have just given it to them. A leaked draft showing the court's conservative majority apparently poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has set off a political firestorm over abortion rights just as the 2022 election season heats up. U.S. abortion rights have been under direct threat for years, if not decades. But if the high court follows through and does away with constitutional protection for terminating a pregnancy, the issue will crystallize for millions of…
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FACTBOX-Marcos and Robredo lead field ahead of Philippine presidential vote

FACTBOX-Marcos and Robredo lead field ahead of Philippine presidential vote

 (Reuters) - Philippine presidential candidates will wrap up campaigning this week ahead of the May 9 election, in a contest that has shaped into a two-way race between the clear favourite Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his main rival Leni Robredo. Below are details on the candidates for the presidency, starting with the current leader in opinion polls: FERDINAND "BONGBONG" MARCOS JR The namesake of the late dictator, Marcos, 64, is a former governor, congressman and senator who has emerged as frontrunner with 56% support in the most recent opinion poll. Since returning to the Philippines in 1991 from exile after his father's overthrow,…
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Photo Story: Parliamentary elections in Lebanon get underway

Photo Story: Parliamentary elections in Lebanon get underway

A European Union election observer monitors the parliamentary elections taking place outside Lebanon in an operation room to observe the voting process through screens at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, 06 May 2022. Lebanese parliamentary elections for Lebanese citizens residing outside Lebanon will be held on 06 and 08 May 2022, expatriates are expected to take part in legislative elections in nearly 60 countries. Lebanese parliamentary elections in Lebanon are scheduled for 15 May 2022. Via EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH
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UPDATED: UK PM Johnson loses London strongholds as scandals bite in local elections

UPDATED: UK PM Johnson loses London strongholds as scandals bite in local elections

LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party lost control of traditional strongholds in London and suffered setbacks elsewhere in local elections, with voters punishing his government over a series of scandals. As early results suggested Johnson, a former London mayor, was losing support in southeastern England, his supporters moved in quickly on Friday to say it was not time to oust a leader they said could still "get things done" to help the economy. Johnson's party was ousted in Wandsworth, a low-tax Conservative stronghold since 1978, part of a trend in the British capital where voters used the elections…
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Northern Ireland poised for watershed election result as counting begins

Northern Ireland poised for watershed election result as counting begins

BELFAST, May 6 (Reuters) - Sinn Fein sought to become the first Irish nationalist party to win the most seats in British-ruled Northern Ireland on Friday as counting began in an election that could mark an historic political shift. A Sinn Fein triumph would be a victory for a party wanting Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom 24 years after the Good Friday peace accord that ended three decades of sectarian bloodshed between those seeking unity with Ireland and those wanting to remain part of the UK. Though a poll that could lead to unity with the neighbouring Republic of Ireland…
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Parties linked to France’s Macron form coalition for parliament elections

Parties linked to France’s Macron form coalition for parliament elections

French President Emmanuel Macron's LREM party has formed a coalition with two other centrist parties for the June parliament elections, LREM member and parliament chairman Richard Ferrand said ahead of a conference with the two parties. LREM will coordinate which candidates it presents with the centrist Modem party, which supported Macron in the 2017 elections, and with the new Horizons party set up by Macron's former prime minister Edouard Philippe. The agreement comes days after leftist and green parties made an alliance for the June 12-19 elections in the hope to block Macron's party from winning a majority in parliament…
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UPDATED: As scandals overshadow vote, UK PM Johnson faces election test

UPDATED: As scandals overshadow vote, UK PM Johnson faces election test

LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) - Voters in Britain went to the polls in local government elections on Thursday where they are expected to punish Prime Minister Boris Johnson over a cost-of-living crisis and fines for breaking his own COVID-19 lockdown rules. The elections are seen as a test of support for Johnson, who became the first British leader in living memory to have broken the law while in office when he was fined last month for attending a birthday gathering in his office in 2020. A sharp rise in global energy prices that has pushed up consumers' gas and electricity bills is…
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Bosnia calls October 2 election

Bosnia calls October 2 election

SARAJEVO, May 4 (Reuters) - Bosnia will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Oct. 2, the electoral commission said on Wednesday, although rival ethnic leaders have failed to agree on electoral reforms and the government has still not secured funding for the vote. Voters will elect Croat, Serb and Bosniak members of the tripartite presidency and lawmakers for parliament's lower house, plus regional leaders and assemblies, the Central Election Commission (CIK) said. If the elections go ahead it will be the second time voting has been conducted according to electoral rules that do not include changes sought by Croat nationalists…
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Opposition leader offers Australia ‘a better future’ in campaign launch

Opposition leader offers Australia ‘a better future’ in campaign launch

SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) - Australian opposition leader Anthony Albanese on Sunday promised the country a "better future" in a campaign launch that was light on controversial reforms but drenched in unity and hope. The Labor party leader promised to "end the climate wars" by creating thousands of jobs in a green-energy transition centred on electric vehicles, revitalise big infrastructure projects and help low-income people buy homes. Labor is favoured by most polls to win the May 21 general election and topple Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative coalition after years of devastating bushfires, floods and COVID-19. Hoping to return to government after…
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Sinn Fein retains wide lead days out from Northern Irish election

Sinn Fein retains wide lead days out from Northern Irish election

BELFAST (Reuters) - Sinn Fein holds a six-point lead with less than a week to go to elections in Northern Ireland, a poll showed on Friday, as they seek to become the first Irish nationalist party to win the most seats in the British-run province's regional parliament. Support for Sinn Fein, which wants Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and unite with the adjacent Republic of Ireland, remained unchanged from the start of the campaign at 26%, the Belfast Telegraph/LucidTalk survey showed. That would mark a slight retreat from the record 27.9% Sinn Fein secured at the last election…
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France’s fragmented left poses new risk for Macron

France’s fragmented left poses new risk for Macron

France's left-leaning voters helped Emmanuel Macron see off the far-right, at least for now. The question is whether he can keep enough of them on board to give him the solid majority in parliament he needs to make his presidency work. Their heart and minds will be a key battleground in National Assembly elections in June as Jean-Luc Melenchon, undisputed leader of the left after his third-place showing in the presidential race, seeks to lure them over to his camp. Quentin Guenard, a 19-year-old law student in the northern city of Lille, is one such voter who backed Macron as president "without being a fervent supporter" but…
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Poll sees Macron’s party and allies win majority in France’s National Assembly

Poll sees Macron’s party and allies win majority in France’s National Assembly

French President Emmanuel Macron is seen as securing a ruling majority in June's parliamentary elections, a poll showed on Monday, if he manages to strike a broad centre-right alliance with smaller parties including the conservative Les Republicains. Macron's camp in a poll by institute Harris Interactive is seen winning 326 to 366 seats, which would be an outright majority in the 577 seat National Assembly. The far-right camp is seen winning between 117 and 147 seats, the poll said, while the left-leaning parties together would reach between 73 and 93 seats. If he fails to score another victory in the June 12…
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France’s Macron defeats far-right, pledges change

France’s Macron defeats far-right, pledges change

PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) - Emmanuel Macron comfortably defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday, heading off a political earthquake for Europe but acknowledging dissatisfaction with his first term and saying he would seek to make amends. His supporters erupted with joy as the results appeared on a giant screen at the Champ de Mars park by the Eiffel tower. Leaders in Berlin, Brussels, London and beyond welcomed his defeat of the nationalist, eurosceptic Le Pen. With 97% of votes counted, Macron was on course for a solid 57.4% of the vote, interior ministry figures showed. But in his victory speech…
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Environmentalist party leads in Slovenia’s election with 35.8% of vote -exit poll

Environmentalist party leads in Slovenia’s election with 35.8% of vote -exit poll

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The Environmentalist Freedom Movement party looked on course to win Slovenia's parliamentary election on Sunday as an exit poll by the Mediana agency showed the party leading with 35.8% of the vote, ahead of populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa's SDS party. The SDS had secured 22.5% of the vote, the poll showed. Whichever party wins will have to secure coalition partners to form a new government. The two main left-leaning parties have ruled out serving in a coalition led by the SDS. (Reporting by Katja Lihtenvalner, writing by Daria Sito-Sucic; editing by Susan Fenton) Reuters
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Two visions of France on offer in Macron-Le Pen battle

Two visions of France on offer in Macron-Le Pen battle

PARIS (Reuters) -The French voted on Sunday in an election that will decide whether pro-European Union, centrist President Emmanuel Macron keeps his job or is unseated by far-right eurosceptic Marine Le Pen in what would amount to a political earthquake. Opinion polls in recent days gave Macron a solid and slightly growing lead as analysts said Le Pen - despite her efforts to soften her image and tone down some of her National Rally party's policies - remained unpalatable for many. But a surprise Le Pen victory could not be ruled out. With polls showing neither candidate able to count…
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FACTBOX-Far-right Le Pen cloaks nationalist policies with social veneer

FACTBOX-Far-right Le Pen cloaks nationalist policies with social veneer

PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has made it to the second round of the presidential election and though she lags behind President Emmanuel Macron, polls show a much tighter race than in 2017 when he beat her convincingly. Le Pen has shifted her campaign focus to purchasing power, the top priority for French voters, while working on softening her image. But the core of her party's anti-immigration, far-right policies remains unchanged.  Here are her main policy proposals: ECONOMY * No income tax for those aged under 30 * VAT on energy at 5.5% from current 20%. VAT at 0%…
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Explainer: What you need to know about France’s presidential election

Explainer: What you need to know about France’s presidential election

PARIS, April 23 (Reuters) - Sunday's vote will determine whether the pro-European centrist President Emmanuel Macron or the far-right, anti-immigration Marine Le Pen governs France for the next five years. * WHO WILL WIN? Opinion polls point to Macron as the likely winner but with a much smaller margin than in 2017, when he beat Le Pen with 66.1% of the vote. A Le Pen win cannot be ruled out, even if it is the less likely of the two scenarios. * WHAT WILL BE DECISIVE? - Who do voters dislike or fear the most? Neither candidate has enough diehard supporters to…
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Macron or Le Pen: France faces stark choice for president

Macron or Le Pen: France faces stark choice for president

PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) - The French vote on Sunday in an election that will decide whether pro-European Union, centrist President Emmanuel Macron keeps his job or is unseated by far-right eurosceptic Marine Le Pen in what would amount to a political earthquake. Opinion polls in recent days gave Macron a solid and slightly growing lead as analysts said Le Pen - despite her efforts to soften her image and tone down some of her National Rally party's policies - remained unpalatable for many. But a surprise Le Pen victory cannot entirely be ruled out, given the high numbers of voters who…
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EXPLAINER-Macron or Le Pen: why it matters for France, the EU and the West

EXPLAINER-Macron or Le Pen: why it matters for France, the EU and the West

PARIS, April 23 (Reuters) - The French will decide on Sunday whether to re-elect pro-business centrist President Emmanuel Macron or blow up decades of mainstream consensus in favour of far-right Marine Le Pen. Here's what to expect from them on major issues: - THE ECONOMY: LE PEN: The far-right heiress has transformed the former National Front, turning her father's free-market, small-government party into a big-spending, protectionist one. She wants to implement a "Buy French" policy for public tenders, cut the minimum retirement age to 60 for those who started work before 20, scrap income tax for those aged under 30, and cut…
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Macron tells voters: Now choose the France you want

Macron tells voters: Now choose the France you want

French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen made final appeals on Friday to undecided voters weighing fears of what a Le Pen presidency could bring against their anger at Macron's record. According to the latest surveys for Sunday's run-off, fear may win the day over loathing: Macron the centrist, pro-European incumbent leads his anti-immigration, eurosceptic challenger by 10-14 points, well outside margins of error. But the fact that nearly three in 10 voters say they will not vote or have not made up their minds means a surprise Le Pen win similar to events such as Brexit…
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Polls puts Macron in lead with 55.5%-57.5%, but suggests abstention level will be high

Polls puts Macron in lead with 55.5%-57.5%, but suggests abstention level will be high

French President Emmanuel Macron has maintained and possibly slightly extended his lead over far-right challenger Marine Le Pen following a prickly television head-to-head debate which he was judged to have won, polls showed. With just three days to go before Sunday's election run-off, the two were back on the campaign trail - Macron in a Paris suburb with a strong left-wing vote, and Le Pen in the north of the country where she has a loyal following. "Why wait for Macron to step down when, by using your vote, you can fire him?" Le Pen told a rally in the…
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Macron more convincing than Le Pen in French election debate – poll

Macron more convincing than Le Pen in French election debate – poll

PARIS, April 21 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron was found to be more convincing than far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a pre-election debate on French televison ahead of Sunday's presidential runoff vote, an opinion poll showed. The snap survey by Elabe for BFM TV found that 59% of polled viewers found Macron more convincing than Le Pen. In 2017, the same polling firm found that 63% of those surveyed found Macron more convincing. Polls of voting intentions for the April 24 election estimate that Macron will win with around 55.5% of the vote. In 2017, Macron beat Le Pen with…
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Bookmakers see France’s Macron easily winning Sunday’s runoff

Bookmakers see France’s Macron easily winning Sunday’s runoff

PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron has a more than 90% chance of winning Sunday's presidential runoff vote against far-right challenger Marine Le Pen, the odds offered by UK political bookmakers showed on Wednesday. Macron has seen his lead in opinion polls edge higher over the past few days to over 55% on average against 45% in favor of his rival whom he will face in a debate later on Wednesday. The websites of William Hill and Paddy Power gave odds implying a 90.9% chance for the incumbent, while the Betfair Exchange had 92.6% and Ladbrokes 94.1%.…
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Macron’s polling lead over Le Pen widens ahead of France’s Sunday runoff

Macron’s polling lead over Le Pen widens ahead of France’s Sunday runoff

French President Emmanuel Macron's lead in voting intention polls widened but his prime minister said a Macron win in Sunday's presidential runoff vote was not guaranteed, as far-right challenger Marine Le Pen accused him of fear-mongering. Three polls for the second-round runoff put Macron at the highest level since before the first round, with an average score of 55.83%, up more than a point from Friday and more than three points from an average of five polls before the first round. Prime Minister Jean Castex, however, said it was too early to claim victory. "The game is not done and…
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