Self-employed, Catholics drive Meloni’s Italian electoral triumph

Self-employed, Catholics drive Meloni’s Italian electoral triumph

ROME (Reuters) - Self-employed people and Catholics helped power Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party to electoral victory on Sunday, surveys show, with a significant share of women voters putting her on course to be Italy's first female prime minister. With almost all results counted, Brothers of Italy led with around 26% of the vote, up from 4% in the last national election in 2018, and was by far the biggest party in the victorious conservative alliance. Meloni's party received almost 5.9 million votes more than the 2018 elections, a YouTrend post-electoral study shows, roughly the same number its League and Forza Italia allies lost…
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Italy’s right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election -exit polls

Italy’s right-wing, led by Meloni, wins election -exit polls

ROME, Sept 25 (Reuters) - A right-wing alliance led by Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party looks set to win a clear majority in the next parliament, exit polls said on Sunday after voting ended in an Italian national election. An exit poll for state broadcaster RAI said the bloc of conservative parties, that also includes Matteo Salvini's League and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, won between 41 and 45%, enough to guarantee control of both houses of parliament. Italy's electoral law favours groups that manage to create pre-ballot pacts, giving them an outsized number of seats by comparison with their vote…
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Lula maintains large lead over Bolsonaro ahead of Brazil election -poll

Lula maintains large lead over Bolsonaro ahead of Brazil election -poll

Brazil presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva slightly extended his lead over President Jair Bolsonaro less than two weeks before the South American country's election, a poll by IPEC released on Monday showed. In a first-round vote scheduled for Oct. 2, Lula reached 47% of voters' support against 31% for Bolsonaro, compared with 46% and 31%, respectively, in the same poll a week ago, the survey showed. In a potential second-round runoff, Lula's lead grew to 19 percentage points from 17 previously, indicating he would get elected with 54% of the votes versus Bolsonaro's 35%. Bolsonaro's approval rate was flat at 30%, while his…
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‘It would be a joy to be Italy’s PM,’ League leader says

‘It would be a joy to be Italy’s PM,’ League leader says

PONTIDA, Italy, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The rightist League aims to win the Italian premiership when the country holds an election next week, its leader Matteo Salvini told his party's annual rally in northern Italy on Sunday. A conservative alliance of parties, including the League, is widely expected to win the Sept. 25 election. But it is likely to be a bittersweet moment for Salvini who has seen his position as undisputed leader of the right usurped by Giorgia Meloni. "For me, it would be a pride, a joy, a thrill to be chosen by you and President Sergio Mattarella as prime…
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Swedes head to polls in close-run election marked by crime, energy crisis

Swedes head to polls in close-run election marked by crime, energy crisis

STOCKHOLM, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Swedes vote on Sunday in an election pitting the incumbent centre-left Social Democrats against a right-wing bloc that has embraced the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats in a bid to win back power after eight years in opposition. With steadily growing numbers of shootings unnerving voters, campaigning has seen parties battle to be the toughest on gang crime, while surging inflation and the energy crisis in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine have increasingly taken centre stage. Law and order is home turf for the right, but gathering economic storm clouds as households and companies face sky-high power…
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Centre-Right and Fratelli D’Italia hold big poll leads

Centre-Right and Fratelli D’Italia hold big poll leads

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 9 - The centre-right coalition and the right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party held their significant leads in the opinion polls on Friday as the last surveys were released before the pre-vote embargo kicks in ahead of the September 25 general election. A quorum/youtrend poll for Skytg24 gave Giorgia Meloni's FdI the support of 25.3% of the electorate; with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) second on 21.2%. The 5-Star Movement (M5S) was third with 13.8%, followed by FdI's centre-right allies, Matteo Salvini's League on 12.9% and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) on 7.9%. The so-called Third…
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UK’s Liz Truss considers 5% cut in VAT if she becomes PM -Telegraph

UK’s Liz Truss considers 5% cut in VAT if she becomes PM -Telegraph

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - British leadership frontrunner Liz Truss is considering cutting value-added tax (VAT) by 5% across the board to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis if she succeeds Boris Johnson as prime minister next month, the Sunday Telegraph reported. The government has been facing growing calls to provide immediate financial support to households struggling with squeezed budgets as energy bills jump 80% to an average of 3,549 pounds ($4,169) a year from October.  Truss's leadership campaign is considering the plan as a "nuclear" option, the Telegraph quoted an unnamed source as saying, with other options including a 2.5% cut in…
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Bolsonaro says he will respect Brazil election result if ‘clean, transparent’

Bolsonaro says he will respect Brazil election result if ‘clean, transparent’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday he would respect the result of an October election regardless of the result, as long as the voting is "clean and transparent." In an interview with TV Globo's Jornal Nacional, a nightly newscast with the largest audience in Brazil, the far-right politician insisted without evidence there had been fraud in past Brazilian elections. Bolsonaro did not mention the electronic voting system that he has attacked relentlessly for months, alleging they are open to manipulation. But the former army captain said the military should have a role in deciding the transparency of the vote. Opinion polls show Bolsonaro trailing…
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Study shows Italy’s right heads for ample majority at election

Study shows Italy’s right heads for ample majority at election

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's mainly right-wing bloc is on track to win a broad majority in both houses of parliament at next month's national election, a study showed, benefiting from divisions among its opponents. The conservative alliance leads opinion polls ahead of the Sept. 25 ballot, with the rightist Brothers of Italy set to be the largest single party. Italy's election law favours parties that form broad alliances. On the basis of its election promises of tax cuts and higher pensions, a win by the conservative alliance may strain Italy's public finances, while the bloc would also be expected to…
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Lula’s lead narrows to single-digit in Brazil race – poll

Lula’s lead narrows to single-digit in Brazil race – poll

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's lead over incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has narrowed to 7 percentage points ahead of the October election, according to a new poll published on Monday. The leftist leader has the support of 41% of voters against 34% for his far-right adversary, compared to 44% and 31% respectively last month, the BTG/FSB telephone poll said. Lula's lead has dropped steadily to 7 points from 13 last month and 14 in May, the poll said. Other polls show Lula's strong lead slipping but maintaining a double-digit advantage: Datafolha saw his advantage at 18-points and a Genial/Quaest…
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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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Tunisians vote on constitution expanding president’s power

Tunisians vote on constitution expanding president’s power

TUNIS, July 25 (Reuters) - Tunisians began voting on Monday in a referendum on a new constitution that critics of President Kais Saied fear will maul the democracy that emerged from a 2011 revolution by handing him nearly total power. The vote is being held on the first anniversary of Saied's ousting of an elected parliament, when he established emergency rule and began governing by fiat. Few people were out when polls opened at 0500 GMT, but at Rue Marseilles polling station in downtown Tunis, Illyes Moujahed was first in line, saying Saied was the only hope. "I'm here to save Tunisia…
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‘I am the underdog’, says UK PM candidate Sunak

‘I am the underdog’, says UK PM candidate Sunak

GRANTHAM, England, July 23 (Reuters) - Former British finance minister Rishi Sunak, one of two remaining candidates to become Britain's next prime minister, on Saturday described himself as the underdog in the contest. Sunak's resignation helped trigger a revolt that saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson agree to step down after a series of scandals. Members of the ruling Conservative Party will vote for a successor over the summer, with an announcement due on Sept. 5. Sunak led all rounds of the voting among Conservative Party lawmakers to reduce the field to two candidates. But it is foreign secretary Liz Truss who seems…
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Right tipped to win Italy’s September election – ANSA

Right tipped to win Italy’s September election – ANSA

ANSA - Italy is set to hold a general election on September 25 after President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament on Thursday following outgoing Premier Mario Draghi's resignation, with a coalition of right and centre-right parties tipped to win. The government of national unity headed by the former president of the European Central Bank (ECB) collapsed after a year and a half in power after failing to get the backing of three important parties, ex-premier Giuseppe Conte's 5-Star Movement (M5S), Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) and Matteo Salvini's League, in a confidence vote on Wednesday. The right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI)…
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UK leadership candidate Truss pledges to ditch all EU laws by 2023

UK leadership candidate Truss pledges to ditch all EU laws by 2023

LONDON (Reuters) - Liz Truss, the leading candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as British prime minister, promised to scrap all remaining European Union laws that still apply in Britain by 2023 if she wins the Conservative Party leadership contest. Foreign Secretary Truss is up against former finance minister Rishi Sunak in a race to court the 200,000 members of the Conservative Party who over the course of the summer will vote to choose the country's new prime minister. Britain's relationship with Europe remains of great concern to the Conservative Party membership, generally characterised as more eurosceptic than the wider population.…
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Ex-finance minister Sunak launches bids to be UK PM as rival backs him

Ex-finance minister Sunak launches bids to be UK PM as rival backs him

Ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, the favourite to become Britain's next prime minister, kicked off his campaign on Tuesday promising "honesty", in a increasingly testy and divisive battle to succeed Boris Johnson. An initial 11 candidates put their names forward to become leader of the governing Conservative Party and Britain's next premier after Johnson was forced to say he would step down when support drained from him over a series of scandals. Only those who get nominations from 20 of their 358 Conservative colleagues in parliament on Tuesday will go forward to the first vote on Wednesday. The field will be then…
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Italy’s centre-left snatches victory from centre-right in local elections

Italy’s centre-left snatches victory from centre-right in local elections

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's centre left won the majority of a set of local election run-offs, results showed on Monday, undermining the centre-right in several cities where the bloc has historically been a favourite. The vote held on Sunday is the last electoral test for the country's broad spectrum of political groups before next year's parliamentary election, when the predominant party will decide who should replace Mario Draghi as prime minister. "This result strengthens us in view of the future, in building a centre-left bloc that will be a winner also on a national level, at next year's political elections," the…
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French parties brush off Macron appeal to unblock parliament

French parties brush off Macron appeal to unblock parliament

French parties from left and right brushed off President Emmanuel Macron's appeal for help to overcome a hung parliament on Thursday, demanding he clarify what compromises he was ready to make to win their backing. Before heading off to a European Union summit in Brussels, Macron late on Wednesday made a televised speech in which he acknowledged that this month's parliament elections had laid bare "deep divisions" across French society. Ruling out a government of national unity, he called on rival party leaders either to look at possible coalition options with his centrist alliance or to consider lending support for reforms on a…
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UPDATED: French National Assembly dissolution not on agenda for now – government spokesperson

UPDATED: French National Assembly dissolution not on agenda for now – government spokesperson

PARIS, June 20 (Reuters) - The dissolution of the National Assembly lower house of parliament is "not a topic for now", French government spokesperson Olivia Gregoire told France Inter radio on Monday, after President Emmanuel Macron lost his absolute majority. Asked if Elisabeth Borne could stay on as Prime Minister, Gregoire said: "Elisabeth Borne was re-elected (as a lawmaker), this has not been an issue. We will see in the coming hours. Right now this not an issue." Elisabeth Borne on Sunday said that her government will get to work from Monday to reach out to potential partners in order to rally…
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UPDATE – France votes, with Macron facing tough battle for control of parliament

UPDATE – France votes, with Macron facing tough battle for control of parliament

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) - Voting was underway in France on Sunday in a parliamentary election that could deprive newly re-elected centrist President Emmanuel Macron of the absolute majority he needs to govern with a free hand. Initial projections were expected at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) from the election that could change the face of French politics.  Turnout by midday was a bit stronger - at 18.99% - than at the same time during a first round of voting last Sunday and than in 2017, when it reached only 18.43% and 17.75% respectively.  Macron won a second term in presidential elections in…
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EXPLAINER-Why France’s legislative elections matter

EXPLAINER-Why France’s legislative elections matter

PARIS, June 7 (Reuters) - France heads to the polls on June 12 and 19 for parliamentary elections. Support for President Emmanuel Macron's Ensemble (Together) alliance is falling, raising questions over whether he will win an absolute majority in parliament.  Here are key facts about this election. WHY ANOTHER FRENCH ELECTION? Macron won a second mandate in April as France's centrist, pro-European president. But that is not enough. He also needs to win a majority in the lower house of parliament this month to maintain full control over his reform agenda. WHAT ARE THE POLLS FORECASTING? Voter surveys had until recently shown…
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Mexican president’s party set to win most states in Sunday elections

Mexican president’s party set to win most states in Sunday elections

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's ruling party was primed to capture four more state governments after elections on Sunday, preliminary results showed, strengthening President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's grip on power ahead of the contest to succeed him in 2024. Lopez Obrador's leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies were set to win gubernatorial races in the states of Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Hidalgo and Tamaulipas, according to preliminary vote counts by electoral authorities. Opposition candidates were leading tallies in the central state of Aguascalientes and Durango in the north, broadly in line with results anticipated by opinion polls. All…
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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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France’s Macron wins second term, beating far right’s Le Pen

France’s Macron wins second term, beating far right’s Le Pen

PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin in Sunday's election, early projections by four pollsters showed, securing a second term and heading off what would have been a political earthquake. The first projections by Ifop, Elabe, Opinionway and Ipsos showed Macron securing 58.2%-57.6 of the vote. Ahead of the vote, polls had suggested Macron would win with 56%. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Sudip Gar-Kupta, Jean-Michel Belot and Leigh Thomas, Editing by John Irish)
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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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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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Slovenia’s populist PM faces close election race against environmentalist party

Slovenia’s populist PM faces close election race against environmentalist party

LJUBLJANA, April 24 (Reuters) - Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa hopes to shake off criticism of his record on democracy and media freedoms to win a fourth term in a parliamentary election in the tiny Alpine state on Sunday. The 63-year-old populist has campaigned on promises to improve the economy and provide energy security in the former Yugoslav republic of about 2 million people that is now a member of the European Union and the NATO military alliance. But Jansa, an admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump and an ally of nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has clashed with Brussels…
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Le Pen accused of embezzlement ahead of French presidential run-off

Le Pen accused of embezzlement ahead of French presidential run-off

AFP/DPA/DW - With a week to go before far-right candidate Marine Le Pen squares off against incumbent Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election runoff, the nationalist politician faces a potential embezzlement scandal. On Sunday, Paris prosecutors told the DPA news agency they were studying the accusations against Le Pen and her party contained in a report from the European Union's anti-fraud office OLAF. Separately,  a source in the European Parliament told the AFP news agency that the parliament will try to recover the money owed by Marine le Pen. OLAF indicates that the nationalist politician embezzled nearly €137,000 ($148,000) in EU funds when she was a lawmaker in the European Parliament…
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French far-left gives no voting instructions after internal consultations

French far-left gives no voting instructions after internal consultations

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) - The party of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon gave no voting instructions for the French presidential runoff after its internal consultations showed most people would abstain or vote blank on April 24, adding to the uncertainty over the outcome. President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen are looking to attract voters who chose Melenchon, after he came third in the first round on April 10 with about 22% of the vote.  With the electorate fragmented and undecided, the election will likely be won by the candidate who can reach beyond his or her camp to…
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Far-right candidate Le Pen calls Macron France’s most “authoritarian” president

Far-right candidate Le Pen calls Macron France’s most “authoritarian” president

PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - French far-right presidential candidate Marin Le Pen rebuffed on Thursday criticism by her rival Emmanuel Macron accusing her of retaining her "authoritarian" and extremist views, despite displaying a softer image in the current campaign.  "This (criticism) makes me smile because we have never had a president who showed more signs of extremism than Emmanuel Macron," Le Pen told broadcaster France 2, citing police action against political demonstrations, such as the yellow vest movement.  In the interview, Le Pen reiterated remarks that, if elected president, she though it conceivable to hold a public referendum on reintroduction of the…
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France’s centre right fighting for survival after election humiliation

France’s centre right fighting for survival after election humiliation

It was going to be bad. It turned out to be worse. Conservative Valerie Pecresse scored below 5% in the first round of the France's presidential election, the centre right's lowest score in modern history and one which threatens its survival. When the first projections flashed up as polling stations closed, stunned Pecresse supporters gasped: "What now?" Only a decade ago, Nicolas Sarkozy was readying himself to run for a second mandate after almost 17 years of centre-right rule in France. Now, the Les Republicains party's existence is under threat after its voters turned to incumbent Emmanuel Macron, far-right challenger Marine…
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Macron and Le Pen head for French election runoff – projections

Macron and Le Pen head for French election runoff – projections

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - France's incumbent leader Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen are heading for an April 24 presidential election runoff, projections showed after first round voting on Sunday. Macron garnered 28.1-29.5% of votes in the first round while Le Pen won 23.3-24.4%, according to separate estimates by pollsters Ifop, OpinionWay, Elabe and Ipsos. Those estimates, published as voting ended, are usually very reliable in France. If confirmed, that outcome would set up a duel between an economic liberal with a globalist outlook in Macron and a deeply eurosceptic economic nationalist who, until the Ukraine war, was an…
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Australian prime minister calls national election for May 21

Australian prime minister calls national election for May 21

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY, April 10 (Reuters) - Australia will hold a general election on May 21, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday, triggering a campaign expected to be fought over cost-of-living pressures, climate change, and questions of character and competence of the major parties. Opinion polls show Morrison's conservative coalition trailing the opposition Labor party after nine years in power. Morrison similarly lagged in opinion polls before the previous election in May 2019, but still pulled off a win. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media, announcing a 21 May national election during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia,…
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UPDATE – France votes on Sunday in cliffhanger presidential election

UPDATE – France votes on Sunday in cliffhanger presidential election

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - Voters cast their ballots across France on Sunday in the first round of a presidential election in which far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is posing an unexpected threat to President Emmanuel Macron's re-election hopes. Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) and will close at 1800 GMT, when the first exit polls will be published. Such polls are usually very reliable in France.  Until just weeks ago, opinion polls pointed to an easy win for the pro-European Union, centrist Macron, who was boosted by his active diplomacy over Ukraine, a strong economic recovery and the weakness of a fragmented…
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Le Pen narrows gap with Macron ahead of Sunday’s presidential election

Le Pen narrows gap with Macron ahead of Sunday’s presidential election

Opinion polls see French President Emmanuel Macron winning a second term in a two-round presidential election on April 10 and 24, but far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is narrowing the gap. French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, whose presidential campaign has gained momentum in recent days, on Monday captured 48.5% of voter intentions in an opinion poll of a likely runoff against Emmanuel Macron, the highest score she has ever notched. Harris Interactive in a poll for business weekly Challenges said that a victory by Macron - which pollsters considered almost a foregone conclusion in past months - was now within the margin of…
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Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam says leadership election to go ahead as planned

Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam says leadership election to go ahead as planned

HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's leadership election will go ahead on May 8 as planned, city Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday, rejecting media speculation it might be delayed for a second time due to a major COVID-19 outbreak. Unlike previous years, no Beijing-backed front-runner for the top job has emerged at this late stage, adding to uncertainty about the financial hub's future as Beijing imposes its rule. Since the former British colony returned to China in 1997, it has had four chief executives, all of whom struggled to balance the democratic aspirations of some residents with the…
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Australia flags move on high fuel prices as election nears

Australia flags move on high fuel prices as election nears

March 27 (Reuters) - Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Sunday indicated the federal government would likely act to lower petrol prices in the upcoming federal budget, weeks out from a general election. The government has recently come under pressure to cut fuel excise as petrol prices hit an eight-year high, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison lags in the polls in the lead up to the election, due in May.  Asked by Nine Entertainment if the government would announce in Tuesday's budget a cut to the 44.2 cents a litre fuel excise, Frydenberg said he understood a key concern for Australians was petrol…
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Colombians vote in presidential primaries, legislative contest

Colombians vote in presidential primaries, legislative contest

BOGOTA (Reuters) -Colombians were voting on Sunday to elect members of congress and participate in one of three presidential primaries for candidates from right, left and centrist coalitions. Seats in the country's legislature of 108 senators and 187 lower house representatives have in recent elections been won by myriad parties, forcing presidents to build big tent coalitions in order to pass legislation.  "We are celebrating that we are one of the oldest and most stable democracies in this hemisphere," President Ivan Duque, who cannot stand for reelection and whose term ends in August, said in a video message while urging…
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Macron gets French poll boost after Ukraine crisis interventions

Macron gets French poll boost after Ukraine crisis interventions

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron's lead over rival candidates ahead of next month's election has grown in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to a poll published on Saturday by Le Monde newspaper. The Sopra Steria poll showed Macron winning 30.5% of votes in the first round of voting on April 10, up from 26.5% a week earlier. Macron's closest challenger in the first round was Marine Le Pen, of the far-right Rassemblement National party, with 14.5% of votes, compared with 15.5% last week. In the second and final vote, due on April 24, Macron was…
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Libya parliament backs new government as crisis deepens

Libya parliament backs new government as crisis deepens

TRIPOLI, March 1 (Reuters) - Libya's parliament approved a new government on Tuesday but the incumbent administration rejected the vote and vowed not to cede power, pushing a fragile peace process to the brink of collapse and raising the risk of new fighting or territorial partition.  The parliament speaker's declaration of Fathi Bashagha as prime minister after a televised vote aggravates a power struggle with the administration of Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, who was installed through a U.N.-backed process last year. Opposing armed groups have mobilised in the capital Tripoli over recent weeks and foreign forces including from Turkey and Russia that have backed…
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With elections looming, France reins in open EU trade policy

With elections looming, France reins in open EU trade policy

France, facing a presidential election in weeks, has halted moves to clear an EU trade deal with Mexico which would allow in 20,000 tonnes of beef imports and wants to make it tougher to access the bloc's markets, diplomats say. The European Union's second largest economy runs a consistent overall trade surplus with non-EU countries and its companies benefit from the lower tariffs of trade deals, but farmer sensitivity to beef imports in particular makes trade politically explosive. A new trade pact might spark farm protests or fuel anti-globalisation rhetoric from far-right opponents, hampering President Emmanuel Macron's expected re-election bid…
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Portuguese go to polls in snap election marked by COVID, uncertainty

Portuguese go to polls in snap election marked by COVID, uncertainty

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese will be marking ballots on Sunday in a snap parliamentary election with no clear winner in sight and uncertainty increased by potentially low turnout amid record coronavirus infections. The government has allowed those infected to leave isolation and cast ballots in person, recommending that they do so in the last hour before polling stations close at 7:00 pm (1900 GMT) and promising "absolute safety" during the vote. Over a tenth of Portugal's 10 million people are estimated to be isolating because of COVID-19. As in many European countries, infections have spiked lately, stoked by the Omicron…
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Libyan eastern parliament speaker calls for new government

Libyan eastern parliament speaker calls for new government

The speaker of Libya's eastern-based parliament said on Monday the interim government must be replaced and he would launch a process to redraft the constitution, after plans for an election fell apart last month. The moves, announced by Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh as he entered the chamber in the eastern city of Benghazi, could delay by months any new election aimed at ending years of war between factions based in the east and the west. An interim Government of National Unity took office last year and national elections were meant to take place on Dec. 24, but the vote was…
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EXPLAINER-Why Libya’s election has collapsed and what comes next

EXPLAINER-Why Libya’s election has collapsed and what comes next

TUNIS, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Libya said on Wednesday its planned election would not take place but it has not set a new date or worked out how to move forward to avoid a return to conflict. This sets out the main issues and what might happen next. HOW DID WE GET HERE? Libya fell apart after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and split in 2014 between warring eastern and western factions. The peace process follows the collapse in 2020 of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar's 14-month assault on Tripoli. Eastern and southern areas are held by Haftar's LNA, with…
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Libyan election collapses with no plan out of crisis

Libyan election collapses with no plan out of crisis

TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Libya's parliament said Friday's planned presidential election would not go ahead, leaving the internationally-backed peace process in chaos and the fate of the interim government in doubt. The electoral commission proposed pushing back the voting date by a month, confirming a delay that had been widely expected amid disputes over the rules, including the eligibility of several divisive candidates. Disagreements showed the limitations of a winner-takes-all presidential vote involving candidates viewed as unacceptable in large parts of the country, including the son of the late ruler Muammar Gaddafi and a military leader who assaulted Tripoli. At…
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Georgia governor’s race tests power of Trump’s false stolen-election claim

Georgia governor’s race tests power of Trump’s false stolen-election claim

Since announcing his candidacy for the Georgia governorship earlier this month, Republican David Perdue has wasted no time in releasing ads that revive former President Donald Trump's false voter fraud claims and filing a lawsuit seeking to inspect absentee ballots from the 2020 presidential election. The former U.S. senator's focus on what Republicans assert is election integrity will provide an early litmus test in the 2022 midterm contests for how such messaging resonates with voters in the post-Trump era. Republicans across the country have enacted new curbs on voting access and sought to expand control over election administration in the…
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Student protest leader to president-elect: Gabriel Boric caps rise of Chile’s left

Student protest leader to president-elect: Gabriel Boric caps rise of Chile’s left

Ten years after leading student protests demanding better education, Gabriel Boric is set to become Chile's youngest-ever president, capping a remarkable rise for the Andean nation's progressive left. The former law student who has pledged to bury Chile's "neoliberal" economic model convincingly defeated far-right rival Jose Antonio Kast in the country's presidential runoff on Sunday. "I am going to be a president of all Chileans, whether you voted for me or not," Boric, 35, said in a call with current President Sebastian Pinera on Sunday night. "I am going to do my best to get on top of this tremendous challenge." Boric, who will take office…
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Voters punish scandal-hit UK PM Johnson’s party in by-election loss

Voters punish scandal-hit UK PM Johnson’s party in by-election loss

LONDON (Reuters) -Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party lost control of a previously safe parliamentary seat on Friday in a surprise election result interpreted as a voter backlash against a British leader beset by crises and scandal. The centrist Liberal Democrats party candidate, Helen Morgan, won the North Shropshire seat by nearly 6,000 votes, overturning a 23,000 vote Conservative majority from 2019. "Tonight, the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people. They have said loudly and clearly: 'Boris Johnson, the party is over'," Morgan said in her victory speech. "Our country is crying out for…
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Tunisia president announces referendum and elections

Tunisia president announces referendum and elections

Tunisia will hold a referendum on constitutional reform on July 25 and new parliamentary elections on Dec. 17, 2022, President Kais Saied said on Monday. Changes to the constitution would follow a public online consultation starting in January, he said, adding the parliament would remain suspended until a new one was elected. Earlier this month, Tunisia's powerful UGTT union had called for early elections saying it was concerned for the country's democratic gains because of the president's reluctance to announce a roadmap for political reforms. UGTT leader Noureddine Taboubi's comments, in a speech to thousands of his supporters, put more pressure on President Kais Saied, more than…
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EP to push for reform of European elections

EP to push for reform of European elections

European elections are still governed for the most part by national laws, with political campaigns mostly focusing on national matters. Over the past years, a number of MEPs have been pushing for wide-ranging reforms, including lowering the voting age, transnational lists, and gender balance rules, ahead of the next European elections in 2024. These proposals have now been cemented into a detailed report that will be voted upon on Committee stage. Last year, the European Parliament had insisted in a resolution that minorities and more than 800,000 citizens with disabilities were effectively excluded from the 2019 voting due to a…
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Portuguese parliament dissolved ahead of Jan 30 election

Portuguese parliament dissolved ahead of Jan 30 election

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa decreed the dissolution of parliament on Sunday in the remaining formal step ahead of a previously announced snap general election set for Jan. 30, his office said. The decree came on the last possible day for parliament's dissolution, which has has to occur at least 55 days before an election. The election was triggered by parliament's rejection of the minority Socialist government's budget bill in October, a move that effectively ended the country's relative political stability over the past six years. The Socialists lead in opinion polls with support of between…
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Putin says he hasn’t decided whether to run again for president in 2024

Putin says he hasn’t decided whether to run again for president in 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he had not yet decided whether to run for a new six-year term in the Kremlin when his current term ends in 2024. Putin has been in power as president or prime minister since the turn of the century, making him the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Josef Stalin. Russia passed reforms last year allowing him to run for two more six-year terms, without which he would have had to step down in 2024. Speaking at an investment forum in Moscow, the Kremlin leader suggested that the very option of him being able to run for president…
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Libya election panel rejects Gaddafi’s son as presidential candidate

Libya election panel rejects Gaddafi’s son as presidential candidate

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's election commission said on Wednesday that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former ruler and a major candidate in December's planned presidential election, was ineligible to run, compounding the turmoil surrounding the vote.  Gaddafi was one of 25 candidates the commission disqualified in an initial decision pending an appeals process that will ultimately be decided by the judiciary. Some 98 Libyans registered as candidates.  Disputes over the election rules, including the legal basis of the vote and who should be eligible to stand, threaten to derail an internationally backed peace process aimed at ending a…
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After years of drifting to the left, Chilean voters veer back right

After years of drifting to the left, Chilean voters veer back right

After years of divisive street protests and the election of a mainly left-wing body to rewrite the constitution, Chileans surprised analysts, markets and even themselves on Sunday night by favoring a right-wing presidential candidate and delivering significant gains to conservatives in Congress. With 99.99% of votes counted as of Monday, ultra-conservative former congressman Jose Antonio Kast had won 27.91%, and leftist lawmaker Gabriel Boric had come in second, with 25.83%. As both fell well short of the 50% threshold needed to win outright, they will now advance to a Dec. 19 runoff. Kast, who has pledged to crack down on…
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Libya’s eastern commander Haftar announces election bid

Libya’s eastern commander Haftar announces election bid

Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar will run in Libya's presidential elections due next month, he announced in a televised speech on Tuesday. "Elections are the only way out of the severe crisis that our country has plunged into," said Haftar, who was expected to formally register later on Tuesday at the election centre in Benghazi. Haftar, commander of a force called the Libyan National Army, waged war on factions in the west after the country split in 2014, including a 14-month offensive to capture Tripoli which was repelled by the internationally recognised government. Haftar's decision to run will anger many in Tripoli and western…
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Libya’s Prime Minister says election law flawed

Libya’s Prime Minister says election law flawed

Libya's Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah said on Monday the parliament's election law was flawed and written to serve specific candidates as he said he would announce whether he will run for president "at the crucial moment". Allies of Dbeibah told Reuters a week ago that he would run, despite having pledged when he was installed as prime minister of the interim unity government that he would not take part in the coming election. "They come out with laws designed for personalities and we cannot be satisfied with this flawed law," he said at a rally in Tripoli. Analysts see Dbeibah as a possible…
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Libyan premier to run for president as election turmoil grows

Libyan premier to run for president as election turmoil grows

TRIPOLI, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The head of Libya's national unity government plans to run for president next month, according to a senior official, an apparent breach of a pledge to remain neutral when he took office in March under a U.N.-backed peace process. Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah has become popular with big public spending programmes after years of civil war, and could be a frontrunner to win office as Libya's first directly elected head of state since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown a decade ago. But his decision could also add to political disputes over the election, which have overshadowed the peace…
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