It’s a sure sign of middle age, but I’ll admit it. I am
interested in the upcoming elections, to the European Parliament. And not just in the UK or the Czech Republic, but pretty much everywhere. I guess it must have been that bump on the head (the doctor did ask me if I had been behaving out of character) or perhaps it’s just the broad comparative panorama of of the EU 27. Over the last two days, when not marking essays or reading PhD drafts, I’ve been glued to the Predict EU
site compiiled by Simon Hix and colleague at LSE, which runs polling data from the 27 member states through a predictive statistical model. The overall picture, as ever, is not much change. Shifts to the left in one country tending to be cancelled out by shifts to the right in another. Green and the Communist/Green Left, however, seem set to do badly: the UK Greens, for example, are predicted to lose both of their seats, although the Czech Greens (bearing up surprisingly well in the polls despite internicine internal party warfare) are predicted to gain one.
Britain’s far-right BNP is also predicted to gain one MEP, which would be its first elected representative above sub-national level. The Euro-election prospects of the BNP – surely the most over-reported minor party in Britain – are analysed in detail by an excellent Radio 4 documentary
, which comes to broadly similar conclusions.
I also discovered the EUProfiler website, which like a range of similar sites quizzes you about your views on the issues and plots your position in two dimension political space. The difference here is that you can plot yourself in relation to parties from one or all EU states to guide your choice for the upcoming EU elections. I emerge as a social liberal or social democrat with mildly pro-EU leanings. In UK terms, the site tells me, this means I should vote for the UK’s Liberal Democrats, advice I will ignore, and in Czech terms that I am more or less in the liberal centre of Czech politics, although. I ran the other EU 25 states to see if there is a party in some other countries that reflects my views exactly. The Dutch and Swedish social democrats come close, but, as it turns, out there’s only party for me: Estonia’s Greens. Vale Euroopale roheline tee!
I don’t know what that means, but if I did, I’m sure I’d believe it.