Crisis Elections, New Contenders and Government Formation Breaking the Mould in Southern Europe
The parliamentary elections of 2015–16 in Greece, Spain and Portugal had extraordinary consequences, bringing repeat elections, unprecedented processes of government formation and uncharted government outcomes. Greece formed a coalition of radical left and radical right and Portugal its first government supported by the communist party while Spain took ten months to get a government. These developments are especially astonishing in three states which in previous decades were a byword for democratic stability. After the transitions following the fall of their dictatorships in the 1970s, Greece, Spain and Portugal established bipolar electoral competition and predictable patterns of government formation. But more recently, all three countries have been in the frontline of the economic crisis and austerity implementation, triggering electoral realignments and turning the radical left into a major player. This volume offers essential understanding of the political destabilisation of Southern Europe. It includes detailed analyses of all five ‘crisis elections’ and of Greece’s bailout referendum. It also provides studies of the five ‘new contender’ parties (SYRIZA, Podemos, Ciudadanos, the Bloco Esquerda and the Portuguese Communist Party) which played a key role in government formation for the first time. The chapters originally published as a special issue in South European Society and Politics.
1. From Electoral Epidemic to Government Epidemic: The Next Level of the Crisis in Southern Europe Anna Bosco and Susannah Verney Crisis Elections 2. The January 2015 Parliamentary Election in Greece: Government Change, Partial Punishment and Hesitant Stabilisation Yannis Tsirbas 3. Realignment under Stress: The July 2015 Referendum and the September Parliamentary Election in Greece Emmanouil Tsatsanis and Eftichia Teperoglou 4. The 2015 Portuguese Legislative Election: Widening the Coalitional Space and Bringing the Extreme Left in Elisabetta De Giorgi and José Santana-Pereira 5. The Breakdown of the Spanish Two-Party System: The Upsurge of Podemos and Ciudadanos in the 2015 General Election Lluis Orriols and Guillermo Cordero 6. The Challenges of the New Spanish Multipartism: Government Formation Failure and the 2016 General Election Pablo Simón New Contenders 7. SYRIZA’s Electoral Rise in Greece: Protest, Trust and the Art of Political Manipulation Myrto Tsakatika 8. U-Turn: The Portuguese Radical Left from Marginality to Government Support Marco Lisi 9. Fast and Furious: Podemos’ Quest for Power in Multi-level Spain Juan Rodríguez-Teruel, Astrid Barrio and Oscar Barberà 10. Going National: Ciudadanos from Catalonia to Spain Juan Rodríguez Teruel and Astrid Barrio