Year Of Political Upheaval Ahead From Quiet Revolution

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Written By Farid Shojaei

Europe is marching towards a quiet revolution as a new breed of politicians attempts to seize power in a year of elections.

Liberal thinkers are on the way out; polls are unpredictable and dissatisfied voters turning out in the millions.

Brexit has been the touch paper that is igniting a massive change in the political landscape – but the surge to break with tradition can be traced farther back to the British electorate forcing the Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition in 2011.

Now, the movement has swept away the Democrats in the USA, with bold and brash new wave leader Donald Trump ready to take his seat at the Oval office desk in the Whitehouse.

Next in line is France. Rocked by terrorist outrages and with a popular outcry against mass immigration, centre and left politicians are conspiring to halt the rise of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Unceremoniously dumped by voters

Former president Nicholas Sarkozy is already a casualty. After returning from retirement, he was unceremoniously dumped by voters in the first primary to pick the candidates for next year’s general election.

Meanwhile incumbent President Francois Hollande has slumped in popularity, with the lowest approval rating of a French leader since the Second World War.

Italy is also in the firing line as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tries to force through constitutional changes to give the central government more power over the senate and regional politicians.

A referendum takes place on December 4. Renzi has threatened to resign if he loses.

Voters in Austria take to the polls again on the same day as Italians choose whether to support Renzi.

Popularist winner

Earlier in the year, Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen squeezed ahead of Norbert Hofer in the race for president, a largely figurehead position carrying little power or influence.

He won by 1%, but a court declared the result invalid over a row about how postal votes were counted, hence the rerun.

If Bellen wins again, the victory will be counted as another popularist win against the trend of liberal politicians taking power.

In March, The Netherlands faces a parliamentary election that is tough to call.

Polls predict right winger Geert Wilders Freedom Party will share a hung vote with liberal Prime Minster Mark Rutte’s VVD.

Wilders is awaiting trial accused of inciting racial hatred and has picked up campaigning strategy from Trump with his ‘Make Netherlands Great Again’ slogan and anti-immigration stance.