We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

June 06, 2019

Is this the end of traditional parties as we know them?

After the near-demise of Social Democrats in Europe with the notable exception of Portugal and now Denmark, are the Conservatives next? Torn in France between a robust far right and an emerging new centre, between a hard and soft Brexit in the UK, or worn out by a grand coalition in Germany, the conservative parties in these three big countries share a common fate of dwindling support in the polls. In the UK their position is threatened by the rise of Nigel Farage's Brexit party, in France they seem to loose their base and bearings in the mutually beneficial stand-off between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

Valérie Pécresse just delivered another blow in a critical moment of anguished party introspection when she announced her surprise departure from Les Républicains last night. She is the third heavy-weight politician to quit Les Républicains after Xavier Bertrand and Alain Juppé. Pécresse defended her decision saying that the party is stuck in its ways and that the transformation of the right cannot be done from inside the party. At the head of her movement Libres!, Pécresse gambles on playing a role in the upcoming regional elections and possibly also the national elections. For the right this means further fragmentation. Will LR survive many more flights to safety elsewhere? 

Pécresse had been a leading defender of a broader inclusive agenda, and has been opposing Laurent Wauquiez in his decision to move further to the right and to fish in the same electoral ponds as Le Pen's Rassemblement National. Now that Wauquiez is gone, her resignation came as a shock to her supporters. The press reports that she has taken her decision after attending the meeting Gerald Larcher organised on Tuesday with the conservative leaders from the regions and parliament.

After the catastrophic results in the European elections, Larcher is counting on the 55,000 locally elected councillors to resurrect the party through a decentralised party convention in autumn. We can see why Pécresse may have concluded that this will compromise her chances inside the party. As long as the Républicains remain in this state of confusion, expect more people to jump, some seeking the sunny uplands of Macron's LREM with its national appeal and emerging track-record of success. The conservative members of the government and LREM campaigners are actively calling on conservatives in local elections to run on their ticket under the arch-gaullist slogan, serve your country not your party!

Show Comments Write a Comment

June 06, 2019

How a no-deal Brexit could happen

Of all the commentary we have seen on Brexit, a tweetstorm by Peter Foster, the Daily Telegraph’s Europe editor, has been one of the best we have spotted in a while. His thinking on political scenarios concurs with our own. We would like to expand on some of the points he made to draw a roadmap towards a possible no-deal Brexit. 

Foster started off by wrapping his head around the 10-page plan of the Tory’s party eurosceptic ERG group on how to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. There is not much point in discussing proposal itself. It is a list of provocations. The EU will, of course, not renegotiate the Irish backstop. The ERG document sets the bar to a level that guarantees failure. But this is its very function. They know that Johnson will try to re-negotiate. They want to make sure he fails. Or that he does not try to push through May’s deal in a new disguise.

Perhaps the most interesting argument by Foster is his conviction that the EU might renegotiate if confronted with a prime minister who has a Commons majority behind him. One of the reasons for the EU’s hardline stance was Theresa May’s increasingly evident inability to deliver a majority. The political context clearly matters. But we still don’t see any chance of a time limit for, or unilateral exit from, the Irish backstop. There is simply no solution for the problem. We should therefore stop to see it as an intellectual challenge. If there existed a solution, someone would have come up with it already. Where we agree with Foster is that the EU will not be an active participant in any stop-Boris campaign. We all know there are worse candidates on the ticket. 

But what if Johnson fails to deliver a parliamentary majority for a deal?

In our view, the most likely no-deal scenario is not one of a Tory prime minister proroguing parliament - an ancient procedure to suspend parliament and reset all pending legislation. More likely is a no-deal election. New prime ministers enjoy a honeymoon. Even Gordon Brown did. From today’s perspective, a contest between Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn is wide open.

Amid all the uncertainty, there is one thing we are relatively certain of: the Tories will not choose political oblivion that would stem from a failure to deliver Brexit. And if this process were to drag on beyond October, there is a risk that the party will face the next elections before Brexit has been delivered. This is why the position of various Tory leadership candidates, especially that of Michael Gove, makes no sense to us. 

The danger of Nigel Farage for the Tories is not that he could win the next general elections outright, but that he could succeed in destroying the Tory party. Today’s by-election in Peterborough will be an important marker.

We have been pointing out for a while that the probability of a no-deal Brexit is steadily rising. And the pathway towards it is becoming steadily clearer.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 06, 2020
  • The feedback loop of Covid-19 and inequalities - part 10 of our series
  • How confinement affects mental health
  • April 09, 2019
  • What can go wrong now?
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 06, 2020
  • A decade that started with a bang
  • What to expect of Spain's next government
  • Divide et impera: Macron's pension reform strategy
  • January 29, 2019
  • What comes after plan B fails? Plan C, of course. C for cliff-edge
  • Gilets jaunes, how to structure a movement in free flow?
  • European Court of Auditors criticises Juncker’s investment fund
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 23, 2019
  • Corbyn’s last big battle
  • Germany’s CO2 compromise meets all targets - except the climate targets
  • November 13, 2018
  • Peak Salvini?
  • Protest uberisation
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • February 28, 2017
  • Is Hamon losing the right wing of his party?
  • Something we just don’t understand
  • Solve the problem
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 11, 2020
  • While Italy is in lockdown, Germany allows football matches
  • Ireland grand coalition
  • May 31, 2019
  • Salvini’s frightening strength
  • The significance of Corbyn’s latest flipflop on the referendum
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • November 09, 2017
  • From street protests to road closures
  • What Russia wants
  • January 31, 2017
  • Project fear against Italexit
  • On how not to frustrate Brexit
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 29, 2020
  • Édouard Philippe - mayor or prime minister?
  • Sir Humphrey, R.I.P.
  • October 17, 2019
  • A dangerous game for the EU
  • After Brexit, get ready for a German EU budget rebate
  • February 04, 2019
  • Watch out for the resurgence in Tory unity
  • The gilets-jaunes' effect on the European elections
  • What did he possibly mean by that?
  • May 25, 2018
  • Rejected by US, Germany is turning towards China...
  • ...and France is turning to Russia
  • UK ties Galileo to security partnership
  • Germans are discovering miniBoTs
  • September 14, 2017
  • Bravo Mr Juncker
  • ... what he said about the labour market
  • ... and what his speech means for Brexit
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • December 02, 2019
  • Will pension reform protests spiral out of control?
  • Malta's PM resigns over murder case
  • April 24, 2019
  • May's final and biggest gamble
  • Will the EP be Brexit's great parliamentary beneficiary?
  • Can Loiseau fight the far right given her past?
  • September 12, 2018
  • It is easy to criticise Chequers but very hard to come up with an alternative
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • July 03, 2017
  • Can Greece exit its programme without a credit line?
  • The softening Brexit
  • Macron's state of the nation address
  • November 28, 2016
  • And now what Monsieur Fillion?
  • The inescapable logic of an interim agreement
  • On Germany's foreign policy post-Trump
  • How to lose against the populists
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 16, 2020
  • Why many of the Covid-19 statistics are misleading
  • September 17, 2019
  • Beware of the diplomacy of humiliation
  • Germany’s climate hypocrisy
  • March 18, 2019
  • May's deal still on the table. Don't rule it out.
  • EPP decision on Fidesz still open
  • On the defeat of liberalism
  • September 21, 2018
  • SPD ministers want to continue grand coalition
  • March 28, 2018
  • The real reason for the sanctions against Russia
  • Wishful thinking: Brexit edition
  • Wishful thinking: Future of euro edition
  • Wishful thinking: Italy edition
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • April 10, 2017
  • Nein, nein, nein, und nein
  • Sounds like a bad Brexit story, but ain’t
  • On how not to exit the euro
  • October 17, 2016
  • Ceta is dead for now
  • L’après-Hollande, c'est Hollande
  • SPD against Russia sanctions
  • Nissan to join customs union and other fanciful tales
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 02, 2020
  • Watch out for Söder
  • Libya exposes European divisions
  • January 24, 2020
  • Is Germany anti-semitic and racist?
  • Did the Greek financial crisis play a role in Brexit?
  • September 18, 2019
  • No doubt, this is a constitutional crisis
  • Macron's immigration bid
  • May 13, 2019
  • Brexit Party has already changed UK politics
  • Orbán visits Trump, after a very long wait
  • Le Pen's appeal to the PiS likely to fall on deaf ears
  • January 04, 2019
  • Will the AfD become the Dexit party?
  • Romania's corruption problem in the spotlight of its EU presidency
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • April 25, 2018
  • Macron's pitch to Trump
  • Montoro in Schleswig-Holstein
  • The old world and the new
  • December 22, 2017
  • Will Macron be the new de Gaulle?
  • 2018 through the looking glass
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • December 20, 2016
  • The politics of terror
  • On Lagarde
  • Is a disruptive Brexit possible?
  • August 22, 2016
  • Gold for Brexit
  • EU and Turkey talking past each other
  • Switzerland is the next migrant transit country
  • On the death of neoliberal economics
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 15, 2020
  • US and Germany step up fight over NordStream 2
  • Macron's agenda for the next two years
  • May 19, 2020
  • Beware of China's rising influence
  • April 24, 2020
  • Thinking through the details of a recovery fund
  • April 01, 2020
  • Stats with bad numbers
  • March 09, 2020
  • Lockdown measures are not working
  • Will the ceasefire hold in Idlib?
  • February 17, 2020
  • Security issues we should be discussing
  • Salvini has changed his mind on the euro - yet again
  • January 27, 2020
  • How the left lays the ground for Le Pen
  • Project Fear - Irish Edition
  • January 06, 2020
  • A decade that started with a bang
  • What to expect of Spain's next government
  • Divide et impera: Macron's pension reform strategy
  • December 13, 2019
  • EU climate disagreement overshadows budget
  • House of Representatives approves law to sanction NordStream 2
  • November 25, 2019
  • Twenty years on - and less safe than ever
  • Philippe's last round of talks ahead of strike actions
  • November 06, 2019
  • Could the German coalition fall over the basis minimum pension? Quite possibly.
  • Philippe to present new immigration policies
  • The sharp edge of soft power
  • October 22, 2019
  • High stake poker with Turkey
  • Without EU accession prospect, what is at stake for Macedonia?
  • October 07, 2019
  • What did Conte know?
  • September 23, 2019
  • Corbyn’s last big battle
  • Germany’s CO2 compromise meets all targets - except the climate targets
  • September 09, 2019
  • Chances of no-deal are rising and rising
  • Resist the beginnings
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • August 02, 2019
  • A useful object lesson of what can go wrong for Johnson
  • Maréchal - a rising star on the French right?
  • Could Steve re-ignite the gilets jaunes?
  • July 23, 2019
  • When Europe lacks a strategy
  • LibDems are back, but British liberalism is not
  • July 15, 2019
  • No queues in Berlin for von der Leyen’s succession
  • Mitsotakis moves fast with tax bill
  • The feel-good factor in the pre-Brexit days
  • July 08, 2019
  • Instex, forever around the corner?
  • Why Rory Stewart is not really what Remainers should be looking for
  • July 01, 2019
  • The questions we will be asking tomorrow
  • What category of diplomatic accidents is Sea Watch 3?
  • June 24, 2019
  • Economic reform has torn up the SPD - climate policy does the same for the CDU/CSU
  • Not intruding, not really
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • June 13, 2019
  • On the large and rising risk of a no-deal Brexit
  • Unite and divide - Act II of Edouard Philippe
  • June 10, 2019
  • How to create Brexit facts
  • The new Alde is already in trouble
  • June 07, 2019
  • Keep looking, gentlemen, said the King
  • Message from Peterborough
  • The decline of the grand coalition is accelerating
  • June 06, 2019
  • Is this the end of traditional parties as we know them?
  • How a no-deal Brexit could happen