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Votes in eastern EU cities will reflect rural divide

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Significance

The electoral success of activists, political entrepreneurs, more liberal-minded or pro-EU politicians in capital cities is not a strong signal that attitudes and voting patterns are shifting at the national level. Many Central-East European (CEE) citizens still have strong preferences for socially conservative policies and politicians, despite economic preferences increasingly leaning leftwards.

Impacts

  • The European Commission will have more supporters in key places to push for more climate change awareness and Green policies.
  • Newcomers into the system will challenge entrenched corruption and clientelism.
  • Firms allied to mainstream parties will resist losing advantageous contracts.
  • Nationalist or anti-EU parties will moderate their rhetoric and adapt their strategies so as not to alienate their urban supporters further.
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