On the background of the pandemic coronavirus governments of various Western countries hold quite confident of their rising in the polls, while the opposition loses the support of the population. However, the analysts believe that such conditionally positive effects will not last long, and soon there will be complex questions to answer. What problems may face political leaders — in the material “Газеты.Ru”.
Pandemic coronavirus COVID-19 that has engulfed many countries of the world seem to have brought at least one positive result for functioning governments: almost everywhere the ratings of the authorities has increased, even where the popularity of certain leaders looked lost.
The current situation does not seem surprising: in the political world uniting around the government in difficult times always seems logical.
The greatest interest in this sense are States in which the political struggle was quite intense, and the current leaders in it acted not too successfully. And in this context is best of all demonstrated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the twilight of a career which German media even “postponed”.
“Christian democratic Union”, which in the last election campaign was headed by Merkel, scored a few percentage points — according to various estimates, the party is now support from 36% to 39% of voters, making it the strongest political force in Germany.
However, there are different effect — populists, which steadily increased its electoral base in the last few years begin to take positions. “Alternative for Germany” has lost up to 10 percentage points. In the unenviable situation are “Green”.
Against the background of these data the German journalists have even raised the debate, not whether Merkel for another term (the powers of the Chancellor expire in 2021). And though experts doubt such developments, to abandon consideration of such a scenario is premature.
Another European leader who demonstrated quite a large increase, — the President of France Emmanuel macron. However, in this particular case, the surge of its popularity again left behind. In mid-March, even before the adoption of stringent restrictive measures, his approval rating was around 59%, now — about 40%. But it’s still more than 25-30%, which was the French leader at the end of 2018 — beginning of 2019. It should be noted that the level of support of Macron first for a long time was influenced by the movement of the “yellow jackets”, the protests for months which shook the French city, and after the wave “vest” faded, the popularity of the President has affected pension reform.
Challenges facing the US President Donald trump, although it should be noted, the depth of the fall of its rating is not as great as predicted by the sociologists.
According to a study by Morning Consult published may 8, ratings trump has been as high as 40-45%, i.e. they have not grown much, but didn’t fall.
For example, 43% of Americans find successful actions of the White house in matters of recovery of economies affected by the coronavirus, and the actions of the President on economic policy before the pandemic appreciated 46% of potential voters.
On the one hand, these results indicate that trump is strong enough and stable electoral base on which he can rely on in the upcoming election campaign. On the other, the fact that the ratings of trump remains in place, indicating a fairly strong criticism of American society in relation to the actions of the President.
A similar level of support is demonstrated almost everywhere — in the UK, Italy, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and several other countries.
Success is not eternal
This situation will not last for long, says a political observer Euronews Darren McCaffrey. “When the current crisis will pass and the process will return to normal, the politicians will have to face a hangover. There will be a large number of questions about how they coped with the crisis and how they can help their economies return to normal,” he writes.
And this task seems quite complicated, especially for countries in which is coming to the end of the election cycle.
So, for example, to avoid such a development in the direction of public opinion, the Polish authorities tried to hold presidential elections as soon as possible. Voting was held on 10 may, but due to the fact that the Seimas and the government could not approve the procedure for holding elections in conditions of a pandemic coronavirus, had to be postponed. The term is not yet defined, but Warsaw insists that the vote should take place as soon as possible.
A little later, this have to face Donald Trump. The crisis caused by the restrictive measures to fight the pandemic, have already turned to the current head of the White house big issues — economic indicators in the US are falling, unemployment is rising. Against this background, he will have to go through a campaign where trump, of course, wants to emerge victorious. In General, the President, and his rival Joe Biden (the main contender for the nomination from the Democratic party) are fairly close in ratings to each other.
Partly to the same group of countries include Germany. Although parliamentary elections will be held there until next year, the elections will be counted from the moment when the CDU will elect its President — that it is expected in 2021-m will lead the Christian Democrats to the polls. And given the fact that the plan for transit of soft power within the party with transfer of authority Annegret Kramp-of Karrenbauer failed, this event will attract the attention of all the European countries after the pandemic starts to decline.
However, it is already obvious that the applicants to this position in the information space of Germany are in the shadow of Angela Merkel.
And discussions on the theme of conservation of power Merkel does not create an atmosphere of certainty in the political process in one of the leading countries of the European Union.
Around the flag
However, right now, when people are confused, they tend to trust their governments.
“The initial instinct is to rally around the flag, because if not, this could be seen as unpatriotic and useless action. But society cannot be mobilized indefinitely. Inevitably, there is a fatigue and people will begin to ask inconvenient questions”, — said the Director of the European Council on foreign relations mark Leonard.
In this regard, in the European information space the question is put somewhat differently: whether last this consolidation of public opinion when the crisis subsides, and the normal practice of political activities will be restored.
“Typically, these state companies do not last long. Soon to be followed by a formal investigation of the inevitable failures and mistakes, and voters will “retaliate” even the most effective leaders,” writes a columnist for the New York Times Steven Erlanger.
In support of this work sociology: in mid-April started recorded the first signs of deviation from the peak performance support. The most striking example here is the position of Emmanuel Macron. The depth of the fall of its rating, almost 20 percentage points in two months.
“The French are beginning to focus on his own disappointments — for example, in the absence of the masks or shared the country’s readiness for such a pandemic. I’m sure when the restrictions will be lifted, these issues will be immediately submitted for public discussion, and the opposition parties will be keen to place the responsibility for failure on the current government” — says Christian Lecesne, Professor of European politics, the Paris Institute of political studies.
These provisions have, in particular, is the leader of “National unification” (former national front) marine Le Pen, who has expressed dissatisfaction with the steps taken by the government as part of a phased exit of self-isolation. Earlier, Le Pen criticized the government for not timely closed borders.
However, does the opposition activity Le Pen on the rankings at the moment, hard to say. However, we can say that
pandemic coronavirus can lead to the decline of populism in the political space — at least at this stage.
Le Pen in the last election cycle was released in France in the second round of the presidential elections, together with Emmanuel Macron, “Alternative for Germany” steadily increased their electoral core, the Italian populists also enjoyed fairly broad support. Now they are losing political points.
“All this nationalist populism has been associated with the historical moment when we could afford to play with fire. But now the situation is really bad, much more dangerous, and people do not want such information in the populist media,” the NYT quoted the opinion of the Director of the Italian Institute for international relations Nathalie Tocci.