The new government in Lithuania most likely to be led by the opposition Homeland Union

The recent legislative elections in Lithuania took place in two rounds and were completed on October 25th, 2020. In the first round, roughly half of the parliament was elected through the single member-constituencies, while the remainder of the seats were allocated through the proportional representation system in the second round. The final campaign month and elections in Lithuania coincided with a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases.

The elections in Lithuania produced somewhat surprising results: the opposition Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) has attained a convincing victory with 50 seats out of 141. The former cabinet leader, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVZS), scores the second with only 32 seats. These results may reflect the growing concerns of the voters over the economic effects of the anti-Covid measures adopted by the LVZS-led government.

We consider the following coalition constraints as a basis for our forecast of government formation in Lithuania. Due to past differences between LVZS and the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (LSDDP) on one side and the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (LSDP) on the other, we exclude the feasibility of an alliance of these two blocks in the future. Similarly, a coalition of TS-LKD and Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (AWPL, formerly LLRA), which broke down in 2014 is also excluded. Finally, LVZS publicly refuses to form a coalition with the liberal Freedom party but does not exclude an agreement with TS-LKD. Based on these constraints and the election results, we present our analysis:

Constraints in coalition formation
ccccccccccccccccConstraints in coalition formation
cccccccProjected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)
cccccPredicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

With the considered government formation constraints there is no alternative to the TS-LKD-led government. Equally stable (equally likely) coalition formation scenarios include LSDP, the Freedom Party, the Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania (LSRS), the Labor Party (DP), and LVZS.

Right-wing VMRO-DPMNE could snatch the electoral victory from pro-European SDSM in the recent elections in North Macedonia

The general elections in North Macedonia on July 15th reveal no obvious winner: the center-left Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and its alias (We Can coalition) secured 46 parliamentary seats out of 120, while its closest rival, the Renewal coalition led by the center-right to right-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) has won 44 seats. SDSM, despite its recent success in progressing NATO and EU-accession talks, is facing a backlash from a fraction of voters disappointed by the change of the name of the country to North Macedonia and the delay in reforming the country’s judiciary system after the recent corruption scandal involving SDSM officials.

We consider the following constraints in the government formation process. The Albanian minority interests Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the 3d largest political party with 15 seats, retains its kingmaker status: the party considers an alliance with both SDSM- and VMRO-DPMNE-led coalitions and may be decisive for shaping the future government. Moreover, a coalition of the two leading parties is not fully excluded and could be the only way to form government without DUI. The Left (Levica) criticizes both major parties (SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE) and rules out cooperation with them. Based on these constraints and the current polls, we present our forecast of government formation in North Macedonia:

Constraints in coalition formation

Parliamentary seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)
Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

The most stable (most likely) government formation scenario implies a VMRO-DPMNE-led government in coalition with DUI and the Alliance for Albanians (AA). The less likely alternative involves a coalition between SDSM and DUI or SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE. DUI may prefer the alliance with VMRO-DPMNE, as it can expect a higher share of power in that coalition.

After the Basque election, PSE likely to form left-wing government with EH Bildu and Podemos

Regional parliament elections in the Basque Country took place on July 12th, 2020, showing one of the lowest turnout rates historically. The situation is complicated by the new cases of COVID-19, as the outbreak in the region has not been tackled completely, and a ban for voters with confirmed and suspected diagnosis to participate in the elections.

The Basque National Party (PNV), the leader of the current Basque government, also remains the most widely supported political party according to the elections results (31 out of 75 parliamentary seats). Its coalition partner, the Socialist Party of the Basque Country-Basque Country Left (PSE-EE), scores the 3d after leftist and pro-independence Euskal Herria Bildu (EH Bildu), which secured 22 seats. PSE-EE is the regional affiliate of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) led by Pedro Sánchez, the current prime minister of Spain. Right-wing Vox is taking part in the Basque region elections for the first time, and was able to secure 1 seat in the regional parliament.

To provide our forecast of government formation, we consider the following constraints. The center-right alliance of People’s Party and Citizens (PP+Cs) excludes cooperation with left-wing Elkarrekin Podemos (EP-IU) and EH Bildu. PNV and EH Bildu, despite some common ground in advocating Basque national interests, have pronounced economic and social disagreements. The ultra-right Vox is incompatible with the left-wing political parties. Based on these constraints and the election results we provide our forecast.

Constraints in coalition formation


Proportion of parliamentary seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)
Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

Most stable (most likely) coalition formations scenario implies a left-wing government led by PSE-EE in cooperation with EP-IU and EH Bildu. A renewal of the current PNV – PSE-EE coalition constitutes a less likely alternative to the left-wing government. However, this time PSE-EE may take the lead, as it may have a power to choose between the two feasible coalitions.

HDZ, the winning party in the Croatian elections, is likely to form the new government

The center-right Croatian Democratic Movement (HDZ), who is believed to have managed the COVID-19 crisis well, has won the parliamentary elections in Croatia on July 5th, 2020, securing 66 out of 151 seats. This outcome proved somewhat unexpected as the recent polls projected almost equal support of HDZ and the Restart coalition, led by its long-standing rival, the central-left Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), which received only 41 seats – one of the worst results since the 1990s. The right-wing Homeland Movement (DPMS) comes third in the elections with 16 parliamentary seats.

We consider the following constraints in coalition formation. In 2017, the center-right Bridge of Independent Lists (Most) left the governing coalition with HDZ, as some of the HDZ members were accused of tempering financial statements of Agrokor, a major Croatian agribusiness conglomerate, which went insolvent and filed for state support. The cooperation between these two parties is, therefore, excluded in our analysis.

A joint coalition between DPMS and HDZ is not excluded, as DPMS remains the only opportunity for HDZ to form a right-wing government. The cooperation may not be established easily, though, as DPMS allows anti-Serb, anti-minority, anti-gender equality rhetoric, which historically right-wing HDZ now tries to avoid. Moreover, HDZ enjoyed the support of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) in the past, which DPMS excludes.

Finally, a coalition between HDZ and SDP also remains a viable option, as the two parties conducted government formation talks in the past. Based on these constraints and the results of the current polls we present our forecast of government formation in Croatia.

Constraints in coalition formation
Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

The most stable (and the most likely) scenarios imply an HDZ-dominated government, which also includes minorities and smaller parties. Coalitions with Restart or DPMS are also possible, but are less likely, as they imply that HDZ will have to give up a higher share of power.

Social Democratic Party may be leading the new government in Croatia

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Croatia are to take place before December 2020 and may be scheduled for as early as the beginning of July depending on the epidemiological situation. The current public health crisis may have played to the benefit of the center-right Croatian Democratic Movement (HDZ), the leading party in the government of Croatia, as its support is growing according to the public opinion polls. The central-left Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), the second major political force, on the contrary, has seen a certain decline.

The Croatian political landscape has been long dominated by these two political forces. According to the current polls, a very limited number of other political parties will be able to surpass the 5% electoral threshold. This situation has been particularly criticized by a former presidential candidate and folk musician Miroslav Škoro, who founded the Homeland Movement party (DPMS) in February of 2020. By now, the party has gained sufficient support to enter the new Croatian parliament and enjoys the status of the third-largest political force. The fourth party expected to be able to join the legislature is the center-right Bridge of Independent Lists (Most).

We consider the following constraints in coalition formation. In 2017, Most left the governing coalition with HDZ, as some of the HDZ members were accused of tempering financial statements of Agrokor, a major Croatian agribusiness conglomerate, which went insolvent and filed for state support. The cooperation between these two parties is, therefore, excluded in our analysis. A joint coalition between DPMS and HDZ is also not considered due to harsh criticism on both sides. An alliance of HDZ and SDP is not excluded, as tthe two parties conducted government formation talks in the previous election cycle. Based on these constraints and the results of the current polls we present our forecast of government formation in Croatia.


Constraints in coalition formation

Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

Both predicted scenarios enjoy an equal stability level (are equally likely). SDP is expected to lead the new government despite the decline in electoral support, as it can choose between potential coalition partners, HDZ or DPMS.

United by the protests, opposition has a chance to form the new government in Montenegro

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Montenegro are scheduled for October 2020 and are marked by a high degree of political controversy. The first wave of mass protests took place in February 2019 over alleged corruption within the center-left Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which remains in power since 1991. A further wave of protests occurred in December over the adoption of the new religion law, which will lead a transfer of Serbian Orthodox Church buildings to the state of Montenegro.

The protests in Montenegro are led by an informal group of activists, intellectuals, academics, and journalists and are supported by the opposition parties. Their demands include no political cooperation with the current governing coalition of Montenegro which comprises DPS, the Bosniak Party (BS), the Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI) and the Democratic Union of Albanians (DUA). According to the latest polls, HGI and DUA are not passing the electoral threshold and are excluded from this forecast.

The political parties supporting the protests and, therefore excluding cooperation with the current government, are right-wing Democratic Front (DF), center-left Democratic Montenegro (DCG), center-left United Reform Action (URA), center-left Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) and right-wing True Montenegro (PCG). Based on these constraints and the results of the current polls we present our forecast of government formation in Montenegro.


Constraints in coalition formation

Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

In all four equally stable (equally likely) projected scenarios, DF and DCG take the role of the two leading political forces in a new government in Montenegro. They enjoy an equal level of power, as both parties are crucial for securing a majority in parliament. Their potential coalition partners include 3 parties out of Albanian minority New Democratic Force-Albanian Alternative (Forca-AA), SDP, URA, and PCG.

Georgian Dream may remain the major political force in parliament, but will need to secure coalition partners

Parliamentary elections in Georgia are scheduled for October 2020, and the country is approaching the date amidst notable shifts in the political landscape.

Georgian political arena has been long dominated by two major opposing political forces, the Georgian Dream party (GD) and center-right United National Movement (UNM), which caused significant electoral discontent and eventually resulted in mass demonstrations in June of 2019. The protesters were claiming that the electoral system at the time was unfairly favoring GD. As a result, political parties in Georgia negotiated an electoral reform, which took effect from March 2020. Now the parliament will consist of 120 members elected through a proportional voting system, while 30 members will be elected through a majority system. The electoral threshold has been lowered to 1% for political parties.

According to the current polls, this reform will have two major effects on political life. Apart from more political forces being able to enter the parliament, none of the parties will be able to form a single majority – for the first time since 2003 – and we should expect a coalition government.

We consider the following constraints in government coalition formation. GD and UNM have been in long-standing and fierce opposition to each other, and we, therefore, exclude the possibility of their joint coalition. The center-right European Georgia (EG), which split from UNM in 2017, is reportedly reconsidering the move and is in talks with UNM to form a faction in the upcoming parliament. The two pro-Russian parties, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG) and Democratic Movement – United Georgia (DMUG), are expected to share GD’s sentiments towards pro-western UNM and EG, so the cooperation of these two blocs is also excluded. Libertarian Girchi has previously refused to join a coalition with GD.

Further constraints concern Lelo for Georgia (Lelo), a new political party in Georgia, which, according to its leader, was created with the purpose to counter the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and the United National Movement (UNM) opposition. The Development Movement (DM) has launched political cooperation with Lelo, which excludes a coalition with GD or UNM.

Based on these constraints and the results of the current polls we present our forecast of government formation in Georgia.

Constraints in coalition formation
Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)
Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

All 3 projected scenarios include GD as the leading political force in the new Parliament. The most stable (most likely) scenario involves the center-left Georgian Labor Party (SLP), which has never been a part of any governing coalition, and APG. Other potential GD’s coalitions include SLP or APG and DMUG and centrist Civil Movement (Civil).

The new government in Lithuania may be led by the Conservatives or the Farmers and Greens

The forthcoming legislative elections in Lithuania are scheduled to take place in October 2020. Potentially, more political parties may be able able to enter the parliament, as in December 2019 the electoral threshold has been decreased to 3% for single parties and 5% for coalitions.

In Lithuanian politics, party alliances change rather dynamically with the most recent shift taking place within the current government coalition structure. The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVZS) was forced to look for new coalition partners as in 2017 the center-left Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (LSDP) pulled out from the government coalition. It was replaced by the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (LSDDP), with the Polish minority Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance (LLRA) and right-wing Order and Justice party (TT) also joining the government coalition subsequently.

Meanwhile, the current polls demonstrate a decrease in electoral support of the governing parties. The conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-KD) is the leading political force at the moment, scoring almost twice as good as LVZS. LSDDP is at risk of not being able to enter the new parliament, as its level of support is below 3%.

We consider the following coalition constraints. Due to past differences between LVZS and LSDP, we exclude the feasibility of this coalition in the future. Similarly, a coalition of TS-KD and LLRA, which broke down in 2014 is also excluded. Based on these constraints and the current polls, we present our forecast of government formation in Lithuania:


Constraints in coalition formation

Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

The most stable (most likely) government formation scenario implies a government led by LVZS, which also comprises the Labor party (DP), the Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania (LRLS), TT and LLRA. All other coalition scenarios are dominated by TS-KD, with the most stable including LSDP and DP or TT.

Regional elections in Spain: a left-wing government might be formed in the Basque Country

Early elections in Spanish regions Basque Country and Galicia are to take place on April 5th. While, according to the current polls, center-right People’s Party (PP) holds a single majority in Galicia, multiple coalition formation scenarios may be possible in the Basque Country.

The Basque National Party (PNV), the leader of the current Basque government, also remains the most widely supported political party according to the current polls. Its coalition partner, the Socialist Party of the Basque Country-Basque Country Left (PSE-EE), scores the 3d after leftist and pro-independence Euskal Herria Bildu (EH Bildu). PSE-EE is the regional affiliate of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) led by Pedro Sánchez, the current prime minister of Spain. Right-wing Vox is taking part in the Basque region elections for the first time, and it is not clear whether the party will be able to enter the Basque parliament.

To provide our forecast of government formation, we consider the following constraints. The center-right alliance of People’s Party and Citizens (PP+Cs) excludes cooperation with left-wing Elkarrekin Podemos (EP-IU) and EH Bildu. PNV and EH Bildu, despite some common ground in advocating Basque national interests, have pronounced economic and social disagreements. Based on these constraints and the data from public opinion polls we provide our forecast.


Constraints in coalition formation


Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

Most stable (most likely) coalition formations scenario implies a left-wing government led by PSE-EE in cooperation with EP-IU and EH Bildu. A renewal of the current PNV – PSE-EE coalition constitutes a less likely alternative to the left-wing government. However, this time PSE-EE may take the lead, as it may have a power to choose between the two feasible coalitions.