Monday
Feb082016

Why Trump will LOSE

By @PeggyPapakosta

Trump will not win because he’s not one guy against many but one guy against two: Cruz and Rubio

Cruz is the more conservative and Rubio is the less conservative Republican candidate. And Trump is... Trump. He’s definitely conservative but shouldn’t necessarily be classified as Republican. He’s in a league of his own. Besides, Trump may even choose to run independently any way, especially if he loses the nomination. In any case, conservative states dominate the early primary calendar, providing an opening for Ted Cruz. At the same time, Rubio seems stronger later in the game, in states with more moderate Republican voters. And Trump sits somewhere in the middle stuck between a rock and a hard place appealing to a strange mix of both.

Let’s have a look at two crazy scenarios:

Scenario One: Rubio wins

Let’s say Cruz does well in some of the early states that have more conservative Republicans but not well enough to gain the necessary traction to win the moderate Republican voters in the states in the later primaries. Let’s also assume that his narrative does not evolve enough as the primaries progress, does not succeed in attracting the moderate vote at the presidential election and even manages to alienate it. In this scenario, Cruz could concede around April and support Rubio who has a better chance of winning not just the moderate Republicans but the country’s swing vote on November 8.

Scenario Two: Cruz wins

If Cruz does exceptionally well in the early primaries like he did in Iowa and gradually adjusts his political messaging to appeal to more moderate Republicans he then has the necessary momentum to move forward. He leaves Trump behind and Rubio concedes in time to transfer his pool of moderate supporters to Cruz and give him an extra boost. Cruz waters down his narrative enough to win the country’s moderate vote as well.

Either way the Republican party doubles its chances of winning the presidency with Cruz and Rubio as a double act

And that’s why odds are Trump will lose as other factors such as the instinct for survival will kick in to drive Republicans to victory. After all, it is their party’s turn at the helm.

Sunday
Nov012015

Turkish Elections: Much Ado about Nothing

By Peggy Papakosta | @PeggyPapakosta

Turkey is holding its second national election in 5 months after failing to form a lasting coalition government after the first election on 7 June. The problem is that the political balance of power doesn’t seem to have changed much. I guess the hope was to call a snap election to form a majority government. It is proving unlikely.

The political map marks little change as the main ruling party AKP does not look like it’s going to be able to form a government on its own. Again. The main opposition party CHP remains stable and will not be able to form a government on its own either. Again. The nationalist party MHP seems to be losing some of its vote share and nearing its 2011 result but no derailing change happening here. Finally, the pro-Kurdish HDP seems to be holding its ground so there is no change there either. No single party may form a majority government so a coalition government seems to be the most plausible scenario. Again. So what was the point of this second electoral round?

 

FORECAST 1/11/2015

RESULTS 7/6/2015

FORECAST 7/6/2015

RESULTS

 2011

CHANGE 7/6/2015-2011

Party

Share of vote

Seats

Share of vote

Seats

Share of vote

Seats

Share of vote

Seats

Share of vote

Seats

AKP

42%

260

40.7%

258

43%

264

49.83%

327

-6.83%

-63

MHP

13.5%

77

16.5%

80

16%

90

13.01%

53

-2.99%

-37

HDP

13.5%

80

13%

80

10%

55

-

-

10%

55

CHP

26.5%

133

25.1%

132

26%

141

25.98%

135

-0.02%

-6

 

Perhaps Turkey should start getting used to coalition governments just like many other countries. It is a hard adjustment for all parties and nations that have gone through it but the times call for it. This election on 1 November may not change the political map of Turkey but it may provide the necessary springboard for a sustainable coalition. At last. In any case, what are the alternatives? A third snap election in a few months? A coup d’ etat?  Conceivably, a coalition government seems to be the most sensible choice.

Sunday
Sep202015

Greek Elections: No policies, lots of politics

By Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

Image: Marian Kamensky

It will be the most difficult election to predict as of yet. In a few hours the polling stations close and it has thus far been one of the most interesting elections at least from a communication perspective. The political narratives were shallow for the most part or missing with very few party platforms declaring what each party promises to do the next day and to what it can be held accountable. After all, what does it matter in a country where rules and austerity are imposed from supranational powers?

The different party campaigns were attention-grabbing, some creative and even enthralling in some cases. It is entirely possible that 9 parties will be able to exceed the 3% threshold to obtain seats in the next parliament. Depending on many factors, the number of parliamentary parties could also very easily be 8 or 7 or even 6. The three smaller parties could succeed in getting a decent vote share and still see themselves outside the parliament looking in.

Let’s take the generous approach and assume that the next Greek parliament will look like a jigsaw puzzle with 2 main parties, 4 medium and 3 smaller ones. It is tempting to offer different plausible scenarios, which is the most prudent method but it is also not as fascinating. So, opting for interesting rather than safe, here goes nothing:

  1. Syriza, the left-wing party most recently in power, is earmarked to go past the finish line first in this election too. It started at an average speed and kept on winning ground steadily. It will probably lose some of its vote share compared to the last election held in January 2015 but it will most likely be part of the new government.
  2. New Democracy (ND), the right-wing party and main opposition, ran the most impressive campaign. It started low and then it gained a lot of ground rallying its voters to a very satisfactory degree. And then it gained some more ground. It will probably come second but will have increased its vote share since last time.
  3. Golden Dawn, the Nazi party, will probably come 3rd in a country that fought against Nazi oppressors ferociously a few decades back and is now fighting to retain some dignity against acute austerity. Its influence decreases when New Democracy goes up as a lot of old Democracy voters now vote for Golden Dawn.
  4. PASOK-DIMAR is a coalition between two center-left parties. They too ran a really good campaign and rose steadily in the polls. The new strategy and leader agree with their old audience.
  5. The Communist Party (KKE) seems to gain ground too.
  6. River is a centrist party that started strong but was cannibalized in the process of the campaign by other parties such as Syriza and New Democracy. Nevertheless it is not in danger of not exceeding the threshold of 3% required to obtain seats in parliament.
  7. The Union of the Centrists also started strong and its influence waned. If it enters parliament, it will be the first time in its long history. And there’s a good chance it won’t.
  8. LAE is a left-wing party characterized by its strong stance and rhetoric against austerity. It is a spin-off of Syriza and one of the main reasons for this snap election. It entered the race very strong and it is now on the brink of not reaching the 3% threshold.
  9. ANEL is a right-wing party that formed the previous coalition government with Syriza. They entered the race with very low expectations and slowly started picking up pace. It is doubtful that they will have gained enough ground to obtain seats in the next parliament even though this party has been known to surprise at every single election since 2012.

 

Syriza

ND

Golden Party

KKE

PASOK-DIMAR

River

Union of Centrists

LAE

ANEL

Vote share

34,1

30,3

6,6

5,3

5,2

4,9

3,5

3,6

3,2

Seats

138

78

17

14

13

13

9

10

8

Margin of error ±3% (corresponding seats adjustment)

by Peggy Papakosta for ΠoliticalForesight©












 

Syriza is expected to be the core of the next Greek administration and it will probably have a number of other parliamentary parties to choose from to form the new coalition government. Potential candidates include PASOK-DIMAR, River, Union of Centrists and ANEL. To form the new government, at least three parties will be required, which will make political life in Greece more interesting and original than ever. As if it wasn’t already. So in short, the new (and old) Greek elected officials may not be in a position to implement any type of self-driven policy but they can consume themselves in ample games of politics. Fair enough.

Monday
Sep142015

Who will win the Greek Election? 

by Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

Scenario One

According to the 1st scenario there will be 8 parties in the next parliament excluding the right-wing party of Independent Greeks (ANEL) that participated in the previous coalition government with the Syriza party and including 2 newbies: LAE and the Union of Centrists (UoC). LAE is a spin-off of Syriza and UoC is a newcomer in the parliamentary scene but by no means in the political one. It’s been trying to obtain seats in the parliament for decades.

Here’s my previous and current prediction for the September election:

 

Syriza

New Democracy

Golden Dawn

Communist Party

PASOK

Potami

UoC

LAE

Predict 1/9/15

%

34,1

27,3

6,3

5,2

3,7

5,8

4,2

4,6

Seats

143

75

17

14

10

16

12

13

Predict 14/9/15

%

33,6

29,5

6,4

5,5

4,5

5,3

4,5

4,2

Seats

140

79

17

15

12

14

12

15

Results Jan 2015

%

36,34

27,81

6,28

5,47

4,68

6,05

1,79

-

Seats

149

76

17

15

13

17

0

-

(margin of error ±3% for both percentages and seats)

Since the beginning of the campaign 2 weeks ago, Syriza has lost some ground but not substantial and New Democracy some gained some. But the trend is for Syriza to do better as it has room to rally its base whereas New Democracy has plateaued. Using the percentages as an indicator and not the seats, almost all smaller parties have seen gains except for the left-wing LAE. The other party that doesn’t seem to be picking up pace is the centrist Potami.

Scenario Two

The 2nd scenario assumes that 9 parties will be in the next parliament instead of 8 including the right-wing party ANEL. Last time around, very few predicted that ANEL would get more than 3% of the vote share which is the threshold to obtain any seats in the parliament. If ANEL succeeds again then the landscape may look something like this:

 

Syriza

New Democracy

Golden Dawn

Communist Party

PASOK

Potami

UoC

LAE

ANEL

Predict 14/9/15

%

33,6

29,2

6,4

5,5

4,5

5,3

4,3

4,2

3,2

Seats

137

76

17

14

12

14

11

11

8

Results Jan 2015

%

36,34

27,81

6,28

5,47

4,68

6,05

1,79

-

4,75

Seats

149

76

17

15

13

17

0

-

13

(margin of error ±3% for both percentages and seats)

If scenario two is true then the 2 major parties have most to lose.

Regarding the next government, it will need to be supported by at least 151 MPs. So there are many possibilities for a coalition government. The chance of the next Greek government not including the Syriza party is next to nil

Wednesday
Sep022015

1 Constant + 1 Tectonic Shift = Greek Snap Election on Sep 20

By Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

Image source: http://globalgreekworld.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/general-elections-in-greece-keep-calm.html

The parliamentary landscape will not change much

The Greek snap election will take place on September 20. For this reason, there was a tsunami of public opinion polls in Greece and abroad. Some were published, others were not. The campaigns will play an instrumental role in the final result. But so far, if the election were to be held tomorrow, what it boils down to is that the ruling party Syriza will probably lose a few seats. The main opposition party New Democracy will pretty much maintain its seats.

There will be little change in the seats held by Golden Dawn (far-right nazi party), Potami (center), the Communist party and PASOK (center-left). For the time being, the party Independent Greeks that formed the present government with Syriza doesn’t seem to be getting into Parliament but their entrance was a surprise last time too. The new parliamentarian entries are the far-left party LAE that broke away from Syriza and the party Union of the Centrists.

Here’s my current prediction for the September election:

 

Syriza

New Democracy

Golden Dawn

Communist Party

PASOK

Potami

Union of Centre

LAE

Predict Sep 2015

%

34,1

27,3

6,3

5,2

3,7

5,8

4,2

4,6

Seats

143

75

17

14

10

16

12

13

Results Jan 2015

%

36,34

27,81

6,28

5,47

4,68

6,05

1,79

-

Seats

149

76

17

15

13

17

0

-

 

Next week the above table will be adjusted to accommodate for new findings as the campaigns roll out. Anything can happen in 20 days!

The one big change will be the increased parliamentarian support for the MoU

Although the make-up of the parliament doesn’t seem to be changing much since most of the parties maintain their power and the two new entries are of small political caliber, there is one very substantial change. The main political debate in Greece for the past five years has been the support of or opposition to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Greece, the IMF, the EU and the ECB. The MoU carries a number of unpopular reforms that drove both the public and consequently the political parties to declare a position of agreement or disagreement to that document or rather 3 documents. The rhetoric goes haywire but that’s the gist of it. Therefore the big change between the upcoming election and the previous one six months ago  is regarding the position of the Greek MPs in relation to the MoU. After the January 2015 election there were about 100 MPs in favor of the MoU and 200 against. After this election, there will probably be about 250 MPs in favor and 50 against. The implications of that shift are of course enormous. And that’s the gist of it.

Saturday
Jun062015

Turkish Elections 2015: What to watch

by Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

Tomorrow Sunday 7th June, Turkey votes and the two most interesting things to watch about this election is how much power Erdogan’s party AKP will lose and how many seats the new pro-Kurdish party HDP will gain. Some say HDP will not bypass the 10% threshold to enter parliament but it probably will, not just because it represents Kurds but also because its leadership has made it clear that they want to represent all kinds of minorities. Anti-capitalist HDP is seen as the Turkish version of Greek SYRIZA and Spanish Podemos.

For President Erdogan a strong left-wing pro-Kurdish party in parliament may seem like trouble but not necessarily. Like in the UK, the 2015 election produced a strong SNP with 56 members of parliament that theoretically support an independent Scotland. Their presence in Westminster will either legitimize the union or lead to its break-up depending on how the British government handles the Scotland issue despite the recent referendum result in favor of the union. The referendum gave the union some breathing space but it didn’t settle the matter because the difference between the “yes” and the “no” was not wide enough.

The same with Turkey. A strong HDP does not necessarily mean doom and the potential break-up of Turkey but it may. It is up to the Turkish government and people.

 

FORECAST 2015

ELECTION 2011

CHANGE 2011-2015

Party

Share of vote

Seats

Share of vote

Seats

Share of vote

Seats

AKP

43%

264

49.83%

327

-6.83%

-63

MHP

16%

90

13.01%

53

-2.99%

-37

HDP

10%

55

-

-

+10%

+55

CHP

26%

141

25.98%

135

-0.02%

-6

by Peggy Papakosta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday
May102015

Polls didn’t get it wrong; the Tory campaign got it right.

by Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

The polls or rather the data was not wrong in the run-up to the UK election on May 7th 2015. Polling analysis and their data can be nothing more than a snapshot of the moment. That’s not the problem if (1) all (2) raw data is (3) honest and (4) public. The problem begins when pollsters try to make the necessary adjustment to predict the final result. In order to do that, they split the ‘undefined’ vote (which is made of the undecided vote and the refusers) mainly between the two major parties.

In the Scottish Referendum, the yes or ‘leave the UK’ vote got 87% of the undecided. An amazing feat for the Scottish National Party.  If all the raw data was honest and published during the last week before the election, then the conservatives managed to get about 67% of the ‘undefined’ vote and the labour party only got about 24% (table below). An equally amazing feat for the tories. No one expected it. Not even the tory leadership. Usually pollsters follow the unwritten rule dictated by statistical experience and split the ‘undefined’ vote between the two big parties correspondingly to their unadjusted voting intention percentages. In this UK election, the unwritten rule was proven wrong because there was a big swing towards the conservative party at the last minute and the polls did not have time to pick it up. It is entirely possible that a campaign is so successful that it defies the unwritten rule of splitting the undecided and refusers somewhat evenly. It is probable that that the Tory campaign may have done a hell of a job and got most of the undecided vote. Some say that the potential informal or formal coalition of the Labour party with the SNP pushed the English reluctantly to the conservative embrace. And that could only be a success of the Tory campaigners that promoted this message relentlessly.

A simple way to go forward is for all pollsters to publish all their raw data without adjustments that exclude the undecided and the refusers and include both phone and internet polling. And let others decide where the swing will go and by how much.

Poll

Pollster

Conservatives Voting Intention 2015

Labour

Voting Intention 2015

Don't know

Refused

Don't know+ Refused

5&7 May Populus

 

27

29

9

2

 

5&6 May

Ashcroft

23

24

9

9

 

5&6 May

ComRes

27

27

12

6

 

05-May

BMG

28.2

30

11.3

2

 

05-May

Survation

28.6

30.5

9.2

1.1

 

3&6 May

ICM

22

25

15

10

 

3&5 May

ComRes

27

25

15

5

 

1&3 May

Ashcroft

21

21

11

10

 

1&3 May

Populus

27

27

9

2

 

02-May

Survation

26.9

30.1

12

0.7

 

01-May

Survation

27.7

29.9

12.4

1.6

 

28&30 Apr

ComRes

24

24

21

4

 

29&30 Apr

Populus

26

27

11

2

 

24&26 Apr

Ashcroft

25

21

9

10

 

Average of polls during last week

 

25.7

26.5

11.9

4.7

16.5

Election Results 2015

 

36.9

30.4

 

 

 

Results minus Average

 

11.2

3.9

 

 

 

% of Don't know + Refused

 

67.5

23.8

 

 

91.4

 

Tuesday
May052015

5 years of austerity in Greece and counting...

by Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

Monday
Apr272015

Labour + SNPx10 = Government

by Peggy Papakosta, @PeggyPapakosta

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”  

This is my prediction of what the British parliament will look like after May 7th give or take a few seats:

Labour

275

Conservatives

273

SNP

55

LibDem

22

Plaid Cymru

3

UKIP

2

Greens

1

The Conservatives are an unlikely candidate for a coalition government because neither they nor the Liberal Democrats seem to have sufficient seats to form a government together. The same goes for a coalition government between Labour and LibDems. It is also unlikely that the Conservatives will form a coalition government with Labour or SNP. A second election will increase uncertainty, business uneasiness and cost at a time of increasing concern for worldwide sovereign debt crisis. And in any case, why would the result of a 2nd election be much different in a climate of public mistrust or reduced enthusiasm at best?

The most likely scenario despite the numerous denials by Ed Miliband is for Labour to enter a coalition government with the SNP. 2010 deliberations should serve as a good lesson to Labour not to be left out of forming a government. Because if a Labour-SNP alliance of 325 MPs fails, the impossibility of a Tory-SNP government of 323 MPs becomes more probable.

Monday
Apr202015

Ελληνική ομοψυχία. NOT!

της Πέγκυ Παπακώστα, @PeggyPapakosta

Το συνταξιοδοτικό των Αγγλικών Πανεπιστημίων είναι στο κόκκινο. Έχουν 330.000 μέλη και χρωστάνε σύμφωνα με του ίδιους λίγο λιγότερo από 8 δισεκατομμύρια λίρες. Σύμφωνα με ανεξάρτητους εκτιμητές χρωστάνε 10,5 δισεκατομμύρια λίρες. Ψιχουλάκια. Είχαν λοιπόν δύο επιλογές: ή να καθαρίσουν το σπίτι τους μόνοι τους ή να το κάνουν άλλοι για αυτούς. Ξεκίνησε λοιπόν η δύσκολη διαδικασία να τα βρουν μεταξύ τους. Αυτοί που πληρώνουν πολλά με αυτούς που πληρώνουν λίγα. Κι αυτοί που λαμβάνουν μεγάλες συντάξεις με αυτούς που λαμβάνουν μικρότερες. Τα συμφέροντα πάρα πολύ μεγάλα και ισχυρά. Με μίσος, με συγκρούσεις, με εχθρότητα δουλεύουν μαζί προς ένα στόχο. Το κοινό καλό. Γιατί το δίλημμα είναι απλό: συμβιβασμός στο έπακρο ή καταστροφή.

Θα συνεχίσω λέγοντας κάτι άσχετο που στο τέλος θα φανεί σχετικό.

Θυμάμαι οι γονείς μου μου έλεγαν για τις παλιές δύσκολες αλλά ωραίες ημέρες των Ελλήνων του Σικάγο. Εκεί που γεννήθηκα και μεγάλωσα και εγώ. Για τα μπουζούκια (το αγαπημένο τους ήταν το μυθικό πια Deni’s Den), τα ελληνικά ζαχαροπλαστεία, τους Έλληνες φοιτητές (κάποιοι αιώνιοι και εκεί!), τις επιτυχημένες επιχειρήσεις των Ελλήνων. Θυμάμαι που διάβαζα τις πολυκαιρισμένες σελίδες της Ελληνικής εφημερίδας στο Σικάγο «Νέοι Καιροί» του πατέρα μου. Και τις ιστορίες για τον γεράκο τυπογράφο που οι γονείς μου τον αγαπούσαν πολύ. Για τους δρόμους που άκουγες μόνο Ελληνικά. Για τις παρέες τους, τους φίλους τους και τα Ελληνικά εστιατόρια. The Greek Town. Που δεν υπάρχει πια. Όχι μόνο στην Αμερική αλλά πουθενά. 300.000 Έλληνες έχουν φύγει από την Ελλάδα της κρίσης. Ελληνικές κοινότητες δε γεννιούνται πουθενά. Μόνο φυτοζωούν κάποιες παλιές.

Έκανα τη διατριβή μου στην αντικειμενικότητα των δημοσιογράφων παίρνοντας παράδειγμα τις Ελληνικές εφημερίδες και τα sites του εξωτερικού. Ο ελληνισμός του εξωτερικού με νύχια και με δόντια κρατιόταν. Πρόσφατα οι δεύτερες και τρίτες γενιές Ελλήνων απέκτησαν ανανεωμένο λόγο να τιμήσουν την καταγωγή τους: να στηρίξουν την παλιά πατρίδα σε μια στιγμή κρίσης. Όμως οι νέοι Έλληνες του εξωτερικού είναι το ίδιο καταστροφικοί με τους Έλληνες της Ελλάδας. Απομονωμένοι στα προσωπικά τους μικροπροβλήματα αποφεύγουν τους άλλους Έλληνες. Κάνουν «παρέα κυρίως με ξένους και επιλεκτικά με κάποιους Έλληνες». Δημιουργούν κλίκες. Χωρίς αίσθηση κοινότητας. Και είναι δεκάδες εκατοντάδων  σε κάθε μεγάλη πόλη. Οικογένειες μεταξύ τους δε μιλάνε. Όπως ακριβώς και στην Ελλάδα.

Πολύ παλιά το δίλημμα του Ελληνισμού ήταν ελευθερία ή θάνατος. Και ξέρουμε ποιος βγήκε νικητής. Τώρα το δίλημμα είναι συμβιβασμός ή καταστροφή. Προς το παρόν οι Έλληνες εσωτερικού και εξωτερικού επιλέγουν να καταστραφούν παρά να μονιάσουν, να ομονοήσουν, να συνεννοηθούν και να συμβιβαστούν. Με θύμα μόνο την Ελλάδα και τους κατοίκους της. Και φυσικά ο συμβιβασμός δεν είναι με τους δανεστές μας ή με την τρόικα ή με τους θεσμούς. Ο συμβιβασμός είναι πρώτα με τον εαυτό μας και ακολουθεί ο συμβιβασμός με το διπλανό μας. Γιατί για να συμβιβαστείς με το γείτονα, πρέπει να τα έχεις καλά με τον εαυτό σου. Και οι Έλληνες δεν το ‘χουμε αυτό. Χρειάζεται πολλή αυτογνωσία, γενναιόδωρες δόσεις ρεαλισμού, λίγη σοφία και μια σταγόνα ταπεινοφροσύνης. Κι όλο αυτό είναι πολλή δουλειά, βρε παιδάκι μου. Άντε και καλά μυαλά!