One of the things I did the other night, though, was surf through the polls at Angus Reid Global Monitor, basically a collection of opinion polls from around the world. It is interesting that some countries are quite well covered while for others no data is really available. However, the following came out:
- Despite the bombing at Barajas Airport and Zapatero's termination of the peace process, the PSOE appears to remain marginally ahead in Spain; elections are not due until next year.
- In Scotland, the pro-independence Scottish National Party maintains a small lead, 33-31% over Scottish Labour, but will anyone form a coalition with SNP? It probably depends on SNP's attitude toward the independence question--the party still claims it will hold a referendum at some point after taking power.
- With elections approaching soon (March) in Finland, almost 50 percent of Finns see incumbent PM Matti Vanhanen (Center) as the best candidate, with all other choices under 20 percent. Despite that, the Social Democrats, the current junior coalition partner, marginally lead the polls with around 25 percent, trailed by the Center and the conservative National Coalition. It looks like the current SDP-Center-Swedish People's Party coalition may be renewed, albeit with question about who the PM would be.
- In another Nordic country, Norway, the right-wing Progress Party, which has never served in government (having been blocked out even by the "mainstream right"), is in second in all polls--and a very close second, at that, to the ruling Labor Party. Were elections today, the Progress Party would take 25-28 percent of votes.
- To wrap it up for today, in Slovakia, the ruling Direction party (ostensibly social-democratic, but in partnership with right-wing nationalists and formerly ruling authoritarians) is hitting almost 50 percent by itself in the polls; the former center-right coalition that implemented economic reform is together under 30 percent. The top three parties are the three parties of the questionable ruling coalition.