Top left to right clockwise: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Sanna Marin, Pedro Sanchez and Alberto Fernandez Image Credit: AP/AFP/Reuters and Shutterstock

Elections have consequences, and not just in the United States. Here are five elections that will occur around the world this year whose results could have outsize significance - for the entire world.


The prospective NATO member will go the polls by April 2 to select a new parliament. NATO membership is not in doubt, as no significant party opposes it. But incumbent Social Democratic Party Prime Minister Sanna Marin might not be the beneficiary of the decision to join the alliance.

Finland’s conservative party, known as Kansallinen Kokoomus or the National Coalition Party, have led in the polls since mid-2021 and gained strength after Russia-Ukraine war. If Kokoomus finishes first, it will have the first chance to form a government.

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That could mean a return of a center-right government consisting of Kokoomus, the Centre Party (KESK) and the populist True Finns. Or it could result in a grand coalition between Kokoomus, the Social Democrats and one other party.

Denmark’s Social Democratic Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, chose the latter option after her country’s November election, even though her left-wing coalition retained a majority. If Finland follows suit, it would show that old foes are willing to become allies when threatened by parties who want radical change, left or right.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen as a strong leader. Turkey has a vibrant political opposition that has united against Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

AKP and its ally, the National Movement Party have dipped somewhat in polls in recent years as Turkey battles inflation at a 25-year high.

Presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on June 18, with a second round for president occurring on July 2 if no candidate wins a majority.


This nation is on top of the world when it comes to soccer, given its national team’s thrilling victory in capturing the World Cup. Once one of the world’s richest nations, more than a century of economic and political mismanagement has pushed it into an unhealthy cycle of slow growth followed by inflation and recession.

That cycle is once more in full swing and the governing Peronist coalition, officially the Frente de Todos (Front of All), is behind in the polls.

The country’s center-right alliance, Juntos por el Cambio - Together for Change - remains in first place in the polls and is likely to prevail.

Interestingly, a libertarian-inclined third bloc, Liberty Advances, has formed and is gaining as much as 23 percent. In any case, expect a big swing to the right in Argentina’s late October contest, with the victors given the chance to see if they can use market-based reforms to help the country prosper.


This Eastern European rising powerhouse has been aggressively pro-Ukraine since the war, supplying it with weapons and housing millions of refugees.

But it is governed by a conservative populist party, Law and Justice (PiS), that is regularly under fire from the European Union. PiS remains Poland’s most popular party, but it is running a few points below the 44 percent it received in the last parliamentary vote.

All the polls show it would not win a majority if the election in the fall were held today, and seat projections show a hung parliament if current results hold.

Poland’s proportional representation system encourages parties to team together into coalitions, so watch the pre-election maneuvering to see if PiS can attract some fringe groups to join forces in advance of the balloting.


This country, the European Union’s fourth-largest nation by both population and GDP, could continue the continental trend toward conservative-populist alliances in its December election.

The main center-right party, Partido Popular (PP), has led most polls since June. Vox, a national populist party to its right, has also consistently placed third, with the two groupings winning close to a majority of the total vote. Given Spain’s proportional representation system, which awards seats by small subregions, this easily gives the two a majority in parliament.

The incumbent left-of-center coalition of the Socialists (PSOE) and left-populist Podemos (UP), however, will surely raise the specter of extremism as it tries to tarnish Vox and regain the upper hand.

This might work, but it could also push centrist Spaniards hungry for change toward Partido Popular so that party could govern alone without Vox. Regional elections in May will be an early barometer of the state of play.

Washington Post

Henry Olsen is a noted columnist and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.