A clutch of crucial elections this month, not least in the three I’s


Lots of elections are coming up. The three I’s – Israel, India and Indonesia. As well as Finland, Spain and Ukraine.

April’s calendar is pretty crammed.

First off was, Israel on April 9. It’s fair to say that ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the polling momentum. He also enjoyed the status of appearing to be Israel’s irreplaceable leader. On election night, however, the parties of both Mr Netanyahu and his challenger, Benny Gantz  appeared to have won the same number of seats. However, Mr Netanyahu seemed poised to assume  a fourth consecutive term in office by dint of coalition deal-making.

Then, India’s great ‘dance of democracy’ kicks off on April 11. Over five weeks, the world’s largest exercise in democracy will play out over one million polling places and with 879 million eligible voters. Incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP may stay in power.

Next up, Finland on April 14.

Then, Indonesia on April 17. The world’s third-most populous democracy will host a rematch between President Joko Widodo and arch-nationalist former general he defeated in 2014, Prabowo Subianto.

Ukraine’s presidential run-off is on April 21.

Finally, Spain goes to the polls on April 28, for the third time in four years. Watch for the far-right Vox party, which may win 12 to 46 seats out of the 360 in parliament. It will be the first time since the death of dictator Francisco Franco that the Spanish parliament will have far-right legislators.