Analysts and pollsters chart a picture of a disenchanted electorate that feels increasingly unable to hold its leaders accountable at election time. But there are alternatives and the semi-presidential systems of eastern Europe are showing the way.
This malaise with democracy is by no means peculiar to Britain, but forms part of a wider pattern of popular disengagement engulﬁng European parliamentary democracies. Electoral turnout in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands has dropped signiﬁcantly in the last twenty years. At the same time, there has been a decline in popular identiﬁcation with and trust in established parties and a rise of protest parties. In Denmark and the Netherlands the disconnect has been associated with the rise of the extreme right and a corresponding focus on anti-immigrant agendas.