FROM MAY 23rd to 26th, voters in the EU will elect a new European Parliament. But where is the bellwether? What sort of place, on a sprawling and diverse continent, reveals its overall state of mind? The crucial divide used to be left versus right. Areas with co-operative or working-class economic traditions (Emilia Romagna in Italy or the Ruhr in Germany) tended to the left. Strongholds of political centralism (Castile in Spain), prosperous borderlands (Skane in Sweden) or regions with a self-sufficient spirit (Bavaria in Germany) leant right. The bellwethers were the places that blended those tendencies: Lower Saxony in Germany, for example, or Aragon in Spain.
The politics of suburbia in Europe