Another year is about to end, but New Year’s Eve 2018 means we turn our attention towards 2019 elections in the United States and around the world.
Last year, Electionarium took you on a journey from Kiribati to American Samoa as each time zone rang in 2018. What a year it has been in terms of politics, but a new year means new elections to explore.
In preparation for 2019, we time out the arrival of the new year around the planet just as before, but turn a keen eye towards what might happen in politics and elections in those places in the coming year. Even if there are no elections on the schedule, a few things will come up that will shape future votes.
To track the 2019 countdown, visit one of our most frequently-visited websites, TimeandDate.com. Please remember that we are not responsible for the content of outside links, and click at your own risk, but it’s a valuable resource.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+11
Eleven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia will enter 2019. Several other countries, such as New Zealand and Kiribati, will have already done so. The Kiwis last voted in 2017, but not this year. The new year will likely spell some big political changes in Australia, and Sydney’s home state.
A federal election looms for Australia in 2019. Some suggestions point towards the poll coming in May, which is to say the Australian autumn. It is also no secret that the governing Liberal-National coalition is behind by a significant margin in opinion surveys. Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister to begin the year, Scott Morrison will be the PM to end it, and there may yet be a new one by the middle of 2019. If Labor is successful, Bill Shorten will move into The Lodge. Morrison and his team would like to fight to stay in power, but the more realistic goal is to avoid a blowout.
On the state level, Australia’s most populous subdivision is to hold its own election. The March 23 vote in New South Wales will tell us more of what we need to know in a warm-up for a federal election. New South Wales’ Liberals have been in office for two terms and are on their third premier, Gladys Berejiklian. The Liberals have not won a third consecutive term in many decades here, and with the federal Liberals about to go belly up, the current political climate in Australia is not helping.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+9
In the UTC-plus-9 window, while Americans are eating breakfast, Japan will ring in their new year. Of note, July 2019 is penciled in for a House of Councillors election. Approximately half of the Japanese upper house will face the voters. The right-wing Liberal Democratic Party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a bare majority in the chamber on its own, but considering how many parties there are, that’s not an awful state. The LDP has other supporters within the chamber, giving them plenty of latitude.
A 2017 election showed the LDP losing a few seats but winning another outright majority. It remains to be seen how the House of Councillors poll will go, but at the start of 2019, there is no fade in the LDP or Abe’s popularity.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+8
A new year sweeps into Asia, and at UTC+8 gets to The Philippines. America just had its midterm elections and now this nation will do the same in May.
Half of the 24-member Senate and all 297 seats of the House of Representatives will be filled by the voters. Looking to stay out front of the pack is the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), a left-wing party that has dominated politics.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+7
Head southwest from The Philippines and you get to Indonesia, who will ring in the new year an hour later. Indonesia is set to elect a president on April 17, 2019. President Joko Widodo is standing for re-election, and is reported to have high job approval numbers from the public. He is part of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the largest party in Indonesian politics.
At the same time, legislative elections will take place. The advantage for the PDI-P is narrower here, but they won the most seats last time on just 19 percent of the vote. Sometimes, it does not take much.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+5:30
India is a land of fascination and wonder. We know this not from thousands of years of history, but from the fact that it has its own time zone with a half-hour offset. Five and a half hours ahead of Universal Coordinated Time, India begins its 2019.
The largest democratic country in the world will hold a general election to the Lok Sabha, or the lower house of their assembly. This is expected to happen by May of 2019. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will stand for re-election as he hopes to lead his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to another general election win.
There will also be six state elections to be held at the same time as the national vote.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+2
So we skipped a bunch of countries in the middle of Asia, and it is nothing personal, we assure you. There just don’t happen to be any noteworthy elections taking place in many of them. Then we get into the eastern reaches of Europe and Africa by UTC+2, and a busy electoral slate for 2019 emerges.
South Africa will hold a presidential election. Greece is going to choose a new prime minister. Ukraine and Finland are among others that will select new legislatures.
Looking at a few of these, there is the potential for change in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party holds a narrow plurality of seats in th Knesset, but nobody gets anywhere in Israeli politics without working out coalition deals. There are a number of different scenarios that can play out and with the possibility of a vote that’s almost a year away, who can say.
Any change in South Africa would be major news. Since the end of Apartheid, only the African National Congress (ANC) has won a general election, and usually in decisive fashion. This time, we enter the election cycle there with the ANC possibly coming in under 60 percent, which would be a first. They have not gotten below 62 percent in a free election. For them to lose their overall majority would be a significant result in that it has not happened in 25 years. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has struggled to gain traction, but continues to watch the ANC’s support erode very gradually.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+1
Western Europe gets into the fun in UTC+1. Such nations as Belgium and Denmark, both of which will have general elections in 2019, celebrate the new year at this time. Even beautiful, neutral Switzerland has a federal election to which to look forward in 2019.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC+0
And then, we get to Greenwich Mean Time, which means London and all of the United Kingdom celebrate 2019. Of course, the big news going on in the UK in 2018 and to start 2019 is Brexit. Things may go badly enough for Theresa May that there could be a general election here as soon as 2019. The Conservatives hope to avoid that, but they may not be able to do so.
Portugal will also vote in a new poll.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC-3
There are only a handful of land masses left in the world to celebrate 2019 by this point, once we get west of the Prime Meridian. In the UTC-3 hour, we see Argentina make it to the new year.
Argentina is going to hold a presidential election, in which the incumbent, Mauricio Macri, is expected to stand again. In 2015, Macri won election by defeating the Justicialist Party, the Peronist party that has held plenty of power over the last few decades.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC-4
Canada’s easternmost timezone is actually UTC-4:30, but Newfoundland and Labrador are probably not going to have an election this year. The tiny Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, however, is. The Liberals have had a majority here for over a decade, and they followed the Progressive Conservatives who led the way for over a decade. PEI does not change governments very often.
What is interesting is that opinion polls to end 2018 indicate that this could be a tight three-way race between the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, and Greens. In fact, the Greens led the popular vote in several polls during the year. The Progressive Conservatives will also select a new leader in February to fight this election.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC-5
This is the period in which the ball drops in New York City. It’s America and Canada’s Eastern time zone, and we have elections on both sides of the border. To the south, the Commonwealth of Kentucky will hold a gubernatorial election. Incumbent Matt Bevin (R) seeks a second term in office. Up north, Canada is going to have a general election late in the year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals have had an up-and-down first term, but they will try to win a second majority.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC-6
This is Chicago’s time zone, and while Illinois is not going to have an election in 2019, Louisiana and Mississippi will. John Bel Edwards (D) runs for re-election in the Pelican State. Meanwhile, Phil Bryant (R) is term-limited in Mississippi, meaning their state will elect a new governor in 2019. After Mike Espy’s US Senate run in 2018, Democrats are optimistic of winning the governorship for the first time since 1999.
Guatemala is also expected to hold 2019 elections.
New Year’s Eve 2018 and 2019 Elections: UTC-7
Our last stop on this global tour is UTC-7, US Mountain Time, and one hour before Los Angeles rings in the new year. We move back up to the Great White North, where we see that Canada has another provincial election. This is in Alberta, where the first-term NDP government is in serious trouble. They won in 2015 with the right being split, ousting the Progressive Conservatives for the first time in decades. With the right-wing parties now merged, however, the NDP is trailing by large margins in the polls.