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Big ideas of 2015: politics goes local as economics goes global

The anti-politics sentiment now pervasive in large democracies has helped populists who assert the virtues of the local over the global

Boris Johnson is among the politicians riding the localism wave. © David Fisher/Rex

It has been a cold climate for mainstream politics: falling turnout, declining share of the vote, shrivelling party organisations and now a haemorraghing of support to populist insurgents on right and left. At the 1992 UK general election, voter turnout was 77.7 per cent—at the 2010 general election it was a mere 65.1 per cent. Similar patterns are found across Europe. In France, for example,…

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