Bharat Express

Electoral Outcomes In Major Democracies During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The electoral outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic have been varied across major democracies, with many incumbent governments facing significant challenges.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India stands alongside global leaders at the G7 Summit in Italy, a striking narrative emerges about how major democracies have navigated electoral politics during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. India presents a unique case, being the lone major democracy where the incumbent leader and coalition were re-elected with a clear mandate amidst the pandemic.

Here’s a comparative perspective on how other major democracies have fared during this period.


Outcome: Incumbent government coalition led by PM Narendra Modi re-elected with a clear mandate.
Analysis: Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition managed to secure a strong mandate, underscoring Modi’s continued popularity and the electorate’s trust in his leadership.

United States

Outcome: Incumbent President Donald Trump was voted out during the 2020 elections.
Current Scenario: The current incumbent, President Joe Biden, is trailing in opinion polls.
Analysis: The pandemic significantly impacted Trump’s re-election bid, with the electorate opting for change amidst a turbulent period.


Outcome: The incumbent coalition, PDI-P, lost the Presidential elections in 2024 to the Gerindra candidate by a wide margin.
Analysis: Economic and social challenges during the pandemic likely influenced voters to seek new leadership.


Outcome: Incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro was voted out in 2022 after a run-off election.
Analysis: Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic was a significant factor in his defeat, with voters opting for new leadership in Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.


Outcome: The incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) retained power in 2021 after changing Prime Ministerial candidates twice.
Analysis: The LDP’s strategic leadership changes helped maintain stability and public confidence during uncertain times.


Outcome: Incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo lost the Presidential elections in 2022 to Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Analysis: The pandemic period saw a shift towards a candidate promising continuity and change, reflecting the electorate’s desire for stability.


Outcome: The ruling coalition of former Chancellor Angela Merkel recorded the worst-ever losses in 2021, leading to a new Chancellor from the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Analysis: The end of Merkel’s long tenure and pandemic-related challenges led to significant electoral shifts.


Outcome: In the 2023 general elections, the incumbent Prime Minister’s party lost vote shares and seats to multiple opposition parties.
Analysis: Political dynamics during the pandemic period influenced voters to support a broader range of opposition parties.

United Kingdom

Outcome: The incumbent government is trailing badly in opinion polls ahead of the general elections, having changed Prime Ministers twice with three different leaders.
Analysis: The pandemic’s impact and leadership changes have created political instability, affecting public confidence.


Outcome: Incumbent President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected in 2022 after a run-off.
Analysis: Macron’s victory highlighted a polarized electorate, with no candidate securing a majority initially.

South Africa

Outcome: The incumbent African National Congress (ANC) lost its majority in 2024 for the first time in 30 years.
Analysis: Long-standing political dominance was challenged amidst pandemic-induced economic and social issues.


Outcome: The incumbent government was voted out in 2022, with the opposition coalition winning the majority.
Analysis: Pandemic-related governance issues contributed to the electorate’s desire for change.


Outcome: The incumbent party lost the 2022 Presidential elections, with a left-wing opposition candidate winning for the first time after a run-off.
Analysis: Social unrest and economic difficulties during the pandemic influenced the shift in voter sentiment.

South Korea

Outcome: The incumbent party’s Presidential candidate lost in 2022 to the opposition candidate.
Analysis: Pandemic management and economic concerns were key issues influencing the electoral outcome.


Outcome: No party gained a majority in the 2023 general elections, with the incumbent party finishing second behind the opposition in both seats and vote share.
Analysis: Fragmented political landscape and pandemic aftermath contributed to the inconclusive results.

The electoral outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic have been varied across major democracies, with many incumbent governments facing significant challenges. India stands as a notable exception where the incumbent government secured a clear mandate, highlighting unique factors that have influenced voter trust and confidence amidst global political shifts.