It takes some time to become a government

As Pedro Sanchez failed in its second attempt to become Prime Minister of Spain, we take a look at an infographic which uncovers how long it takes, on average and across Europe, to form a government.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (photo: © Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock )

What this work is about

On Friday, the 26th of July, in the Spanish Parliament the leader of the Socialist party (PSOE), Pedro Sanchez, failed in its second attempt to become Prime Minister. Indeed, Sanchez could not convince enough MPs – and, notably, the radical leftist party, Podemos – to back his candidacy. As it stands, Spain is short of a government, since elections took place in April 2019. Drawing on the Spanish context, on El Pais, Kiko Llaneras showed how long it has taken for the 28 EU member states and some other countries to form their government. Across Europe, the Netherlands (118 days) top the ranking, followed by Italy (84), Belgium (83) and Spain. France, Greece and Denmark are the countries who are fastest in sworning in new PMs (less than 20 days).

Why we like it

To visualise the relevant information (the distribution of how long it took to form a government on the occasion of several elections, as well as the relative average and median values) for 27 countries, Llarenas opted for a dot plot combined with a bar graph. Llarenas is able to provide through a single visualisation a comprehensive overview of the differences across Europe relative to the subject. Actually, the graph is an adaptation of the original version that can be found in The duration of government formation processes in Europe , authored by Alejandro Ecker and Thomas M. Meyer.