2024: The year of elections

Last updated:
Feb 20, 2024

What's inside?

2024 has been dubbed the biggest election year in history, with more than half of the world’s population heading to the polls in over 40 national elections.

From the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, continued instability in the Indo-Pacific, and the economic uncertainties still facing businesses in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens must navigate and face up to what is arguably the most unpredictable and unstable period since the end of the Second World War.

With a spotlight already shining on those elections taking place in major global powers such as the U.S., Russia and India this year, our new series – Election Year – will also bring those elections considered at the periphery into focus, whilst also shining a light on some of the wider issues (climate change, civil unrest, and technology) that will undoubtedly play a role in the year ahead.

Elections in the West

In the West, elections in the U.S. and several major European economies could see major shifts in foreign and economic policy, with potential implications for the West’s ongoing support for Ukraine.

In June, elections for the European Parliament take place (the first since Brexit), with the bloc’s support for Ukraine, wider regional security, cost of living, migration and climate change likely focal points.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine itself, the question of whether an election should take place at all (martial law, which has been in place since February 2022, prohibits elections) will continue to dog an under-pressure Zelenskiy government as the war with Russia enters its third year.


In the Indo-Pacific, the recent victory for Lai Ching-te and the pro-sovereignty DPP will continue to escalate tensions between Taiwan and China, whilst upcoming elections in South Korea are expected to be agitated and polarised following the recent stabbing of opposition leader Lee Jae-myung.

In Indonesia, an anticipated victory for Prabowo Subianto (a former army general with a history of alleged human rights abuses) is unlikely to see a shift in the country’s nonaligned approach to foreign policy and wider regional security, but has raised concerns on further crackdowns on human rights and civil liberties for its 273 million citizens.


Africa will see a potential 16 presidential or legislative elections in 2024, the most prominent of which is in South Africa, where the ANC party could lose power for the first time since 1994.

With Mali and Burkina Faso recently withdrawing from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), hopes of any democratic transitions are slowly diminishing as respective military juntas have stated that elections are unlikely to take place this year, with instability across the Sahel region therefore likely to continue.

Autocratic regimes

In more autocratic regimes, where outcomes are likely foreseen, mobilised opposition support and other domestic issues could well lead to swells of civil unrest both domestically and regionally.

In March, Vladimir Putin is expected to win a 5th term as president, but with the conflict in Ukraine remaining protracted, and the recent death of fierce critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, localised protests and civil disobedience could likely flare up in the months ahead.

Similarly, in Iran, tensions remain following last year’s mass protests in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s death at the hands of security services, whilst any purported Iranian involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict could have an impact on government support should Hamas be defeated.

Venezuela and its incumbent President Nicolas Maduro are still beset by an enduring economic crisis (largely a result of its collapsing oil industry and international sanctions), and the ongoing territorial dispute with neighbouring Guyana is likely to be exacerbated in attempt to bolster local support, whilst questions will remain as to whether popular opposition leader Marina Corina Machado will be able to run for office.


2024 will also be the year that AI and cyber threats will be further baked into our political discourse. From the growing threat of deepfake technology and AI-generated disinformation online, to targeted and sophisticated forms of criminal and state-sponsored cyber activity against governments and voting systems, electoral resilience will define our democratic institutions in the year ahead.

Recent examples of viral political deepfakes surfacing in the U.S., Taiwan, Indonesia, and Slovakia, suggest that, despite strong and urgent calls for regulation globally, democratic (and even undemocratic) institutions are ill-equipped to handle the potential onslaught of disinformation voters may face in the runup to any election this year.

And finally, as the global spotlight begins to shift towards the upcoming U.S. election this November, focus will again move towards the role of corporate campaign contributions, and the risks companies and their executives faces for potentially violating specific regulations (e.g. FECA) and how they comply with relevant local, state and federal election laws.

Over the coming months our team will be drilling down on all of these issues, and more, providing in-depth analysis on a year that could reshape the geopolitical map for the next decade and beyond.

Stay a step ahead in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world

Our consultants stay on top of the latest megatrends that influence how organisations are attacked, whether related to terrorism, criminality, war or cyber.

We document their analysis here. Be the first to see it.