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65 Elections Globally in 2024: The Biggest Election Year in History


Last year, 47% of our global alerts shared with clients were connected to political violence and unrest. As we step into 2024, the world faces an unusually high number of elections. As we have seen in Senegal, Pakistan and Argentina, unrest and political violence can accompany these events, so what does this mean for the year ahead? Our expert, Gulnaz Ukassova shares the potential impact these elections may have on organisations and their people alongside advice for remaining prepared. 

Elections in 2024: Locations and Key Risks

Globally, more voters than ever in history will head to the polls as at least 65 countries are set to hold national elections. These elections will reflect and impact an increasingly precarious geopolitical and economic environment. International SOS released its 2024 Risk Map in December last year with country-specific risk ratings. These have been added to each election below to highlight the threat of political unrest in these countries.

Key Threats to Organisations

Whether in Low, Medium or High-risk locations, the operational impact elections and related political developments have on organisations can be significant. From closing operations, relocating staff or implementing advanced security measures, having processes in place to reduce the level of impact will be key for 2024.

Political Instability
  • Elections with contentious results can lead to a period of political instability. In Medium and High-risk locations, this instability may escalate into large-scale disruptive protests, unrest, as well as targeted political violence. Organisations may face disruptions due to strikes, curfews, or closures of roads and airports during election periods.
Economic Uncertainty
  • Financial markets, trade policies, currency strength, and investor confidence can be impacted during election seasons, particularly if they are prolonged and volatile. Trade disruptions and market sentiment can also be affected.
Business Continuity
  • Elections can disrupt normal business operations. Organisations need contingency plans to ensure continuity during political events, including potential office closures, supply chain interruptions, and communication breakdowns. 

Key Risks to Your People

This unrest can have a profound impact on employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. It can lead to increased stress, safety concerns, and disruptions in work, especially for those in regions directly affected by these conflicts.

Risk 1: Mental Health and Wellbeing

The uncertainty and stress associated with elections and political instability can affect employees' emotional health. Elections can sometimes intensify existing social divisions. Employees may find themselves caught in political debates or face tensions with colleagues who hold opposing views. Fear, anxiety, and frustration may arise. This can lead to sleep disruption, fatigue, restlessness, irritability and an inability to focus, which can affect the quality of work.

Risk 2: Security Threats and Disruptions
  • Elections can lead to large-scale disruptive and protracted protests, and incidents of political violence, and result in the worsening of the existing security threats, especially in countries with a history of election-related violence, communal tensions or ongoing conflicts. Employees in areas directly affected by these factors are more likely to face related security risks.
  • Political instability can disrupt normal work operations. Strikes, curfews, transportation disruptions, and office closures may occur during election periods. 

Steps in Mitigating Impacts on Your Organisation and Your People

Each of the upcoming elections carries its own set of security concerns, and organisations need to be prepared for the potential risks and have contingency plans in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees.

  • From a safety and security perspective, crisis management planning is critical. The three stages of crisis management 1) Pre-Crisis, 2) Crisis Response and 3) Post-Crisis, effectively prepare organisations with the tools and processes to respond, protect their workforce and ensure business continuity. These include risk assessments, employee training, early detection systems and communication plans.
  • To address mental health concerns, offering resources such as counselling, wellbeing and stress management programmes can support employees during this period. 


2024 is set to be a landmark year in global politics. Organisations need to stay informed about the changing political landscape and understand the potential risks associated with these changes. By doing so, they can ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees, no matter where they are in the world. Having access to accurate and up-to-date information about the threats on the ground and the resulting risks to the organisation and its people is critical in supporting decision-making. Being able to track and communicate with impacted employees ensures peace of mind during periods of increased insecurity, such as widespread unrest or political violence.