Monday, December 3, 2018

New party in Spain

Spain has a new political party of sorts.

It's actually an "old" party that was founded 5 years ago; Vox. Many call the party far-right, and others say it is right-populist; so that puts it in line with people like Donald Trump, Mario Salvini, Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage, and Viktor Orban. This is known to some as Neo-nationalism, which is likely the term I will stick to when discussing such parties.

I'll keep this short.
Yesterday, elections were held in Andalusia, a large region of Spain. This region is known for being left-wing. The Socialists held a majority from the reintroduction of democracy in Spain to the 1994 election, where they were 10 seats short; but still managed to take government and win a plurality. In 1996 they managed to win additional seats, being only 3 short; this time managing a deal with a left-wing opposition party, with the 2000 election being more of the same. In 2004, the Socialists won a majority again, and held it in 2008. 2012 saw the Conservatives win a plurality of the vote; but the united-left party form a coalition with the Socialists to keep them in government. 2015 would see the Socialists win a plurality, with the Liberals supporting them.

The TL;DR is that this is a left-wing region, known for not being friendly to far-right parties.

And yet; Vox managed 11% here, beating most polls, which had them closer to 6%. 55 seats are needed for a majority; the election resulted in the following:
33 - Socialist (PSOE)
26 - Conservative (PP)
21 - Liberal (Cs)
17 - Left (AA)
12 - Neo-nationalist (Vox)

The only two-party coalition that has a majority is a grand coalition, and that is extraordinarily unlikely. PSOE wants a coalition of the left; them with AA and Cs, while PP wants a coalition of the right; them with Cs, and Vox. Cs is not keen on working with Vox and has proposed a centrist coalition of Cs, PP, and PSOE, with them in the lead.

Why this is important is how well Vox did, and how their votes seem to have come from the Left. Polls had Vox 5 points below what they eventually took in the election; while PSOE was polling 5 points above. Cs, PP, and AA all had results in line with polling.

Using the ratio method; this meant that 15% of the PSOE vote went to Vox. Applying this nationally, it would peg Vox somewhere around 10%, and push PSOE into second. The attention drawn by this "win" for Vox will also likely boost their poll numbers; likely drawing votes from the right and impacting the PP numbers; this could push Cs into first.

Interestingly, it puts things in spain in a new light. Formerly there were two "old" parties and two "new" parties. PSOE and PP were old, while Cs and Podemos (which is allied with AA) were new. Both of the new parties were to the left of an old party. Now, with Vox, there is a new party to the right of PP, and voters may feel comfortable parking their vote there.

Where this goes remains to be seen. I'll keep an eye on nation wide polling in Spain for the next month or so and let you all know where things stand once Vox's poll numbers start to stabilize after their expected jump.

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