Sun Jun 26th, 2016 at 06:01:37 PM EST
There have been two events in the last week of campaigning for Spain's repeat election that could have influenced voters. Interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz was recorded two years ago conspiring to spy on separatist politicians, and the tapes were leaked on Tuesday; and, of course, Brexit.
There are three possible government possibilities after today: a left government possibly supported by the right wing Basque nationalists (EAJ/PNV), a conservative-liberal government, and a grand coalition.
The best model based on poll averages last Monday gave a 30% chance of a left majority and a 1/6 chance of a right majority. The right-wing Basque nationalists are expected to get 3-6 seats and UP + PSOE can expect at least 170 seats together less than half the time. The Basque nationalists, though right-wing, are unlikely to support the strongly unionist PP + C's minority government.
There is a more than one-in-four chance that only a grand coalition will be a viable alternative to repeat elections.
Which option is realised depends largely on PSOE internal politics. The new government could be delayed until September by a PSOE leadership contest and overdue party conference if the party loses second place to Unidos Podemos (2:1 odds). Pedro Sánchez might not resign immediately, arguing that the bad election results were the best that could be expected under the circumstances.
The Brexit result could have a last-minute impact on the Spanish election: investors sold out of both the pound and the euro, except German Bunds, widening Spain's risk premium. This could help the the PP and, to a lesser extent, the PSOE, by scaring voters as political scientists believe voters react to uncertainty by choosing safer options, or at least known ones.
The Fernández Díaz case was bad for the PP despite trying to spin it as a violation of the minister's privacy. Catalan separatists have certainly been mobilised by the revelations, compensating for the disappointment of the recent failure to pass a budget in Catalonia.
Exit polls are out at 20h today.