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Spanish election thread

by IdiotSavant Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 06:17:20 AM EST

Spain will go to the polls on Sunday, November 10. Its the second election this year; an earlier one in April saw the Socialists - who had gained power in a confidence vote - gain an easy plurality, then refuse to negotiate a coalition with the left-wing Podemos (which would have allowed them, with the support of a few minor parties and the offered abstention of the Catalan Republican Left, to form a government). Instead, they gambled on new elections and winning a greater share of the vote.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

That gamble appears to have failed. The final polls show the PSOE winning about as many seats as they did previously, with PoDemos losing a few. Meanwhile, the right-wing People's Party (founded by fascists) has recovered, while the misogynistic and Islamophobic Vox (actual fascists) has leapt ahead. The Citizens have been crushed in the middle, as their efforts to out-fascist the fascists over Catalonia has suffered the usual fate, with people choosing to vote for the real thing rather than the imitation (and the cost of that of course is to boost political support for fascism across the board: a terrible strategy long-term for a party supposedly committed to democracy).

As for Catalonia, the independence parties aren't going away, and again it looks like the ERC will again be the biggest Catalan party (humiliating for the Socialists).

The Socialists may just be able to claim the coalition they turned down in June. But it looks more likely that they will instead form a grand coalition with the People's Party. And the price of that will probably be more repression in, and more pushback from, Catalonia.

Related: peaceful protest group Democratic Tsunami (which Spain naturally considers to be "a criminal organization driving people to commit terrorist attacks") has called for Catalans to peacefully assemble on the pre-election "day of reflection" to make Spain reflect on Catalan independence. Spain is apparently planning to blockade polling stations in response, and given their usual reaction to protest, we can probably expect pre-election beatings as well. It is hard to see how this is going to convince anyone to love them more, but I guess that's just how authoritarian monarchies see the world.
by IdiotSavant on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 06:22:56 AM EST
by IdiotSavant on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 09:27:48 AM EST
El Nacional: How does a Spanish general election work?

TL;DR: D'Hondt over relatively small electoral areas, which systematically advantages larger parties over smaller ones.

by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 04:39:01 AM EST
El Nacional: Election night survey: Socialists lose ground, far right surges, in deadlocked Spain

Exit poll shows Socialists down on previous result, and PSOE- PoDemos only narrowly ahead of PP - Vox. Neither has a majority, even with Citizens, so its looking like PSOE's big gamble has done nothing but force it into grand coalition. Oh, and strengthen fascism.

by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 08:59:40 PM EST
And results:


by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 09:02:41 PM EST

It looks like another inconclusive result in the Spanish general election, with the centre right Partido Popular and far right Vox the big winners, and the increasingly right wing Ciudadanos the big losers...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 09:48:34 PM EST
Possible coalition options via Twitter:


by IdiotSavant on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 at 09:39:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With the final results in, PSOE is on 120 (-3), PP on 88 (+22), Vox on 52 (+28), Podemus on 35 (-7), and Ciudadanos on 10 (-47) with the smaller and regional parties making minor gains. So basically the PP and Vox gained 50 seats largely at the expense of Ciudadanos.

But the changing arithmetic doesn't really alter the dynamics of forming a government all that much. The PSOE and Podemus lost 10 seats between them but are still in the driving seat as regards forming a government if they can reach an agreement. Between them they have 155 seats to 140 for PP + Vox or 150 for PP +  Vox + Ciudadanos.

However they are 20 short of an overall majority in the 350 member House and so will need the support or abstention of some of the minor/regional parties. Sanchez really has no choice but to make a deal now -  another general election is not an option - and that means grasping the Catalan nettle.

Some measure of increased autonomy for the region will be required, and the release of political prisoners. Vox and PP will not be happy...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 at 11:08:23 AM EST
The numbers just work if they get Más País and the Basques onside and the ERC abstains (169 / 337). And it becomes easy if the ERC joins in.

The problem is that Sanchez basicly campaigned against that (and indeed, against any discussion at all), largely out of fear of being crucified by the right. So, its going to need a big climbdown from the PSOE.

As for greater autonomy, they're in this mess because Spain previously promised that, agreed a better autonomy statute, got the Catalans to ratify it by referendum, then gutted it behind their backs and without their consent. And the right-wing parties all basicly campaigned on a promise to immediately end Catalan autonomy and self-government with another 155 declaration (they're very keen on seizing control of the police, and of the education system, the latter to end education in Catalan and force official monolingualism on a bilingual society). So they'd need to find a way to protect such a deal against a change of government in Madrid, or they'll be right back here again.

by IdiotSavant on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 at 09:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

An anaemic growth rate of 1.9% for 2019 and at best stagnant growth in the next two years is not going to help Spain's prospects for economic and political stability in the short to medium term. Any new government will have a lot of work to do to re-build trust in public institutions.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 at 11:53:12 AM EST
Guardian: Spain's ruling socialists strike coalition deal with Podemos
Spain's ruling socialist party has reached a preliminary coalition deal with the anti-austerity Unidas Podemos to try to form a government after the country's second inconclusive election in seven months.

Pedro Sánchez, the acting prime minister and leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers' party (PSOE), announced the agreement following a meeting with the Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, on Tuesday afternoon.


Sánchez - who said only two months ago that he would have trouble sleeping if he had Podemos ministers in his government - said the disagreements of the past no longer mattered.

"The Spanish people have spoken and now it is time for its political leaders to implement that will and to overcome the deadlock that Spain has suffered in recent times," he said.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 09:51:02 PM EST
Would have been smarter to have made the coalition earlier, but I guess they did the right thing after trying everything else. Remains to be seen if PSOE can also make a deal with the separatists in ERC.

In 2015 PSOE+Podemos had 159 seats, in 2016 156, this spring 165, and now 155, so they are in their weakest position since Podemos got going. Very stable, for elections with d'Hondt and many small constituencies and pretty large swings in support for different parties.

by fjallstrom on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 10:12:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ERC has said no, and JxCAT was even less willing to talk last time. Basicly, the coalition will have to offer them real and tangible concessions they can present to Catalans to justify even an abstention (because those parties have voters too, who will hold them to account for any betrayal). Alternatively, they can try cutting a deal with the PP or the fascists.
by IdiotSavant on Wed Nov 13th, 2019 at 05:20:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Nacional: PSOE and Podemos sign preliminary agreement for coalition government in Spain

The agreement has ten points, one of which is dedicated entirely to Catalonia. They say they want to "guarantee social harmony in Catalonia and the normalisation of political life." They promise to "promote dialogue in Catalonia, looking for formulas for understanding and coming together, always within the Constitution", and add that they will "guarantee equality between all Spaniards".


Today's announcement is far from a done deal. Even if PSOE and Podemos do turn this into a formal agreement, they still need to get it through the Congress. Between them, they have 155 seats; an absolute majority would need 176. There is the possibility they could form a government with less support if another party or parties abstain.

For the moment, BNG (1 delegate), Coalición Canarias (2), PNV (7), Más País (2) and Més Compromís (1) have said they are prepared to vote in favour of the coalition. That would get them to 168 seats. Catalan pro-independence party ERC (13), on the other hand, have said that "right now our position is 'no'" and that "if they want something, they need to sit down and talk".

by IdiotSavant on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 09:53:02 PM EST
El Nacional: ERC to ask members whether it should support Sánchez's investiture:
Catalan pro-independence party ERC will consult its membership as to what position it should take in the Congress in Madrid with respect to Pedro Sánchez's reinvestiture as prime minister. The vote will take place between 9am and 8:30pm on Monday electronically, the same system used for its leadership election in September, as first reported by El Periódico and confirmed by El Nacional. The result will be announced the same day at 9pm.

The question as agreed on by party leadership is: "Do you agree with rejecting Pedro Sánchez's investiture if beforehand there is no agreement to tackle the political conflict with the [Spanish] state through a negotiating table?" Party members have received an email this afternoon giving them details of the vote.

Meanwhile the Socialists are urging them to "put Spain's interests first". Personally, I don't see why they should give a shit as long as Spain is holding political prisoners and won't even talk to them across a table.

by IdiotSavant on Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 08:55:48 AM EST
Paddy Woodward has an interesting perspective on the election and it aftermath.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 12:16:05 PM EST
¡No Pasarán!

by Bernard on Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 08:32:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not wrong, and even the PP seems to have recognised the threat, and is offering assistance to the socialists to govern provided they can win an investiture, presumably by abstaining to allow laws to be passed if required (but note that this effectively makes Vox the opposition, and is probably not going to weaken them). But winning that investiture requires the support or abstention of the Catalans. And their solution to Spanish fascism may simply be to leave it.
by IdiotSavant on Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 10:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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