Friday, March 05, 2004

Well, there's finally plenty of news to talk about. The government polling agency, and don't ask me why there's a government polling agency, the grandly named Center for Social Research (CIS), has issued their most recent election poll. It gives Mariano Rajoy and the conservative People's Party an absolute majority by the minimum--176 seats out of 350 in the Congress of Deputies. There's nothing to worry about here, folks. If the polls are showing such a big PP win, the real numbers will be even larger.

63.4% think Rajoy will win though only 38.5% approve of current PP policies, and the voters say they would prefer Zap to Rajoy as the next PM 34.1%-33.0%. Then, on a scale of 1-10, they give Rajoy a ranking of 5.02 and Zap 4.95. Don't ask me to explain this. Duran Lerida of Convergence and Union got 4.3 and Gas only 3.96, demonstrating that most Spaniards don't think too much of Gas and his Communists.

Here's what I thought was the most important question; "How would you grade the general situation of Spain: very good, good, average, bad, very bad?" Well, 30.6% said good or very good, which means that they are almost certain PP voters. Only 20.3% said very bad or bad, and those are the people who won't vote PP in any circumstances, but they're divided among Socialists, Commies, and various nationalist groups. Only 1.6% didn't answer, and those other 47.5% said average. Those are the swing voters, but even if Zap manages to win over more of them than Rajoy, Rajoy's base is ten percentage points firmer than Zap's and he should win with no problem. If I were a betting man, I'd bet right now on a PP win with 176 seats or more, especially if you'll give me three to one.

Here's the geographical background: the numbers following each political party are the number of seats they're going to win in each Spanish autonomous region. PP is the People's Party, PSOE is the Socialist party, IU are the Communists, PNV are the Basque Nationalists, EA are the Basque non-violent independentistas, ChA are the Juntas Aragoneses, CiU are Convergence and Union, ERC are the Republican Left of Catalonia, PSM is the Mallorcan Socialist Party, not affiliated with the PSOE, UV is Unio Valenciana, CC is the Canarian Coalition (both of these have good relations with the PP), and BNG are the Bloc Nacional Galego, lefty Galician nationalists.

Asturias: PP 4, PSOE 3, IU 1
Cantabria: PP 3, PSOE 2
Basque Country: PNV 7, PP 7, PSOE 4, EA 1
Navarra: PP 3, PSOE 2
La Rioja: PP 3, PSOE 1
Aragon: PP 8, PSOE 4, ChA 1
Catalonia: PSOE 17, CiU 12, PP 10, ERC 6, IU 2
Balearics: PP 5, PSOE 2, PSM 1
Valencia: PP 19, PSOE 12, UV 1
Murcia: PP 6, PSOE 3
Canaries: PP 8, PSOE 4, CC 3
Andalusia: PSOE 32, PP 27, IU 2
Ceuat and Melilla: PP 2
Castile-La Mancha: PP 12, PSOE 8
Extremadura: PP 5, PSOE 5
Madrid: PP 18, PSOE 14, IU 3
Castile-Leon: PP 22, PSOE 11
Galicia: PP 14, PSOE 7, BNG 3

So the PP wins the most votes everywhere except Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Andalusia, in all of which the PP will do very well. Barring disaster--as former Louisiana governor once said, "The only way they can beat me is if they find me in bed with a dead girl or live boy"--Rajoy wins handily.

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