Friday, November 03, 2006

Notes on the aftermath of the Catalan elections:

Mathematically, there are three realistic possibilities for a governing coalition: PSC + IC + ERC, the Tripartite; CiU + PSC, Sociovergencia; and CiU + ERC, a nationalist front.

Montilla would prefer another Tripartite, but he wants to put conditions on ERC's behavior because he doesn't trust them farther than he can spit. Zapatero says he plans to stay out of the coalition-making and let Montilla make the arrangement he thinks best. If I were Zap I'd lean on Montilla hard to La Vanguardia points out that if there is a new Tripartite coalition, Montilla, the candidate whose party lost the most seats, would be premier, and Mas, the head of the opposition, would constantly be able to remind him that he, Mas, received 140,000 more votes. Another problem is that the last Tripartite broke up precisely over ERC's refusal to back the new Catalan statute of autonomy (regional constitution), agreed upon by Mas and Zapatero, which the PSC and IC supported.

ERC says it would prefer a Tripartite, too, but is holding out to see what kind of deal Montilla is offering. They have the bargaining chip of opening negotiations with CiU if Montilla's conditions are too stringent. Many of ERC's members would prefer a nationalist front to another Tripartite coalition, and since the party is very loosely organized, significant blocs of members might go as far as splitting off.

CiU would prefer a Sociovergente coalition with Mas as premier; Mas and Montilla are meeting today. The deal Mas is offering would give the PSC pretty much anything it wants, except for the premiership. CiU would agree to pipe down with the nationalist demands and, more importantly, would promise support for Zapatero in Madrid. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me and if I were Montilla I would take it rather than be forced to govern in coalition with ERC. Mas can also hold a possible nationalist front with ERC over their heads during the negotiations, but I'll bet he'd rather hug a stingray than pact with Carod. He's not ruling it out, though; he meets with Carod on Monday.

Geopolitical stuff that interests only me: All ten of Barcelona's districts voted the same way they had in the last election. The four districts that tend toward the middle class, Sarrià-St. Gervasi, Les Corts, the Eixample, and Gràcia, gave CiU a plurality; the other six, more working class, Sants-Montjuic, Ciutat Vella, St. Martí, St. Andreu, Nou Barris, and Horta-Guinardó, gave the PSC a plurality.

CiU did best in Sarrià with 44.6%, Barcelona's wealthiest and most Catalan district (more than 51% voted for the two nationalist parties), and worst in Nou Barris with 19.3%, Barcelona's most working-class and most Spanish district. Of course, the PSC did best in Nou Barris with 37.5% and worst in Sarrià with 11.2%. The PP did best in Sarrià, with 19.5%, and worst in ideosyncratic Gràcia, with 9.5%. IC did best in Ciutat Vella, with 15.5%, and pulled 15.4% in Gràcia; of course, it did worst in Sarrià, with 7.7%. ERC did best in the largest and most heterogenous district, the Eixample, with 17.7%, and worst in Sarrià, with 7.4%. Ciudadans did best in Sarrià, with 5.8%, and worst in Ciutat Vella, with 3.1%.

In the suburbs, the PSC did best in Montilla's hometown Cornellà, Santa Coloma, and Viladecans, with over 40% of the vote. Cornellà is almost certainly the most leftist town in Catalonia, with a total of 58% of the vote going to the two leftist parties. Les Borges Blanques is probably the most nationalist town, with a massive 71% of the vote for the two nationalist parties; Vic is second with 68%. The PP pulls a surprisingly strong 15.8% in Tarragona city. ERC peaks in Les Borges Blanques with 31.4% and Montblanc with 29.1%.

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