Friday, May 25, 2007

Election day is Sunday; all Spanish municipalities and thirteen of the seventeen autonomous regions go to the polls. Today's the last day of campaigning, which is prohibited the day before an election.

Predictions: 1) No major changes. 2) Small changes: a PSOE-Nafarroa Bai coalition may take Navarra away from the PP, and a Catalan Tripartite coalition may take Tarragona city hall away from CiU. 3) High abstention; I'd be surprised if turnout was more than 60%. These elections haven't caught the public interest. Also, many voters are unhappy with both the Zap government and the PP opposition. That kind of describes me, for example. 4) If the PP does worse than expected, the knives may come out for Rajoy's head. 5) Ruiz-Gallardón will clearly be the future of the PP after he wins a fourth straight absolute majority, twice as mayor of Madrid and twice as premier of the Madrid region. 6) La Vanguardia speculates that Aznar's wife, Ana Botella, a PP city councilwoman in Madrid, may be Gallardón's successor as Madrid mayor. 7) The Communists will keep Córdoba city hall, the only important elective office they hold. 8) To sum up, these elections will be an indecisive tuneup for the real general election, which will probably be held late this year or very early in 2008. No party will do well enough to emerge as the clear favorite in the generals, and none will do so badly as to provoke a major internal shakeup.

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