Monday, March 10, 2008

Final election results: PSOE 169 seats, the PP 153, Convergencia 11, the PNV 6, Esquerra 3, the goddamn Commies 2, CC 2, the BNG 2, CC 2, UPD 1, and NaBai 1.

Regionally, the PSOE was the most-voted party in Asturias, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Aragon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Andalusia, and the Canaries. The PP was most-voted in Galicia, Castile-Leon, Cantabria, Navarre, Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Valencia, Murcia, and the Balearics.

Looks like what happened is that the Socialists ate IU's and ERC's lunch, while the PP gained scattered seats at the expense of regional parties.

The Catalan press is playing up how important the sweeping Socialist victory in Catalonia was; if Catalan votes were left out, the PP would have won the election. The PSC won 18 seats more than the PP in Catalonia; they won only 16 seats more than the PP in all of Spain.

Commie leader Gaspar Llamazares has already resigned, and Carod-Rovira is expected to be next. Rajoy looks like he's going to try to hang on as leader, claiming victory because the party gained five seats. At the very least he needs to get rid of the hard-right elements in the party leadership, meaning Zaplana and Acebes.

The actual election results look a lot like the surveys El Periodico was running during the week before the elections. The exit polls, as usual, underestimated the PP vote, since being conservative is so socially unacceptable in some places that some people don't admit it.

Spain's definitely made a turn against radical regional nationalist parties. Count it up: in Catalonia, nationalist parties (CiU and ERC) won only 14 seats out of 47. In the Basque Country the nationalists (PNV) won just 6 seats out of 18, with ETA-front party Herri Batasuna banned from the ballot and its supporters boycotting the election, and peaceful separatists EA and Aralar shut out. In Galicia the BNG won only 2 seats out of 23. Only CiU increased its number of seats, by just one.

I'm thrilled that the goddamn Communists damn near got wiped out, down to 2 seats from the 23 they had as recently as 1996.

It looks like I called the effect of the murder of Isaías Carrasco wrong; I figured it would help the PP, but instead it probably had no effect, or even helped the PSOE by increasing the turnout as a whole.

I'm fairly optimistic for the next four years: Zap can't screw things up too badly, and his policies are going to have to be pretty moderate in order to keep his alliance with CiU. I don't see any other way out of it for him; he'll have to either form an official coalition, giving CiU a couple of ministries in Madrid, or govern from the minority with CiU support. And that support won't be forthcoming if he tries to do anything outrageous.

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