Spain election, 2011

Spain votes in the midst of its troubles. We know who the winner will be–the Popular Party will supplant the Socialists–but by a majority, or will it be another minority government?

5 thoughts on “Spain election, 2011

  1. Some initial checking the results at the Ministry of the Interior site:

    1. The PP got their majority with 44% of the vote, an increase of just under 5% from the last time. While this is a good result, a majority with 44% of the vote is something more typical of a single member district system.

    2. There was almost a 10% swing against the PSOE. The Spanish seem to have voted against the PSOE and grudgingly gave the PP just enough votes to govern.

    3. The PSOE vote dropped by 15%, with most of their voters seemingly being scattered among several smaller parties. The United Left did OK, getting over a million votes, but probably should have done better given the economic crisis.

    4. Given that the split was 44% to 28% to 6% between the PP and the next two parties, it seems that the PP would have swept every seat outside of Catalonia and the Basque country if the election had been held using FPTP, single member districts and the vote distribution was the same (though this wouldn’t have been the case as voters and candidates shifted their strategies). It looks like the PSOE didn’t win a single region. Regional parties did win bare pluralities in Catalonia and the Basque country.

    This seems to have been a toss out the incumbents election, though the voters didn’t seem to find many other places to go.

    [Minor corrections made]


  2. I believe the Spanish Constitution (ie, not merely electoral legislation) entrenches (a) 300 to 400 seats for the lower house, (b) 50 separate electorates (“the electoral district is the province”), and (c) d’Hondt (“de Hondt”) highest-average allocation. As a result, the average will be only 6 to 8 seats per electorate, and with d’Hondt and (say) 3 main contending parties in each district, an effective threshold of 10-12%. Didn’t Portugal, with a similar arrangement, once give a party a majority of seats with around 43% of the votes?


  3. It is the district magnitude that make Spain’s system of PR a little bit disproportionate. Spain has a majority government with close party lists. The parties control all the candidates.

    Aren’t there any suggestions to possibly open the party lists up?

    Move toward a Mixed Member Proportionate system and give each region at least a minimum of 1 seat, and use a national wide tier with a 3% threshold and/or 2 seats.

    Expand the Spanish parliament to 400 members, and half are single member districts, and the other half is the nation-wide allocation. 300 members could be elected by single member districts, and 100 by a nation-wide allocation with a 3% threshold and 2 seats.


  4. “Didn’t Portugal, with a similar arrangement, once give a party a majority of seats with around 43% of the votes?”

    In Portugal, 43%-44% of the votes is considered the result needed to achieve a majority in parliament


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