Who will be the head of Spain tomorrow? Conservative Alberto Nunez Feijoo allied with the far right, as the polls predict? Or the outgoing socialist, Pedro Sanchez, supported by the radical left and by independentist parties, who still believes he can create a surprise? Along with a head of government, the approximately 37 million Spaniards called to renew the Congress of Deputies and the Senate in this Sunday's general elections will choose a bloc to lead them. Because at the end of a big bang of its party system, Spain went in ten years from bipartisanship to “bibloquism”.
To the two national formations, the Socialist Party (PSOE) and the Popular Party (PP, right), which reigned almost unchallenged, were added Podemos (radical left), Ciudadanos (liberals) and Vox (extreme right). The disappearance of Ciudadanos and the absorption of Podemos by the new Sumar platform complete the restructuring of Spanish politics into two camps unable to get along. Everything was not settled on the eve of the ballot. But it is certain that the next head of government will not be able to govern without negotiating with the other parties in his ideological orbit.
“This is the big difference with other European countries, considers Fernando Vallespin, professor of political science at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Agreements between the blocks are impossible and the transfers of votes from one to the other are weak.
Spain's major decisions for the next four years will therefore be taken either by a PP-Vox bloc (a party whose majority of executives and voters come from the most right-wing fringe of the PP), or by a PSOE-Sumar alliance (the new coalition which includes Podemos and all the other parties to the left of the PSOE) supplemented in Parliament by Basque and Catalan independence parties. The polls, of which the newspaper El Pais made a weighted average, pose the alliance on the right as the central scenario. The calculations of the daily attribute to the traditional right 142 seats and 35 to the radical right, i.e., between them, one deputy more than the absolute majority. The newspaper gives the PP-Vox majority a probability of 55%. And 15% chance to the second option.
Unless neither the right and the extreme right nor the left and the radical left manage to gather 176 of the 350 members of the Congress of Deputies, the absolute majority, that the regional forces refuse to support any of the blocs by complementing its forces or that the big parties are opposed to satisfying the conditions of the small ones to gain their support... In which case, the Spaniards should return to the polls.
The only outcomes roughly excluded - El Pais assigns each hypothesis a probability of 1% - are those that PP and PSOE present as their goals: an absolute majority of the PP alone or a victory for the PSOE-Sumar alliance without external support. "Let the PP forget the absolute majority!", Said on esRadio the director of the Gad 3 polling institute, Narciso Michavila, very listened to on the right.
The campaign was improvised. Because Sanchez called the elections by surprise, the day after his heavy defeat in the municipal and regional elections of May 28. The debates were tense, a habit in Spain, marked by the cross accusations, and very often founded, of lies on the past policy of each, on the figures quoted, on the program of the rival...
The success of the right, more than by striking proposals, is partly explained by the errors and internal quarrels of the left and its dependence on the demands of the separatists, effectively underlined by the opposition. The dynamics of the PP and Vox also respond to a mathematical effect: the disappearance of Ciudadanos has reduced competition in this camp. And the electoral system, a corrected proportional, penalizes the dispersion and rewards the candidates who arrive first. Including, in many constituencies, the PP, which aspires to absorb most of the former voters of Ciudadanos.
The left is helped by the calendar. The new local elected representatives of PP and Vox must agree to govern together at the same time as the national campaign unfolds. The spectacle of the contradictions of the PP and the excesses of Vox facilitates the strategy of the left which raises the specter of far-right ministers. The polls have recorded the beginning of Sanchez's "rise" ... A shudder interrupted by his poor performance during the televised debate which opposed him to Feijoo.