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Live Blog: 2019 Spanish Elections

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 00:42 CEST, April 29th

With this last poll we will call it night. It’s been a pleasure covering this election for the audience of Europe Elects, and despite the technical difficulties it has been a very fun way to engage with all of you. Thanks for joining us and stay tuned for the final results of the Valencian regional election in our social media platforms!

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 00:37 CEST, April 29th

With 99.6% counted, these provisional results are almost final. Centre-left PSOE has achieved its first victory since 2008, and incumbent PM Pedro Sánchez will have the chance of forming a new cabinet.

A coalition of left-wing UP (GUE/NGL) and centre-left PSOE (S&D) would have 165 seats, short of the 176 majority and thus requiring additional supports. An alliance of PSOE and centre-right Cs (ALDE) would have 180 seats.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 00:10 CEST, April 29th

As for the results in the main regions, PP has lost half of its supports in Andalusia and has fallen below 5% in Catalonia. PSOE has surged, Cs has made modest gains and UP has lost its valuable first position in Catalonia. The entrance of VOX and the rise of ERC have shaken the political arena significantly.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 00:10 CEST, April 29th

Also in his first public appearance after the election, Albert Rivera, Cs (ALDE) leader has also hinted that he does not intend to strike a deal with Sánchez to form government.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 00:03 CEST, April 29th

During Pedro Sánchez’s appearance from PSOE’s headquarters in Madrid, the crowd cheering the great winner of this election interrupted him by shouting “Con Rivera no” (Not with Rivera), in reference to the leader of Cs. As I mentioned in the article and most polls showed, the majority of PSOE’s supporter base favors a coalition with UP rather than with Cs.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 23:30 CEST, April 28th

Huge swings in the composition of the Spanish Senate can be attributed to its majoritarian system of election: only 4 seats are elected in each province. It is usually an overlooked institution, but gained relevance in 2017 as it authorized the PP (EPP) government to trigger Article 155 of the Constitution to impose direct rule on Catalonia.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 23:30 CEST, April 28th

As a fun fact, as of now (50% counted for Senate), PSOE would obtain the same number of seats in both chambers of parliament: 122.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 23:30 CEST, April 28th

Similarly, Cs (ALDE) has fared better than expected by the GAD3 polls we knew at 8 PM. They have won 26 additional seats in the Congress of Deputies, challenging the hegemony of PP (EPP) in the right bloc. As mentioned before by Alex, pro-independence ERC (G/EFA) has also obtained its best result since the restoration of Democracy. With candidate Junqueras in prison, its leading voice in Congress will be Gabriel Rufián.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 23:30 CEST, April 28th

The other side of the coin is centre-left PSOE. By watching the first public appearances of the main leaders it is obvious that everyone is looking at Pedro Sánchez. He has two potential coalitions on his table, and will have to choose between Cs (ALDE) for a centrist government or an alliance with left-wing UP and at least two regionalist parties. In any case, Sánchez has the upper hand and is enjoying a landslide victory that no one could have expected only a year ago.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 23:20 CEST, April 28th

The fact that centre-right PP (EPP) has not won in any of the largest six cities in Spain is indicative of the major upset this election has meant for the most voted party in 2016. Catalan pro-independence ERC has won in Barcelona for the first time, PNV has kept its stronghold of Bilbao and PSOE has dominated in Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla and Zaragoza.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 23:10 CEST, April 28th

Spain, provisional results:

90.6% counted

PSOE-S&D: 28.8%
PP-EPP: 16.9%
Cs-ALDE: 15.8%
UP-LEFT: 14.3%
VOX-ENF: 10.2%
ERC-G/EFA: 3.9%
JxCAT-*: 1.9%
PNV-ALDE: 1.6%
EH Bildu-LEFT: 1.1%
Compromís-G/EFA: 0.6%
NA+-EPP/ALDE: 0.4%
CC-ALDE: 0.4%

Alexander Sarti, 22:51 CEST, April 28th

Right wing VOX-ECR/ENF is projected to receive 24 seats, with over 80% counted. While, after their regional success in Andalusia, they had hoped for more, this is still a huge result for a party that had until now had no national representation.

Learn more about VOX in our bite-sized video here:

Alexander Sarti, 22:46 CEST, April 28th

Regionalist ERC (G/EFA) is seeing their best result since the end of the Franco dictatorship: 3.9% (86% of votes counted). ERC’s leader Junqueras is imprisoned for his participation in organizing the outlawed Catalan independence referendum 2017

Alexander Sarti, 22:44 CEST, April 28th

One of the interesting things to look out for tonight was the performance of the animal welfare party PACMA (GUE/NGL).

They have received 1.2% (with 71% are counted) but failed to enter the national parliament. It’s the largest party that did not make it into parliament and the only party with 1+% which did not receive a seat

Alexander Sarti, 22:40 CEST, April 28th

As I said earlier, this is looking like the best ever result for liberal Cs-ALDE. Here’s a look at their historical national results:

2005: Founded
2008: 0.2%
2014 (EU election): 3.2%
2015: 13.9%
2016: 13.1%
2019: 15.0% (78% of votes counted)

Alexander Sarti, 22:37 CEST, April 28th

Provisional results: 75.8% counted

PSOE-S&D: 29.1%
PP-EPP: 16.7%
Cs-ALDE: 15.5%
UP-LEFT: 14.2%
VOX-ENF: 10.1%
ERC-G/EFA: 3.9%
JxCAT-*: 1.9%
PNV-ALDE: 1.8%
EH Bildu-LEFT: 1.2%
Compromís-G/EFA: 0.6%
NA+-EPP/ALDE: 0.5%
PRC-*: 0.2%

Alexander Sarti, 22:35 CEST, April 28th

A few important results from this election:

  • First win for center-left PSOE-S&D since 2011
  • Current provisional results show the best ever result for Cs-ALDE
  • Best ever result for regionalist ERC-G/EFA (currently at 4%)
  • Right wing (don’t @ me about that description) VOX-ECR/ENF enters the national legislature for the first time
  • Worst result ever for left wing UP-LEFT (that wording seems redundant)

Alexander Sarti, 22:15 CEST, April 28th

Provisional results: 57% counted

PSOE-S&D: 29%
PP-EPP: 17%
Cs-ALDE: 15%
UP-LEFT: 14%
VOX-ENF: 10%
JxCAT-*: 1.8%
EH Bildu-LEFT: 1.4%
Compromís-G/EFA: 0.6%
NA+-EPP/ALDE: 0.5%
PRC-*: 0.2%

Alexander Sarti, 22:12 CEST, April 28th

To state the obvious, this is the worst result ever for center-right PP-EPP. They have collapsed from their previous result of 33% to 17% in the current count (as seen also in polls). This would cut their seat count by more than half

Alexander Sarti, 22:09 CEST, April 28th

As a non Spaniard I remain shocked by the oddities of Spanish electoral law:

Cs-ALDE is up only 2.5% in the vote, but that would translate to 25/350 additional seats won, a gain of 7% in seats.

Alexander Sarti, 21:58 CEST, April 28th

Provisional results: 47% counted

PSOE-S&D: 30%
PP-EPP: 17%
Cs-ALDE: 15%
UP-LEFT: 14%
VOX-ENF: 10%
JxCAT-*: 1.8%
EH Bildu-LEFT: 1.6%
NA+-EPP/ALDE: 0.6%
Compromís-G/EFA: 0.5%
PRC-*: 0.3%

Alexander Sarti, 21:56 CEST, April 28th

With almost 40% of the votes counted, PSOE could have a majority in alliance with either Cs (ALDE) or UP (GUE/NGL) + Compromís (G/EFA) + PNV (ALDE).

Alexander Sarti, 21:50 CEST, April 28th

Provisional results: 37% counted

PSOE-S&D: 30%
PP-EPP: 17%
Cs-ALDE: 14%
UP-LEFT: 14%
VOX-ENF: 10%
EH Bildu-LEFT: 2%
JxCAT-*: 1.7%
NA+-EPP/ALDE: 0.6%
Compromís-G/EFA: 0.5%
PRC-*: 0.3%

Alexander Sarti, 21:40 CEST, April 28th

Valencian regional election: IMOP and SyM Consulting polls point at a renewed majority for the alliance of PSPV-PSOE (S&D), Compromís (G/EFA) and UP (GUE/NGL). According to IMOP poll, Compromís would be the largest party.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 19:40 CEST, April 28th

We are only two minutes away from polling stations closing in peninsular Spain. In the Canary Islands they will close at 21:00 CEST. Let’s have a look at this point on what lies ahead for the next exciting hours.

At 20:00 CEST, with polling stations closed, 3 polls will be released: GAD3, SocioMétrica and IMOP. These polls have been conducted during the past days with a tracking method, therefore they are not exit polls. Counting of the votes will start at this point, but figures will not be made public until 21:00 CEST, after the Canary Islands close.

At 21:00 CEST, everyone can follow the progress in counting at this website.

At about 22:30 CEST, Isabel Celáa, a member of the Spanish government will make a public appearance announcing final turnout figures and provisional results. It is scheduled that counting might be above 90% by then.

Finally, in Valencia, votes for the Spanish Congress of Deputies will be counted first. Votes for the Valencian regional election will only be counted after those for the Senate, so we should expect results only later in the night.

This is all for now. We hope you’ll stick with us during the next few hours!

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 18:50 CEST, April 28th

Turning to the Valencian regional election for a brief moment, turnout experiences 7-point growth compared to the 2015 election, and now stands at 61.39%. This increase is higher than the one registered for the Spanish general election in that region, which grows by 5%. It therefore seems that the fact that both elections are held the same day benefits turnout for the regional one. Below is the official website where results are posted.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 18:32 CEST, April 28th

As for voter behavior in the largest cities of Spain, many of them experience substantial increases in turnout. Barcelona leads again the pack, with 18:00 turnout at 65% and a growth of 17 points compared to 2016. Turnout in Madrid stands at 64.5% (+10), and in Valencia at 61.1% with a modest growth of 3%. Finally, turnout has increased by 12% in Zaragoza and 8% in Sevilla, with turnout levels at 63% and 60.9%, respectively.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 18:10 CEST, April 28th

Turnout figures at 18:00 just came out: 60.5% of the Spaniards have already cast their vote, a growth of 9 points compared to the 2016 election (51.2%) and 2 more than in 2015 (58.4%). Again, the region that records the biggest increase is Catalonia: skyrocketing turnout has reached the 64.2%, compared to 46.4% in 2016 at this time. Below is the increase in turnout for all regions.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 16:18 CEST, April 28th

After looking at these correlations it seems like a good moment to reintroduce the charts we at Europe Elects have created for the two main parties of the left bloc: PSOE (S&D) and UP (GUE/NGL). Pedro Sánchez, PSOE’s leader, is the incumbent Spanish Prime Minister after the vote of no confidence against Mariano Rajoy (PP-EPP) in June 2018. Left-wing UP has provided support to Sánchez’s cabinet this last year, and Pablo Iglesias is their candidate in this election.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 16:18 CEST, April 28th

We have published on our Twitter and Facebook accounts correlations between the increase in turnout by region and the result in the 2016 election for the four largest parties. As key takeaways, left-wing UP and the regionalist parties recorded good results where turnout has increased, whether the opposite holds for centre-left PSOE and centre-right PP. These correlations might not determine the final results, however, for two reasons. First, without the outlier of Catalonia, where turnout has increased more than 11 points, it would be hard to reach many conclusions. Second, we expect many intra-bloc movements in this election, and this can have consequences for the analysis of UP and PSOE. Taking again the case of Catalonia, PSC-PSOE is expected to be the choice of many voters of UP in 2016, when the left-wing party came first in the region.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 15:10 CEST, April 28th

As for the regional election taking place in Valencia today, turnout has increased significantly, from 40.9% in 2015 to 45.7% today. Turnout has therefore grown more strongly for the regional election than for the Spanish general election (where the increase has been of 2.5%).

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 14:55 CEST, April 28th

Focusing on the turnout in the two largest regions in Spain, Andalusia and Catalonia, we see similar trends. In Andalusia, turnout has increased significantly in comparison to last December’s regional election, when centre-left PSOE (S&D) lost its longest-held regional stronghold in Spain in a context of low participation. In Catalonia, turnout in general elections had been decreasing during the last decade and reached a record low in 2016 at 63.4%, well below the figures for regional elections. This trend seems to be reversing today. Source for the graph: report on electoral behavior by the Spanish government.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 14:42 CEST, April 28th

Turnout has increased in all regions, with the only exception of the provinces of Cordoba and Jaén, in the southern region of Andalusia. Largest increases besides Catalonia have been in Aragón (+7%), Navarra (+5.8%), Basque Country (+5.7%) and Asturias (+5.4%). The autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla have also recorded singificant turnout growth.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 14:33 CEST, April 28th

With regards to what we just commented on, the director of Sigma Dos, a spanish polling firm, has just pointed at potential gains for both the left and right blocs from the increased turnout.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 14:29 CEST, April 28th

There has been a lot of speculation on who could gain most from a high turnout level. Conventional wisdom has it that left-wing parties benefit more, as their electorates are less easily mobilized. However, if we look at the breakdown by regions, an argument could be made that regionalist parties, especially those from Catalonia, could benefit: turnout in Catalonia has gone from 32% in 2016 to 43.5%. Finally, one could also argue that right wing VOX (ENF) might benefit from new voters as they find a political party that fits them, but most polls have shown how they share a similar electorate to the traditional centre-right People’s Party’s (EPP) one. People’s Party’s support record is more stable, and thus increased turnout would not be especially good news for them.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 14:22 CEST, April 28th

It seems that the official figure has been updated: turnout at 14:00 CEST stands now at 41.4%. This is still a significant increase compared to 2016. For those interested, here is the link to the website ran by the Spanish government:

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 14:10 CEST, April 28th

The first turnout figure has just been released: 44.8% at 14:00 CEST. This is 8 points higher than in 2016 at this time (36.9%). As a reminder, final turnout in 2016 was 66.5%, the lowest since 1978 in Spain, so we should expect today’s turnout to be closer to the average for a general election.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 11:18 CEST, April 28th

Centre-right people’s Party (EPP) lowest electoral result to date in a parliamentary election was in 1989, months after its refoundation, when it amssed 25.8% of the total vote. Most pollsters put them at around 20% today, with many voters opting for liberal, center-right Cs or right wing VOX this time.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 8:00 CEST, April 28th

Good morning! 36.9 million voters are heading to the polls today. 1.2m have already cast their early vote-the 2nd largest figure in history after 2016

Booths are open 9-20 CET, except in the Canary Islands, where they are open until 21 CET. We will have turnout figures at 12 and 5 PM, and we will cover everything live in this blog.

Ignasi Subirà Ingla, 18:20 CEST, April 27th

Good evening everyone, and welcome to the Live Blog on tomorrow’s Spanish General Election. My name is Ignasi Subirà, and I will be monitoring this exciting election for Europe Elects. Coverage will focus on the results for the Spanish two chambers, the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, but we will also follow the main developments in the Valencian regional election, which takes place in parallel.

Also, as most of you will know, this is only the first of the two Super Sundays lying ahead for Spaniards. On May 26, elections at the local and European level will be held, as well as for 12 of the 17 regional administrations. Such a concentrated electoral cycle has no precedent in recent Spanish history, as all parliaments but 5 (the regional chambers in Andalusia, Catalonia, Valencia, Basque Country and Galicia) will be renewed. Results will therefore have a crucial impact in the short and medium term future of Spanish politics.

Without further due, let’s introduce the main parties in contention as well as the possible alliances that might be formed after the election.

First, it is worthwhile having a look at the current composition of the lower chamber, the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

And here is the projection as computed by our team member Filip Van Laenen based on all the polls published during the last 90 days.

During the past week, Europe Elects has posted on its Twitter and Facebook accounts summary charts with the main features of the 9 largest parties according to the majority of polls.

Similarly, we have released a video on our YouTube channel describing the ideological position of these parties. In terms of party selection, we have not included Compromís, the Valencian regionalist party that sits with the G/EFA group in the European Parliament. The reason for this is simple: our preparation began before Compromís decided it would run separate from UP in this election, unlike in 2016’s coalition A la Valenciana. Furthermore, their predicted results are very volatile depending on the pollster.

Below is a brief description of additional parties that have a fair chance of achieving a seat in the Congress of Deputies:

Compromís: Valencian regionalist, left-wing party. Member of the G/EFA group in the European Parliament, with 1 MEP. The UP-Compromís coalition achieved 9 seats in the 2016 election, of which 4 belonged to Compromís.

En Marea: left-wing coalition running in Galicia, ran equally in alliance with UP in 2016.

PACMA: animalist party, member of the Euro Animal 7 party (GUE/NGL). In 2016, PACMA obtained 1.19% of the total vote.

Coalición Canaria (CC): regionalist party from the Canary Islands, ran with the liberal CEU coalition for the 2014 European elections. In the 2016 Spanish election it achieved 1 MP and 0.33% of the votes.

Navarra Suma (NA+): coalition of PP (EPP), Cs (ALDE) and UpN (EPP) in the region of Navarra.

Front Republicà (FR): coalition of the Catalan Pirate Party, Poble Lliure and Som Alternativa. It is a left-wing, pro-Catalan independence platform.

Bloque Nacionalista Galego (BNG): left-wing, pro-Galician independence party. In 2016 it achieved 0.3% of the vote but no MPs.

Partido Regionalista de Cantabria (PRC): regionalist party from Cantabria, it did not run in the 2016 general election.

Regarding potential coalitions to form a government after the election, there are three main options. The first and most likely looking at the polling trends is a deal between centre-left PSOE and liberal Cs. PSOE could also turn to the left and repeat its coalition with UP, which would probably require bringing some regionalist/pro-independence parties on board. Lastly, the right bloc (PP, Cs and VOX) might be able to form a government. This last option is the least likely according to the polls, but there is a small caveat: it is really difficult to estimate the actual supports that VOX will receive, especially given the low results they obtained in 2016. Last December, VOX outperformed all of the opinion polls in the Andalusian regional election, and we could be facing a similar situation in this Spanish general election.

In this article published on our website we commented on the likelihood of these alliances, in the context of the vote of no confidence in June 2018 and Pedro Sánchez’s call of this snap election:

As a concluding fun fact, here is a chart on the demographic evolution of voters in Spain. Whereas population aged between 18 and 30 years old has fallen by 35% in the period 2000-2018, population over 65 years old has increased significantly. It remains to be seen how this might have an impact, along with factors such as turnout, on tomorrow’s election. Source: Spanish pollster GESOP, posted on their twitter account.

Tomorrow morning we will kick off at 9 AM CET, following the whole of the election day. Ballot stations will close at 8 PM CET, after which Europe Elects will monitor the exit polls and the results as they start coming in. See you tomorrow!

Tobias Gerhard Schminke, 16:00 CEST, April 27th

Europe Elects starts it’s coverage of the Spanish election for the national parliament with an introductory video about the 14 main political parties running in this election.

The centre-left PSOE is leading the polls but will most likely fall short of an absolute majority.

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