But what is the truth, and what is the story in these assertions? Is it true that the electoral law will benefit the nationalist parties of Spain? To verify this, let’s look at the results of the last general election, in November 2019.
Up to 18 parts of Congress are represented. If we compare the percentage of votes that each formation obtained in the votes with the percentage of seats that corresponded to them in the lower house, we notice that in fact the majority of the national forces have the number of representatives in the upper chamber. the ballots which he collected in the elections. But we have also verified that the majority of the parties, far removed from the others, are the PSOE and the PP.
The Socialists won the elections with 28% of the vote and 120 seats, which are actually 34% of the delegates in Congress, six points more. Popular obtained 20.81% of the votes and its 89 parliamentarians represent 25% of the Chamber, four points more. The other six formations, all at regional or provincial level, also benefit from the distribution of seats, but with differences in votes and deputies that do not even reach 1%. They are EH Bildu, Teruel Existe, Navarra Suma, PNV, Junts per Catalunya and Coalición Canaria.
On the other hand, in the last leaders, the electoral law has hurt Ciudadanos, Unidas Podemos and Mas País. The party of Inés Arrimadas was left with only 10 seats, 3% of the Assembly, having obtained 7% of the ballots, less than four points. In the purple cases there were three grievances, when 10% of the delegates received (35) with 13% of the votes. In the note of Inigo Errejón, the difference to the loss is one and a half points.
Another very notable case is that of PACMA, an animalist party that has never found a place in Congress, despite the considerable number of votes it holds. In November 2019, 228,856 votes were left without representation, 11 more votes than the 19,761 that gave the seat Teruel Existe, more than double the support of Navarre Suma (which won two seats) and more than three times the support of the Partido Regionalista de Cantabria (whose deputy was drawn). Another remarkable comparison: ERC obtained 13 seats with 874,859 votes and Cs obtained 10 delegates with 1,650,318 votes.
Why do the aforementioned corruptions occur? The key is constitutive, which is the province in general elections. In order to guarantee territorial representation in Congress, the number of seats assigned to each province is not proportional to the number of inhabitants, so the least populated territories have more representatives than their population would correspond to, and vice versa. As a result, the price of a voter’s seat varies greatly depending on the territory. While in Madrid 96,175 votes are required to win each of the 37 seats in contention, in Teruel 24,765 are sufficient for each of the three seats. While in Barcelona 91,472 votes are required for each of the 32 deputies, in Soria only 23,449 votes are required for each of the two deputies.
Therefore, formations that present themselves (and therefore have a very compact vote) in a few constituencies, as nationalist forces, need fewer votes to win a seat. On the other hand, the parties that fight across Spain require a much larger number of resources distributed throughout the country. If this is not done, as is the case with Más País and Ciudadanos, they are fined. In the last elections, each seat ‘cost’ Más País 192,142 votes and Cs, 165,031, compared to 19, 761 with ‘cost’ Teruel Existe or Navarra Suma 49,539.
And with other dioceses?
The prejudices of the current model and the importance of the constitution are confirmed if we carry out an exercise in political fiction. Whether each province distributed the same number of seats without any population adjustment, or if there was a larger electoral constitution (for example, an independent community or a single state constitution), the PSOE and the PP would have obtained between 10 and 18 deputies in 2019. of those whom he collects. Vox would have won three more seats, Unidas Podemos would have been able to score a dozen more and Cs would have doubled its current representation. As for the nationalist and pro-independence forces, most of them, with the exception of CALIX, are affected by the major constituencies.
What happened in Catalonia?
Since for 45 years the Catalan parties have been unable to agree on their electoral law, regional elections are also governed by public law, to identify a distortion of proportionality. For this reason, since 2015, the independence movement enjoys an absolute majority in the seats, although it does not have it in the votes. In the current parliament, the ERC, the Junts and the CUP add up to 54.81% of the delegates despite the fact that they added 48.46% of the votes in the polls. Six points of difference.
With the 2021 results, the parties that have benefited the most are the Junts and the ERC. Post-convergence they have 23.70% seats in parliament with 20.24% of the vote, 3.5 points more. Republicans have 24.44% of councilors with 21.48% of the vote, three more points. The representation of the PSC is 1.2 points and the voice of Vox, 0.4 points. Four other formations signed up, the Ciutadans and the PP being the most affected.