Friday, March 1, 2024

Galicia 2024 Election Surveys: This is how the polls are going

A month before the regional elections will be held in Galicia, the PP will be able to retain the current absolute majority where Alfonso Rueda is in charge of the Xunta because he can get 40 seats, according to the average of DataRTVE surveys.

Although it will lose two deputies compared to the result of 2020 in favor of the left, there will be no change in government if this estimate is fulfilled and the PP can endorse the fifth consecutive absolute majority. The main innovation is that Sumar enters the Galician Parliament with one seat, something that Podemos cannot achieve.

According to the DataRTVE average, calculated from surveys published in the media so far, the PP will get 46% of the votes—two points less than in 2020 (48%), and 40 seats (two less).

In this regard, BNG will remain the leader of the opposition, with 20 seats (another) and 25% of the votes for the candidacy of Ana Pontón, 1.2 points more than in the previous Galician election (23.8%). She, with the new candidacy of José Ramón Gómez Besteiro, will be third with 18.9% of the votes, almost one point lower than in 2020 (19.4%) and the same 14 seats as in the Parliament.

The list of Summer Heat presented for the first time is the fourth most voted force, with a 4.3% vote estimate, which will give Marta Lois the chance to get a deputy. Podemos Galicia, which refused to join the Sumar coalition, could not get it, barely reaching 1.2% of the votes, if in 2020 Galicia en Común got 3.9% of the votes.

Most of the surveys also show that our democracy on Vox will get a seat, even though the latter will improve its vote estimate (3%) compared to the result achieved in the previous regional elections (2%).

A monolithic right, a more fragmented left

The regional elections in Galicia, which will be held on February 18, will take place in a territory with a unique political ecosystem, with the right-wing vote monopolized by the Popular Party, under the leadership of Manuel Fraga until 2005 and Alberto Núñez Feijóo until 2023. The ‘popular’ (Popular Alliance in 1981, Popular Coalition in 1985) is the party with the most votes since the first regional elections, and there has been no competition in the ideological right since the dissolution of the UCD so the PP has only managed when he can do it alone.

On the other hand, the left has greater fragmentation, almost always characterized by the duel between PSdeG and BNG, where the socialists win most of the time. However, since 2016, with the appearance of new actors on the left, the Galician PSOE has been relegated to third place, where the current candidacy of José Ramón Gómez Besteiro is trying to overcome and contribute to breaking the absolute majority of pp..

The 2024 Galician elections, where 2,693,624 citizens will be able to vote, present a new scenario: They are the first in which the PP participated without Alberto Núñez Feijóo as a candidate who governed with an absolute majority since 2009 until he left the Galician Executive to become the new national president of the party and head of the list in the general election.

In his place, it is Alfonso Rueda, former vice president and now president of the Xunta de Galicia, who debuted as number one on the list to revalidate the absolute majority of the ‘popular’, starting with 42 seats and 48% of the votes, the best result since 2001, when the Galician PP got 52% of the ballots.

The obstacle to the election is, the difficulty for minor parties

In the Galician elections, the 75 seats allocated to the Parliament of Galicia will be elected, based on the D’Hondt system. The electoral district is the province, and the distribution of seats is as follows: 25 seats were elected in the province of A Coruña, 22 in Pontevedra, 14 in Lugo, and 14 in Ourense. The electoral law establishes a minimum of 10 seats per province, and the rest are distributed proportionally based on population.

It should be noted that the electoral system in Galicia includes a provincial electoral barrier, which is currently 5%, so parties must exceed this percentage of valid votes in the constituency to qualify for the distribution of seats. This obstacle, in practice, punishes fragmentation and causes that, since the 1993 elections, when it increased from 3 to 5%, there is almost no space in the Galician Parliament for the three parties (PP, PSdeG, and BNG) except for the 2012 and 2016 elections.

Thus, in 2012, Esquerdas emerged as the fourth Galician Alternative Force, which four years later became the En Marea coalition, whose dissolution in 2020 left the former members, Podemos and Marea Galeguista, without representation.

The 5% electoral barrier means that parties without implementation in the territory of Galicia, such as Vox and Ciudadanos, have not achieved representation in Parliament so far. This is the main obstacle in 2024 for both Sumar and Podemos candidates, who failed to agree on a coalition for the February 18 election.

In 2020, the candidacy of Podemos, Galicia en Común, which started with 19% of the votes and 14 seats when they were combined with the En Marea brand, was left unrepresented and fell to 3.94% of the total votes across Galicia, and where he is closest to running for a seat is in Pontevedra, with 4.58% of the ballots in this province, and A Coruña, with 4.43%. In Lugo and Ourense, the least populated provinces, the effective electoral barrier is in practice even greater.

It remains to be seen if the lists of Sumar and Podemos can move in their favor a sufficient percentage of the left vote, now in the hands of other parties or not, to get representatives and put an absolute majority in the PP.

World Nation News Desk
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