How many votes does each party need to win a seat?

Union of the People of Navarre (UPN) It was the most efficient party in this election. The conservative Navarrese party was the party that needed the fewest votes from across the political spectrum to gain parliamentary representation in the 23-J elections held last Sunday. They only had to collect 51,764 ballots to get a deputy. Basque parties are also distinguished by their efficiency. to EAJPNV It cost him 55,146 votes for each of the five seats he won. In other words, he received 333,362 votes on five seats in the House of Representatives, which allows him to have his own group. Something similar is happening with EH Bildu. The average cost per deputy was 55,560 votes.

The electoral law favors the concentration of votes in a single district and is punishable if a party receives votes widely distributed throughout the national territory. Something similar happened to the Galician party BNGIt won only one seat despite collecting 152,327 ballots distributed widely across the three provinces of Galicia. This situation makes BNG the party that needed the most votes to enter Congress. Almost three times more than UPN, PNV or Bildu. The Galician nationalists achieved only one deputy for A Coruña and the votes they received in the rest of the Galician provinces did not serve them to obtain greater parliamentary representation. They lost their votes, according to this analysis of electoral efficiency.

The peculiarity of the Spanish electoral system allows votes to have a different value depending on the electoral district in which the polls are located. For this reason, candidates designed their strategies during the election campaign to go to areas where the concentration of votes was more favorable to them. Voting in Ceuta or Syria, for example, is not equal to that of Madrid. This value depends on the characteristics of the constituency, its size, population, the number of parties that present themselves in that area, and how votes are distributed. Contrary to popular belief, the key to determining the value of the vote is not the distribution made through D’Hont’s Law, but the size of the counties. Thus, in more populous constituencies it costs more to have an MP, while in less populous constituencies it is possible to get a seat with fewer votes. Small parties at the national level have difficulty getting more representation because their electorate is more dispersed. If they could concentrate all their votes in a few constituencies, they would get more representation.

The most typical case is the case Bkma The animal party, which is elected after the elections, collects tens of thousands of votes that do not allow it to obtain parliamentary representation. The votes of this lineup are widely distributed throughout the national territory and are not added for a seat. This 23-J, Pacma had 165,768 electoral support, but was again shut out of Congress. It is the typical party that if it can concentrate its efforts in one constituency, it will win a seat.

Among the large parties, the People’s Party needed fewer votes to gain each of the 136 MPs it achieved in J23. Each seat cost the people a total of 59,492 ballots on average, less than the effort made by the Socialists. The SWP had to collect an average of 63,608 votes to get each of its 122 deputies. Yolanda Diaz-Somar’s coalition needed an average of 97,215 support, while Santiago Abascal’s ultra-nationalist party, Vox, requested 91,923 votes for each of its 33 seats.

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Ceuta, Teruel and Melilla, where fewer votes are needed

If we reduce the magnifying glass to the provincial level, Ceuta is the constituency that requires fewer votes to obtain a seat. The People’s Party only required 12,885 ballot papers for the one MP at stake in the autonomous city. The smallest constituencies where parties are able to concentrate the vote are usually the areas where they need the least number of votes to achieve representation in parliament. Something similar happened to Ceuta in Teruel: the People’s Party won a seat with only 13,248 ballots. This province of Aragon is the second cheapest place to get a seat in Congress. The higher turnout in this province compared to the December 2019 elections and the concentration of votes around the People’s Party caused Teruel Xist to be excluded from Congress despite having the support of 11,292 voters.

Melilla is the third constituency that needed fewer votes to get a seat. The People’s Party took the only seat allocated by the autonomous city, with 13,369 votes.

The case of Syria is also remarkable. In recent elections, it was listed as the province for which fewer votes were needed to obtain parliamentary representation. In this Castilian-Leonian province, all the requirements are met: it is small and the vote is usually concentrated. But increased turnout in the J23 election, which rose from 61.49% in 2019 to 73.73%, has made this county’s votes more expensive. The party needed 14,775 ballots to get one of the two MPs distributed. The People’s Party got the other one after receiving 18,647 votes.

At the opposite end, Seville stands out, where the vice came to be the most expensive. Vox, led by Santiago Abascal, needed 140,522 ballots to get one of the 12 seats distributed in this district. Alicante is the second province that requires more votes to obtain a deputy. Somar’s coalition, Yolanda Diaz’s coalition, needed 114,973 votes to get one of the 12 deputies distributed by this constituency. Valencia is the other province with the most expensive seats. It cost Fox 108,852 ballots to achieve parliamentary representation in that district.

How does the electoral system work?

This is a radiogram of the rules of the Spanish electoral system, which includes 52 electoral districts, but in the single electoral district system, where every vote is of equal importance, the outcome of the elections was different. First of all, the large parties will lose some of their power. In simple arithmetic, if we divide the votes cast and valid (24,482,534) by the number of seats to be distributed (350), this will result in 69,950 votes needed for each seat.

The Spanish electoral system distributes 350 deputies in 52 constituencies. How are these seats distributed? Each province has two seats and the independent cities have one. The rest of the deputies are divided according to the number of residents. Madrid, for example, which is considered a single constituency for electoral purposes, appoints 37 deputies. Andalusia, the most populous of the autonomous communities, with over 6.4 million voters spread across its eight electoral districts, contributes 61 seats to the Spanish Parliament. The Elections Law stipulates that candidates who do not receive at least 3% of the valid votes in any constituency are not taken into consideration.

As we have said, if, instead of 52 constituencies, the distribution of seats in an election is made by a single constituency that maintains D’Hont’s law, but is applied to one constituency, the result will be different. The People’s Party will still be the party with the most deputies, but it will reduce its power. He will win 120 seats, 16 fewer than he achieved in Sunday’s elections. The Socialist Workers Party will remain the second force, but it will also lose part of its electoral harvest, with 115 seats in Congress, instead of the 122 seats won by 23-J.

Vox and Sumar will be the two parties that benefit most from this single constituency system. With this hypothetical distribution, each of these two formations would have 45 MPs. Those of Abascal would bring 12 more seats and Díaz another 14.

The animalistic party of Pacma and the left-wing separatist, the CUP, will enter Congress with one deputy each, because the cut will be about 65,000 votes. On the contrary, UPN will be disqualified because the 51,764 votes it got will not be enough to get into Congress. The rest of the nationalist parties that gained representation will lose a seat with this hypothesis.

If the practice is with a single constituency and direct proportional distribution, without applying D’Hont’s law and assigning seats to parties that have a minimum number of votes, about 68,500, to obtain representation, the result will not change much. Although smaller parties like Pacma, BNG or the Canary Coalition will have two MPs each. Under this system, the People’s Party would win 118 seats; PSOE, 113; Fox, 44, and ADD, 44.

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