Sunday’s election comes with more uncertainty than many expected. the The last expectation that the law allows me to publish, with polls on Monday saying the most likely outcome is a majority of PP and Vox, but it only gives them a 55% chance of adding between the two. About half the time, the result will be different.
Surprises are always possible: Although polls predict better than any other alternative, history reminds us that they are a rough exercise. Thanks to them, we know some things with a great deal of certainty, such as that PP and PSOE will be ahead of Vox and Sumar, or that famous people have little chance of achieving an absolute majority. But it is not necessary to hope that the polls are accurate and give answers to the unknown who count on the 3% of Spaniards, like the majority of 23-J: they just don’t know much. In this election, this was even more apparent because we polled daily from several pollsters who, though not far apart, did not agree on the most likely outcome; For some it is the blockade and for others the majority is right.
The key is to remember that 10 seat mistakes with the party is common. for this reason, I express my expectations of possibilities. Which is why I am writing this Saturday, hours before the election, about possible surprises.
The first scenario: a left-wing government
Polls put PP and Vox combined with 47% of the vote, four or five points ahead of PSOE and Sumar (41%-42%). But what if the polls made a big mistake – but not a rare one – and reality caught the left by surprise? If three points are transferred, the two blocs will almost equalize the votes, and the result in seats will be the same as that of 2019. In other words, the likely majority in this scenario would be an inauguration by Pedro Sanchez, who would only need to have the support of BNG, PNV, ERC and Bildu.
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This reversal that the left needs can come in two ways: tilted or by mistake. When the polls came out on Monday, the dynamics were a combined progression for PSOE and Sumar, and that could have continued from then on. The other option is that polls have been overestimating the right-wing vote for weeks and we find out on 23-J.
According to my calculations, taking into account the typical error of opinion polls in Spain, the probability of being as wrong as the left is 16%. As easy (or as hard) as rolling the dice and getting a six.
The second scenario: the blockade
The second surprise is kind of like the previous one: Reality surprises on the left, but only by a point or two. It’s a scenario that leads to some complex calculations. Maybe to repeat the election?
If PP and Vox win by two or three points instead of five points over PSOE and Sumar, PP’s refereeing choices are complicated. It was not easy for the popular to add 176 seats to the party of Santiago Abascal, not even to persuade the Alliance of the Canary Islands to install it. They’ll need to look for a PNV, who doesn’t seem willing at all.
But it will not be easy for PSOE to win the position either. It wouldn’t be worth repeating his support for 2019, but he would definitely need the votes of Gunts, and possibly also from the CUP. These two parties could hold the key. Crash scenarios like this one have a 20% chance of occurring (a choice of one in five).
Scenario 3: Strong PP
Sunday’s surprise may also come from the right. For example, PP could be more successful in all respects, if it received more votes from Vox, and, moreover, this coincided with a less mobilized left than what polls now see. However, famous people find it difficult to get close to the absolute majority, even in such a situation.
In this simulation, I assumed that the right is 1.5 points ahead of the left – which would mean a very good result for the former – and that PP also increases by another 2 points at the expense of Vox, to about 37.5% in votes. In such a scenario, the Popular Seats rise to 157 and Vox shrinks to 27, but they are still far from an absolute majority and it will not be easy for them to achieve inauguration without the far right.
4. There will be no surprises
The final surprise will be that the result is exactly what it seems likely to be. As I said at the beginning, My average poll puts PP and Vox at about 177 seatsWith a short but sufficient majority to rule.
The most normal thing is that Sunday’s result looks like this distribution…but since the majority of PP and Vox are so close together, and polls make the usual errors of up to ten seats with two parties, this central scenario is very narrow. more than usual. It’s easy for reality to fall into two or three scenarios.
The fact is that in elections there are usually unexpected events. And this, quite predictable, explains the typical trap of a false forecaster: you can categorically say that on Sunday “someone will be surprised,” because it is easy to predict. The hard thing is guessing which is which.
methodology. Our seat calculation results from a three step process: 1) We start from the average of the national level surveys. 2) we estimate the vote in each constituency from this average and 3) we calculate the seats according to the D’Hondt method. You can read Details about the methodology here.
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