The PNV would strengthen its hegemony on 28-M with a plenary session in capitals and councils

The largest political survey published in the Basque Country shows that the PNV would be the big winner in the municipal and regional elections in May, consolidating its hegemony in the capitals of the Basque Country and in the provincial councils.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
28 March 2023 Tuesday 05:27
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The PNV would strengthen its hegemony on 28-M with a plenary session in capitals and councils

The largest political survey published in the Basque Country shows that the PNV would be the big winner in the municipal and regional elections in May, consolidating its hegemony in the capitals of the Basque Country and in the provincial councils. It would be followed by EH Bildu, which despite its good results, would not achieve its two major objectives on May 28: the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and the Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council. The Abertzale coalition, however, could reach the Pamplona Mayor's Office, where it would be the second force, after UPN, but it could govern depending on the pacts. The PSE would maintain strongholds such as Irun or Eibar, while the PP would drop slightly and, finally, Podemos would be the force that would lose the most weight.

These conclusions are drawn from a survey published by EiTB Focus, with more than 6,600 interviews in the Autonomous Community of Euskadi and 1,200 in Navarra.

The demoscopic study analyzes the main focuses of interest for Basque politics in the 28-M elections: the conformation of the General Assemblies, from which the governments of the provincial councils will emerge; the distribution of councilors in Bilbao, Donostia/San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz; the results in some of the most important Basque municipalities (Barakaldo, Irun, Getxo, Tolosa...); the formation of the Parliament of Navarra, from which the next regional government will emerge; and the future in the Pamplona City Council.

The survey draws, in general lines, a clear hegemony of the PNV in Bizkaia and a tight competition with EH Bildu in the rest of the Basque Country, although with the PSE maintaining the type in important towns such as Irun or Eibar. In Navarra, the most relevant thing would be the loss of weight of UPN, which would fall to its worst historical results after having settled the Navarra Suma coalition (with PP and Ciudadanos).

In the most populous Basque town, in Bilbao, the PNV would border on an absolute majority with Juan Mari Aburto (14 out of 27 councillors), the current mayor, who would lead his third legislature. EH Bildu would snatch second place from the PSE, although they would tie 5 councilors, very far from the jeltzales. The PP, which became the second force in the city, would be fifth, with 2 councilors, one more than Podemos.

In San Sebastián, the current mayor, Eneko Goia (PNV), would aspire to a third term (11 councilors), achieving a comfortable victory over EH Bildu (7 councilors), who came to govern the city between 2011 and 2015. The PSE It would maintain as the third force (5 councilors), while Podemos and the PP would fall to two councilors, losing one each.

The competition will be tighter in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The differences between PNV, EH Bildu and PSE narrow in the Álava capital, and the polls that have been published place them in a range of between 8 and 5 councilors. EiTB Focus gives the PNV 8 councilors and a clear victory, although it does not rule out the possibility that there will finally be 7 councilors. EH Bildu would be the second force with between 6 and 7 councilors and the Socialists would be third with between 5 and 6 councilors.

In the provincial councils, the PNV would easily prevail in Bizkaia, achieving an absolute majority in the Juntas for the first time, doubling EH Bildu in seats, the second force. In Álava, the jeltzales would clearly revalidate a new mandate, despite the growth of EH Bildu, which would be far away. In Gipuzkoa, finally, there would be a tough fight between the PNV and EH Bildu, which, according to this survey, would favor the jeltzales.

The PNV would, therefore, once again achieve its great objectives in the May electoral appointment, with a plenary session in councils and city councils, as well as a comfortable victory in weighty towns such as Barakaldo, Getxo or Basauri.

EH Bildu, for its part, would be left without its two major objectives in the municipal and regional governments, Gipuzkoa and Vitoria-Gasteiz, although it would grow in all the institutions. Regardless of what happens in Navarra, the other major objective of the Abertzale coalition is to increase or consolidate its municipal power in other relevant towns in the Basque Country, where a tough struggle with the jeltzales is expected.

The PSE-EE, on the other hand, would drop slightly in votes in the capitals, and more pronouncedly in historical strongholds such as Barakaldo (where the PNV has governed for two legislatures), but would continue to be the leading force in important municipalities such as Irun and eibar.

Together, the coalition formed by Podemos Euskadi, Ezker Anitza-IU, Berdeak Equo and Alianza Verde, would lose a councilor in San Sebastián, but would retain those in Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Finally, the PP would repeat results in the Álava capital, but it would drop in Bilbao and San Sebastián, and Vox would not obtain representation in any of the large towns analyzed in this EITB Focus.

In Navarra, both the EiTB Focus survey and all those that have been published suggest that the socialist María Chivite will be able to continue governing comfortably, always under the formula of a progressive government also supported by the Geroa Bai coalition, from the Basque Uxue Barkos, and by the Contigo/Zurekin Navarra coalition (Podemos, IU and Batzarre), as well as with the external support of EH Bildu.

EiTB Focus points out that UPN would suffer its biggest debacle in the Parliament of Navarra, after choosing not to reissue the Navarra Suma coalition (with the PP and Ciudadanos). It would go from 20 to 12 seats and would be far from the majority even if they added the seats of the PP (6) and Vox, which would break in with 2.

In this way, since an eventual agreement of the right wing is very improbable, the second party will have everything to govern. It would be the PSN, which would reissue results (10-11 seats). It would be closely followed by Geroa Bai, with between 8 and 9 seats. Other surveys have even given it 10 parliamentarians, although it seems unlikely that it will reach the PSN and be second force, which would favor the alternative government to the right being chaired by Chivite and not Barkos, as happened between 2015 and 2019.

EH Bildu, for its part, would rise to 8 parliamentarians, one more, and the leftist coalition Zurekin/Contigo would achieve 3 parliamentarians, the same number that Podemos and Izquierda-Ezkerra have separately today.

The competition will be tighter in the Pamplona City Council. All the polls indicate that UPN will be the first force; in the case of EiTB focus, they give it 10 councilors, far from the absolute majority (14 councilors). EH Bildu would be, also according to all the surveys, the second force; EiTB focus gives it 7 councillors, although other studies have even given it 8. The key will therefore lie with the PSN, third force with 4 councillors, according to this survey, ahead of Geroa Bai (2), PP (2 ) and Zurekin/With You (2). Four years ago, the Socialists decided from election night that they would opt to let Navarra Suma (UPN, PP and Ciudadanos) govern, against Joseba Asiron, mayor of EH Bildu between 2015 and 2019.