The Vox crisis does not elevate Feijóo

A new shrinking of the dwindling right, as Vox can now be called, would be very good in terms of seats for the popular, while essentially insufficient, the ability to form a government.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 August 2023 Tuesday 10:21
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The Vox crisis does not elevate Feijóo

A new shrinking of the dwindling right, as Vox can now be called, would be very good in terms of seats for the popular, while essentially insufficient, the ability to form a government. As the transfer of deputies would take place mostly within the conservative bloc, the PP, the "cowardly right" that the ultra Santiago Abascal called it, would continue to be unable to articulate a parliamentary majority, not even with Vox and the support of the Canarian regionalists and Navarrese, nor with these two forces and the PNV.

What effect would a new drop in Vox have on the game of majorities in Congress in an electoral repetition? This is the big question raised by the crisis, simmering for a long time, which broke out with all virulence just after 23-J with the departure of the policy of one of the founders of the party most recognizable by public opinion, the until now spokesman Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros.

Faced with this unknown, three possible scenarios emerge for the eventual result of Vox, which on 23-J obtained 12.4% of the votes, after dropping 2.7 points compared to 2019. The high scenario consists of repeating that same decrease and stay at 9.7%. At the bottom, it would suffer a collapse equivalent to that of Ciudadanos in November 2019 and would get 5.3%. In the medium scenario, the setback would not be intense, as it fell to 7.5%

The block on the right, of PP and Vox, would not advance in deputies in any of the three scenarios. Only in the high one would he keep the 170, while in the others he would give between five and three. Alberto Núñez Feijóo's party would rise between 13 and 24 seats, from its July 137. However, with that maximum 161, he would still need seven or eight to be sworn in as Prime Minister by the PNV, CC and UPN.

In November 2019, the fragmentation of the right and the lesser strength of the then first party, the PSOE, contributed to Vox getting a great return on its votes, as it almost won the seats that it received proportionally. The fundamental variable of the Spanish electoral system had a great influence, which can be called the Godzilla effect, the Japanese monster of size does matter. With their 15%, those of Abascal were untouchable.

On 23-J they lost that condition by decreasing by 2.7 points. It was very expensive for them. The 19 deputies who gave in represent just double, 5.4% of Congress. Even so, with that 12.4%, the electoral system was by no means as cruel as it will be if it actually continues to drop, because it will no longer be a medium-sized party in Spain, to become a small one, as they were in his day IU, CDS and the last Ciudadanos, subject to huge penalties. If the 23-J Vox obtained 76% of the seats that would fall to it in purity, with the 20 deputies of the high stage, that percentage would be reduced to 59%.

With its combination between a multitude of constituencies that elect few seats and the d'Hondt rule, the Spanish electoral system is like an elevator that speeds up as it goes down. Godzilla rules. The little ones have a very bad life. In the medium scenario, with 7.5% of the votes, Vox would only have 13 seats, half of what would correspond to it. And in the low scenario, with 5.3% of the votes, Abascal would have only five companions. They would occupy 1.7% of the seats in the chamber, a third below what they would have if there were no distortions when passing the votes to seats.

This dynamic of increasingly accelerated jibarization as Vox fell from 12% and towards 5% has its correlate in the rises of the PP, which are reinforced when it passes 35% and when it begins to approach 40%, in the two extreme scenarios. It is in the intermission that the PSOE benefits the most, by climbing five seats. In all cases there would be a victim, Junts, since the PP would take away the deputy for Girona that it did not take away with the external vote.

In any case, these are hypothetical scenarios, prepared without changing the geographical profile of PP and Vox and under the premise that the popular ones would take 74% of what the ultras gave up, which is the highest figure of the vote transfer tables of the daily polls of 40dB, the company of Belén Barreiro. The specific data are estimates, but with a clear trend, the Vox crisis by itself would not be enough to elevate Feijóo.