This Wednesday, after rumors of a possible motion of censure in Madrid, the president of the Community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has called early (and hasty) elections . Their celebration is still up in the air , as is customary in the new normal, but if they go ahead, what data do we have on their possible outcomes?
Notice before starting that there are no numbers to make predictions, but it is interesting to review the latest polls published, back in October. Then the PP appeared as the first force, with about 43 seats, followed by PSOE (38), Más Madrid (16-17), Ciudadanos (14-15), Vox (13-14) and Podemos (7-8).
Since the 2019 elections, the clearest movements were a strong setback of Cs (which lost almost half of its votes) and a rise of the PP (which rose from 22% to 30%). In general, the total number of votes for the right rose slightly.
In 2019, Ayuso was invested with the votes of PP, Ciudadanos and Vox, which added 68 seats out of the 67 necessary. But what majorities would be possible with a result like the one predicted by the polls last October? There would be several alternatives.
They would not add up the easy blocks: PP and Vox would stay far from the 67 seats (54-58), although they are on the rise, just like a left-wing sum with PSOE, Más Madrid and Podemos (that 60-64). In other words, with the numbers from then, Ciudadanos would be decisive if it maintains those 12-16 seats. The formation of Ignacio Aguado would add to reissue the majority with PP and Vox, but also with the entire left.
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Ciudadanos would not add only with the PP —without Vox—, nor probably with the PSOE as a couple, but it is possible that an agreement between PSOE, Ciudadanos and Más Madrid would reach 67 seats. In reality, the possible sums are basically the same as two years ago, when Ciudadanos opted for a pact with PP and Vox.
But we are talking about October numbers.
The great unknown today is to anticipate how voters will move now that there are elections. The logical thing is to think that they will, because it is a surprise call and with options to change the logic of blocks and majorities. That is why it is especially relevant to know what Ciudadanos voters do when their party’s position on possible pacts is known.
Last year’s trends clearly favor the PP, which had been rising at the expense of Ciudadanos, presumably. Maybe Ayuso has that flow in his head. Voters who do not want a change of government in Madrid will have incentives to vote for the popular, who were already going up before Christmas. The question is whether that will suffice.
There is a calculation that I think is key: PP and Vox need to add 25 seats to the 42 they had in 2019 to have the majority alone, which are essentially the seats that Ciudadanos defends (26).
That is, PP and Vox need: (a) reduce Citizens almost to zero (if they do not achieve 5% of the vote, they are left without representation by law), or (b) achieve seats from the left, by flows or because the participation benefits them. If one of those two things does not happen, or a mixture, the PP could still govern, but it would need Ciudadanos.
But I do not want to anticipate too much about the possible moves, because fortunately it is not necessary. In the next few days, new polls will arrive and we will be able to see what positions the voters are taking.
Speculating is unnecessary and difficult: the vote has come suddenly and shaking the logic of blocks, there are no recent polls and again it is going to vote in the middle of a pandemic. To say that elections start with uncertainty is a cliché, but it is true.