Spain has voted and decided with its ballots the new composition of the Congress of Deputies. However, despite the fact that the left bloc has resisted the rise of the right that the polls predicted, Sumar has not managed to establish itself as the third political force and has ‘lost’ almost 600,000 votes, 19.8% of its total ballotswhich, distributed across a large number of provinces in Spain, have not been enough to become seats and have become in practice sterile for the candidacy of Yolanda Díaz.
In the Spanish electoral system, the size of the constituency (the number of seats it distributes) is key to determining the competitiveness of a candidacy in a given territory. Parties have to gather more votes to get a deputy depending on how many seats they share and whether they are competitive with their rivals. In many provinces with three, four or five deputies, the parties that remain beyond third or fourth place leave empty-handed.
And that is what has happened especially to the platform of Yolanda Díaz, who has not managed to improve the result of Unidas Podemos in 2019 and the seat has been more ‘expensive’, or less productive, than when Podemos and Más País competed separately. What’s more, for Unidas Podemos, which garnered 35 deputies in November 2019, each seat cost an average of 8,000 fewer votes than for Sumar on July 23.
Average, The PSOE has needed 4,000 more votes than the PP to get a seat (63,615 votes compared to 59,499 for the ‘popular’, as seen in the previous table) and, although Pedro Sánchez has managed to improve the 2019 result in votes and seats, these have been around 10% more ‘expensive’ . It is the second time in a general election that the socialists need so many ballots to add a deputy – in 2004 the cost of a deputy was more than 66,000 votes.
The election day ended with the victory of Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s PP, which has won the most seats and of the national parties has been the one that has made the most of the votes of its electorate. However, the ‘popular’ have risen to the detriment of the extreme right, which has lost 19 deputies, leaving Vox out of the ‘game’ of pacts and in a worse competitive situation. Santiago Abascal’s party faces its worst result with 16% of votes lost in the country as a whole, and the cost to seat its 33 deputies has skyrocketed: 91,932 votes per seat, that is, it has needed 22,000 more votes than in 2019.
This July 23, UPN has been the party with the ‘cheapest’ seat, despite having been the fourth most voted force in Navarra, but the integrity of its votes has helped it achieve its only seat in Congress. Among the regional parties, the Basques -PNV and Bildu- are the ones that have made the most of their ballots compared to 2019.
When a list has a lot of presence in a region, it needs fewer votes to achieve a place. Thus, the regionalist parties tend to benefit the most: in 2019, it cost Más País ten times more votes than Teruel Exist to win the seat. However, this is not always true and, in these elections, BNG has not been able to make 56% of its ballots profitableexcept in A Coruña, where it finished in fourth position, it reached 10% of the votes and reached the distribution of one of the eight seats at stake, which it did not achieve in Pontevedra with 9.4% when one less deputy was distributed there. , seven.
Vox ‘pays’ more votes for a deputy and PP achieves the ‘cheapest’ in 20 provinces
The most ‘expensive’ seat this year has been that of Vox in Seville, where Abascal’s party has needed more than 140,000 votes to get its only deputy in this square. The extreme right party has also been the one that has needed the most ballots in Almería, Cádiz, Barcelona, Las Palmas, Madrid, Murcia, Toledo and Valencia.
The ‘popular’ have been the ones who have made the most of the ballots also by provinces, needing a smaller number of votes to obtain seats in 20 provincial capitals and in the two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. However, they have not obtained the ‘cheapest’ seats in Madrid and have been the most affected list in Albacete, Burgos, Cantabria, Ciudad Real, Córdoba, Guadalajara, Jaén, León, La Rioja and Valladolid.
Where to Adding has been less profitable for the deputy in Alicante: it has needed more than 114,000 ballots. For his part, the PSOE has paid for the most ‘expensive’ seats in 18 provincesamong them, the three provinces of Aragon, the two of Extremadura and all of Galicia except Pontevedra, and the ‘cheapest’ in Albacete, the Balearic Islands, Lleida, Madrid, Murcia, Narrava, La Rioja, Soria and Tenerife.
Vox remains at the gates of the seat in 15 provinces and Sumar, in 14
In Castilla y León, Vox has only gotten a seat in Valladolid and in the rest of the provinces it has fallen short as the list without representation with the most votes. Where the effective electoral barrier has harmed him the most has been in Albaceteaccumulating more than 16% of the ballots and being left without the prize of a representative.
For its part, Sumar has been left without representation in six autonomous communities -Cantabria, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra, Extremadura and La Rioja-. However, Yolanda Díaz’s platform has managed to equal Podemos’s seats in Andalusia and has risen as the second force in Catalonia and as third in Madrid, Galicia, the Balearic Islands and Asturias.
In Ceuta and melillawhere one deputy is distributed for each autonomous city, the electoral barrier has once again harmed the socialists and they have lost three out of every ten ballots. PACMA It has also been the first party without a seat in ten provinces, but in none of them could it enter the distribution of seats, since it did not reach 1%, far from the 3% necessary according to the electoral law to qualify for a seat following the well-known D’Hondt formula.
Sumar and Vox, among the parties with the most ‘lost’ votes in democracy
In view of the results of the 23J elections, The two parties most affected by these arithmetic effects of the electoral system have been Sumar and Vox and both have entered the list of parties that have ‘wasted’ more than 200,000 votes by not winning the seat in the history of democracy.
In this ranking, the candidacy that is repeated the most is that of Izquierda Unida (IU), with more than 700,000 votes lost in up to five general elections (1993, 1996, 2004, 2011 and 2015). The year in which Izquierda Unida garnered the most unproductive votes was 2015with almost eight out of every ten votes useless to become a seat, by seating only two deputies – of the nine it previously had – in the hemicycle.
The most expensive deputy in history was that of the Democratic Center Union (UCD) in 1982. In these elections, UCD, after the resignation of Adolfo Suárez, was relegated to third party and only obtained 11 seats, thus losing more than 60% of its votes throughout Spain. And on the other hand, PACMA is the one that has ‘lost’ 100% of its votes the most timesas a result of not reaching the electoral threshold established by law.
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