Regional elections in Spain: a left-wing government might be formed in the Basque Country

Early elections in Spanish regions Basque Country and Galicia are to take place on April 5th. While, according to the current polls, center-right People’s Party (PP) holds a single majority in Galicia, multiple coalition formation scenarios may be possible in the Basque Country.

The Basque National Party (PNV), the leader of the current Basque government, also remains the most widely supported political party according to the current polls. Its coalition partner, the Socialist Party of the Basque Country-Basque Country Left (PSE-EE), scores the 3d after leftist and pro-independence Euskal Herria Bildu (EH Bildu). PSE-EE is the regional affiliate of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) led by Pedro S├ínchez, the current prime minister of Spain. Right-wing Vox is taking part in the Basque region elections for the first time, and it is not clear whether the party will be able to enter the Basque parliament.

To provide our forecast of government formation, we consider the following constraints. The center-right alliance of People’s Party and Citizens (PP+Cs) excludes cooperation with left-wing Elkarrekin Podemos (EP-IU) and EH Bildu. PNV and EH Bildu, despite some common ground in advocating Basque national interests, have pronounced economic and social disagreements. Based on these constraints and the data from public opinion polls we provide our forecast.

Constraints in coalition formation

Projected seats (bar size) vs. strategic influence of political parties (red lines)

Predicted government coalitions (white line denotes the level of stability)

Most stable (most likely) coalition formations scenario implies a left-wing government led by PSE-EE in cooperation with EP-IU and EH Bildu. A renewal of the current PNV – PSE-EE coalition constitutes a less likely alternative to the left-wing government. However, this time PSE-EE may take the lead, as it may have a power to choose between the two feasible coalitions.

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