After the Basque election, PSE likely to form left-wing government with EH Bildu and Podemos

Regional parliament elections in the Basque Country took place on July 12th, 2020, showing one of the lowest turnout rates historically. The situation is complicated by the new cases of COVID-19, as the outbreak in the region has not been tackled completely, and a ban for voters with confirmed and suspected diagnosis to participate in the elections.

The Basque National Party (PNV), the leader of the current Basque government, also remains the most widely supported political party according to the elections results (31 out of 75 parliamentary seats). 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), which secured 22 seats. 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 was able to secure 1 seat in the regional 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. The ultra-right Vox is incompatible with the left-wing political parties. Based on these constraints and the election results we provide our forecast.

Constraints in coalition formation

Proportion of parliamentary 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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