Saturday, September 08, 2007

Themes That Can Change An Election

Anyone who lives in Spain, foreign or otherwise, should soon be aware that we are in the midst of an election campaign. Not officially of course, the general election has not been called yet and may not happen until March 2008; but nevertheless the campaign has begun with the return from the summer holidays.

The first opinion polls published after the summer break have done nothing to alter a pattern that has remained fairly steady over the last year. The governing PSOE is given an advantage of anywhere between 1-5 percentage points over the opposition Partido Popular (PP); let’s split the difference and call it 3%. This is enough advantage to let them form the next government, but not enough to offer them the possibility of an outright majority. Nothing that the PP has done has made much impact on that pattern, although we don’t need to go back further than the last general election in Spain to know that things can still change. It is still possible that we could even get an early election, but there is not much time left for it to be called, nor does the government currently have much of a pretext for doing it.

Before the whole thing becomes completely unbearable, I am going to run a little series on this blog over the next few weeks around the issues that could potentially alter the final result of this election; about 5 or 6 themes occur to me. I could of course finish this post by citing the famous quote from Harold Wilson about a week being a long time in politics. However, I’ll go a bit further back in time and to a different Harold in search of the perfect cliché. Harold McMillan was once asked what really worried him and he replied “Events, dear boy, events”. Translated into more modern English this means….shit happens.

1 comment:

Ed S. said...

1. The upcoming economic crisis (it's been everywhere this week).
2. A huge terrorist attack by ETA.
3. A huge terrorist attack by Al Qaeda.
3. Rajoy sharing his candidacy with Gallardón.
4. The growth of unemployment rate that's gonna take place in construction, which is basically made up of inmigrants who'll find themselves with nothing. (Remember France riots?)
5. Ibarretxe's independence referendum.
6. The Government losing the support of the main Catalan and Basque parties.
7. The socialist party being forced to pact with Izquierda Unida due to their unsteady advantage over the PP.

However, some of these could not happen by March (IMO).