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A change of electoral leader in the Basque Country. At least this is what is predicted in the survey published by the CIS polling agency this Wednesday: the Spanish government's polling body gives victory in the Euskadi parliamentary election to EH Bildu for the first time, with the left-wing, pro-independence party set to overtake the centre-right Basque Nationalists (PNV). The survey gives a slight advantage to the candidacy led by Pello Otxandiano with a week and a half to go before the Basque Country election, with an estimated vote ranging between 34.2% and 35.1%. Even at the lower figure, the abertzale party would finish ahead of their jeltzale rivals led by Imanol Pradales, who would obtain between 32.6% and 33.5% of votes in the election of the autonomous community's parliament. Meanwhile, the Socialists (PSE) would remain in third place (13.3 -14.1%), while the fourth position would be for the People's Party (PP) (6.7-7.0%). The CIS also projects a tie between the Spanish left-wing rivals Sumar (3.1-3.6%) and Podemos (3.1-3.2%) for fifth place and, therefore, for the last seats in dispute. A little further behind would be Vox (2.7-3.0%).


Basque election April 21st 2024: On the left, lower end of the range of vote percentages predicted by the CIS for each party; on the right, upper end.

In relation to the results of the previous election in 2020, Bildu would increase its support by almost seven points, contrasting with PNV, which could fall by six. It would be the first occasion in which the left-wing independentists finish ahead of their nationalist rivals in any election. In fact, the closest they have got so far was in the very last vote held in Euskadi - the Spanish general election of July 23rd last year - when Bildu fell only 1,000 votes short of the party led by Andoni Ortuzar. For their part, both the PSE of Eneko Andueza and the PP of Javier de Andrés would remain with similar figures to what they achieved four years ago. It is notable that in the 2020 election, the PP ran in coalition with Ciudadanos (Cs), in a candidacy led by Carlos Iturgaiz. As for the Podemos space, now divided between relative newcomer on the left, Sumar, and the original anti-austerity party, both would lose momentum: in 2020, the candidacy of Elkarrekin Podemos reached 8% and, now, the sum of the votes of Sumar and Podemos would only get close to 7% in the most optimistic outcomes. In turn, Vox could grow, since in the last election the far-right party attracted less than 2% of the vote, but it was sufficient to win a seat.

Three out of ten Basques have not yet decided their vote

Despite these results, the CIS study also highlights that three out of ten Basques (30.1%) are still in doubt about the vote they will cast on April 21st. In addition, 16.9% assert that they usually decide which ballot party to put in their envelope during the last week of the campaign, 5.1% during the day of reflection (the day prior to the election) and 6.9% on polling day itself.

🟡 The decline of the Spanish parties in the Basque Country, by José Antich 

On the other hand, the candidates' ratings in the poll reveal a contrast with Basque voters' party preferences. On the one hand, Pello Otxandiano (Bildu) is the top rated leader (5.51) and Imanol Pradales (PNV) is the second favourite (5.47). But by contrast, 28.2% of Basques want Pradales as their lehendakari or president, and only 26.8% favour Otxandiano. These are figures that also transfer to the overall preference that all Basques polled show for the party they want to win the elections: 29.8% want the PNV to lead, with Bildu close behind, the choice of 29.0%.