Maybe it was the young people between 18 and 40 years old who “betrayed” Unidos Podemos. According to some post-vote demographic research, the high number of absentees in this age range, might have caused the trouble.
Naturally, this eventual objective data doesn’t explain by itself “why” such a large sector of the population abstained itself, but it might put Unidos Podemos’ leaders on the right path to examine what surely appears to be a cluster of causes. While waiting for the purple leadership to obtain the survey’s results, which, according to what was communicated after the vote, was commissioned to, NC, a specialized company, the first analysis shows some very clear things which do not only involve Pablo Iglesias’ team.
For example, according to the report, the conclusions of which were published Wednesday in the Spanish newspapers, the PP filled up its tank with votes — 400,000 votes went to the PP from the orange party, partially explaining its success.
But, going back to Unidos Podemos, the starting point is that almost 1 million votes went missing.
Politics, Lenin wrote, “resembles more higher mathematics than simple mathematics” and the supposed “multiplication” of the votes for the alliance between Podemos and Izquierda Unida not only did not increase the Sunday tally in comparison with six months before, it actually saw them decrease. On Dec. 20, more or less, Podemos took 5 million votes, and Izquierda Unida almost 1 million.
On Sunday, instead of producing at least 6 million votes, the confluence of the two parties produced only 5 million votes (5,050,000). What emerges from the examination of the electoral data, in a macro optics, is a complete fracture of Spanish society: on one hand, the population between 18 and 40 years old, the typical left-wingers and Unidos Podemos’ potential electoral base, and on the other, those over 44 years old, aficionados of the two-party system and, therefore, more inclined toward a traditional vote in Spain: popular or socialists.
Almost 800,000 votes out of the 1 million missing may be on account of abstention. These would mostly be youngsters who — for reasons which Unidos Podemos’ leaders would do good to investigate — decided not to confirm their own faithfulness to the left. On the other hand, abstention is exactly the biggest risk to parties fishing among the younger population.
Young voters have the most uncertain behaviors because they tend not to go to the ballots unless there’s a strong compelling reason. On the other hand, strategists, both those from Podemos, as well as those from Izquierda Unida, should know that.
To look further, there’s another aspect that, if it doesn’t explain the 1 million absent votes, it reveals other possible causes of the abstention. In the areas where Unidos Podemos governs, it collected fewer votes — many fewer votes in comparison to the elections carried out on Dec. 20. It might have been the result of a campaign perceived as not being “on the ground” and as very TV-compliant, an accusation which is en vogue during these days.
There are also other data in addition to the more general ones. According to NC, most of Unidos Podemos’ general voters are motivated by “work-related” issues. It would be silly to say that Iglesias & Co. haven’t pushed much on this key.
But the “classist” component has been watered down by a patriotic and inter-classist vision, which may have been to the detriment of strong motivations for the vote. The ifs are many. But it’s without a doubt that the Unidos Podemos campaign pushed harder on issues related to the Popular Party’s corruption through a “populist” lens, which in the end didn’t pay off among a certain group of potential voters.
According to NC, 61 percent of Podemos’ electorate considers unemployment as being the main problem in Spain. Also, another additional data is important for a future understanding of what happened on June 26: the city “losses.”
In Madrid alone, Podemos lost 105,000 votes compared with the Dec. 20 vote (practically the number of votes Izquierda Unida obtained that day). Among other “purple” cities, only Ferrol (birthplace of Franco) saw an increase in votes.
Needless to say, the study was great subject matter for right-wing press, like La Razón, which on Tuesday strongly attacked the “rhetoric of change” on which Podemos has insisted.
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