Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another opinion poll gives massive independentist majority in Western Basque Country

Ajuria Enea, the Western Basque Presidential Palace
As I mentioned last week, it seems that the Spanish nationalist parties, which have been governing without any legitimacy for the last three years, by means of banning a major political force, will suffer the biggest debacle ever. Generally they used to muster around 1/3 of the voters and even as much as almost half in the Spanish elections, but this November they will only get 1/4 of valid votes and keep control of less than 1/3 of the Autonomous Parliament. 

The results of the voting estimate by Gara and Naiz Info predicts the following results:

All Western Basque Country:
  • EAJ-PNV (moderate independentist right): 34.7% votes, 28 seats
  • EH Bildu (independentist left): 28.5% votes, 24 seats
  • PSOE (unionist center-left): 14.6% votes, 12 seats
  • PP (unionist far right): 10.8% votes, 9 seats
  • United Left (federalist left): 3.2% votes, 1 seat
  • UPyD (unionist populist far right): 2.2% votes, 1 seat
  • Others: 0.7%, no representation

Each of the three confederated regions or provinces has the same representation (25 seats each, totaling 75), regardless that they have quite distinct demographies. That may explain some of the differences between votes and actual seats.

Let's see how each goes:

  • EAJ-PNV: 27.0%, 8 seats
  • EH Bildu: 25.2%, 7 seats
  • PP: 16.0%, 5 seats
  • PSOE: 15.4%, 4 seats
  • UPyD: 5.2%, 1 seat
  • United Left: 3.2%, no rep.
  • Equo: 1.1%, no rep.
  • Others: 1.8%, no rep.
Araba is where the unionists traditionally get more votes specially in the overgrown capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz and the border district of Arabako Errioxa, near Logroño. The rest of the rural province as well as semi-industrial Laudio, near Bilbao, vote massively independentist but their weight is quite limited. 

However in this case, it seems like independentism is rolling over, with more than 50% of the total valid votes, while unionists only get some 35%. 

  • EAJ-PNV: 39.4%, 11 seats
  • EH Bildu: 24.6%, 6 seats
  • PSOE: 14.2%, 4 seats
  • PP: 11.9%, 3 seats
  • United Left: 3.9%, 1 seat
  • UPyD: 1.7%, no rep.
  • Others: 0.2%, no rep.
Biscay has always been the feud of the PNV but as of late it is horribly leaning to this conservative party once and again in spite of their obvious authoritarianism and corrupt tendencies. Ironically the Christian-Democratic party has been gaining supports in the urban working classes, including the communities of Castilian and Galician descent, while losing support in favor of EH Bildu in the rural areas. However, as happens in Araba, the metropolitan area is what decides everything, having 90% of the population. 

Here the independentist forces get 65%, while the unionist ones get only 28%. 

  • EH Bildu: 35.8%, 11 seats
  • EAJ-PNV: 31.1%, 9 seats
  • PSOE: 15%, 4 seats
  • PP: 6.5%, 1 seat
  • United Left: 2.0%, no rep.
  • UPyD: 1.8%, no rep.
  • Others: 1.9%, no rep.
Gipuzkoa is the most solidly locked in the left and independentism, ratifying the plurality of EH Bildu, that allows them to rule the provincial government in minority. Here the independentists get 67%, while unionists collect only 24%. 

These elections are more representative of the popular preferences than the results of the Spanish ones, which always favor all-Spain parties.


  1. What do you think would happen to the status of the Spanish language in the Basque country if this were to become independent in the near future? After all, 51% of the population does not speak Euskera and less than 1/3 are native speakers.

    1. I think that Basque language would be better protected and can only become stronger. If we go by age segments, it is the youngest generations who are more strongly Basque-speaking because of immersion education.

      We cannot forget what 40 years of fascist repression (plus some background of elitist disdain) did to our language, which is a cultural treasure which should be under UNESCO and UE protection. The damage has been done but can be repaired... assuming self-rule with full power to implement our language in education, administration, commerce, etc. by law. Today you cannot impose for example to private companies to give all info in Basque, etc., would we be independent that would be a fact most likely.

      Bilingualism and trilingualism is a reality but, if we prime Basque, as the older generations born and raised under Spanish fascism, die, the language should be resuscitated in full. However, like happens with carnivals, the gap of one or two generations in which the knowledge was lost, makes a serious dent.

      But the situation is much better than in Ireland and the political determination to defend and reinstate the old language also much better.


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