The main political parties are guaranteed their access to the Cortes of Castilla y León on February 13, but smaller ones fight for the last seats in each province. Entry into the regional parliament can be played in a handful of votes, so we are going to carry out some rough calculations to sketch the number of votes that any party would need to get the last seat.
In 2022, new political formations could cross the doors of the Chamber for the first time or obtain more representation. Those are the most interested in knowing how many votes their seat is worth, the last one. It all depends on the electoral participation in each province, but we go by parts.
Each province distributes a number of seats based on its population. The Electoral Law gives three seats to each province and adds one seat for every 45,000 inhabitants or a fraction greater than 22,500 inhabitants. The seats are distributed, therefore, as follows: Soria (5), Segovia (6), Zamora (7), Ávila (7), Palencia (7), Salamanca (10), Burgos (11), León (13) and Valladolid (15). In total, 81 seats divided by parties according to the D’Hondt system. In addition, it is necessary to obtain at least 3% of the votes in your constituency to be represented in the Cortes.
In the 2019 elections, the last seat served Por Ávila, Podemos (which ran without a coalition with Izquierda Unida, which was also running alone) and Ciudadanos, in addition to the more traditional ones. For Ávila –excision of the PP from Avila– 9,455 votes were enough to enter the Parliament (9.7% of the votes), while in Salamanca, the last seat was for Ciudadanos, a party for which 14,824 Salamancans voted. Podemos needed 13,886 votes in Burgos and 11,177 in León to win two seats. The votes were so tight in León that the attorney for Podemos Pablo Fernández needed a recount at some electoral tables in León and the vote abroad to be able to repeat in his seat.
In the rest of the provinces, the last seat was for the PP or the PSOE, thus increasing their representation. In Palencia, the PSOE took three seats, Citizens one and the PP, another three. The last seat – the cheapest – was for the Popular Party, and it only ‘cost’ 11,177 votes. The following graphic may be more visual.
The distribution is the same in the rest of the provinces. Therefore, the last seat ‘cost’ 9,685 votes to the PSOE in Segovia, 6,598 in Soria and 17,110 in Valladolid. In Zamora, the last seat was taken by the Popular Party by 12,006 votes.
It is very difficult to predict these types of calculations, which are always indicative. Participation does not have to be the same, nor will electoral behavior be similar. The polls give a victory to the PP, Ciudadanos would sink (except perhaps, for a seat in Valladolid), the PSOE would not achieve the victory of 2019 and Vox would have its own parliamentary group. It remains to be seen what impact the Podemos and Izquierda Unida coalition will have, which was known this Thursday, and the door is open for other formations to repeat or even improve their latest results.
We are going to try to calculate the cost that the last seat may have anyway, based on the participation of the last four electoral calls, which range between 61.86% in Salamanca and 70.47% in Segovia.
Soria NOW! It would need to get more than 6,600 supporters (more than 14% of the votes) to be able to enter the autonomous parliament, but only if the participation was exactly the same as in the last 4 years (62.4%). If more people went to the polls on February 13 – it is foreseeable that the presence of the Soria Ya platform will drag new voters to the polls – a greater number of votes would be necessary.
The same situation occurs in the rest of the provinces. For Ávila and the Union of the Leonese People they aspire to get two seats: For Ávila he would need more than 11,860 (12% of the population) if he wants to win both. In León it is more difficult to get two seats, since there are more parties with possibilities: PP, PSOE, UPL and the Podemos-IU coalition. It would be necessary for the UPL to be very close to 30,000 votes (approximately 11% of the votes). Candidates have been announced from Empty Spain, in addition to Soria, Burgos, Palencia and Salamanca
In summary, the ‘price’ of the last seat would be 9,300 votes in Ávila, 13,700 in Burgos, 11,400 in León, 14,300 in Palencia, 14,900 in Salamanca, 9,600 in Segovia, 6,600 in Soria, 17,000 in Valladolid and 12,200 in Zamora.