Spain is heading for its second election in six months on June 26 after party leaders failed to piece together a governing majority from the deadlocked parliament. While polls suggest that the result will be broadly similar to December’s ballot, small variations in the voting could lead to significant changes in the outcome. Here are some of the issues that could trigger such a shift. The anti-establishment party signed an alliance with the former communists of the United Left last month. By pooling their votes, the two groups minimize the number of ballots wasted in an electoral system which is skewed against smaller parties.
In the zero-sum game of parliamentary math, the result is a double whammy: Podemos gets more seats for its vote, while also pushing up the threshold its rivals will have to cross to elect each lawmaker. Podemos could add as many as 21 lawmakers to its 71-strong delegation in parliament while boosting its vote by just 1.3 percentage points, the state pollster CIS said Thursday. Spain’s political system allocates state funding to parties based on their representation in parliament — a rule that tilts the playing field in favor of established parties.
In December, Podemos and the pro-market reformers of Ciudadanos were running in their first general election so they had little public financing. This time, they have 109 lawmakers between them and that means more subsidies for their campaigns.
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Podemos was awarded 2.1 million euros ($2.4 million) by the government last month. That compares with the party’s total spending of 1.9 million euros in the first nine months of last year, a period that included local and regional elections across the country. Ciudadanos got 1.8 million euros. It spent just 1.2 million euros on its last election campaign, according to accounts posted on the party website.