The realistic scenario
Having completed my "variometer" I went back to my original predictions, introduced political party affiliation of candidates (for whatever worth they are inside the MUD) and built up this new half moon chart of what the next National Assembly could look like. That is, I am ruthlessly following my numbers even if some of them should in my opinion be different. Remember also that polls are not good and are confirming my negative calculations.
|Realistic result, based on VN&V predictions, for September 2010|
- PJ and PODEMOS are the big losers within the opposition because PODEMOS electorate deserts in large part to chavismo, and Primero Justica is too concentrated in Caracas and thus suffered when candidatures were discussed. As we shall see in next graph, as soon as votes add up, PJ and PODEMOS advance.
- UNT is the big winner for its hold on Zulia and that it has managed to leave Zulia, though not going much further than the Andes region.
- AD and COPEI get more than what they deserve because they are spread across the nation and thus managed to get more nominees than other parties.
- The 96 I predicted for the PSUV is in fact divided in 91 for PSUV and 5 for PPT. Thus the PSUV will not need the PPT and can go ahead and crush Falcon even though he won in his own state.
- That 96 of chavismo might not be the two thirds Chavez wished for but the nucleated nature of the opposition will make sure that on occasion he will be able to strike deals. In particular at TSJ judges appointment time. For example with UNT, make Rosales innocent in exchange of a certain number of judges at the TSJ....
The more optimistic scenario
|The most optimistic scenario for September 26|
In other words, the election remains as unpredictable as ever except that I must lower my earlier optimistic prediction to say that PSUV + PPT will retain 87 instead of 78 seats. In this new optimistic scenario you can see how unfair the electoral system is because an opposition that does get at least 50% of the vote still loses the majority of the NA to a chavismo that gets around 43-45% and the PPT the rest!!!! We can just hope that this close election will add to my optimistic scenario an extra minor swing (0.5% extra, so that the opposition reaches the magical 83. There the variometer makes sense :)
The PPT role
I realized after posting this that I was not clear on the PPT all along, dismissing it as a mere sub-sub branch of chavismo, more than willing to kiss and make up next October. So I am adding this update because it will help to support my "micro-shifting" theory.
The effect of PPT per se will only be felt in the state of Lara where it is tied to Herni Falcon who needs desperately some folks to defend him in Caracas. Elsewhere the PPT will live off embers that may or may not have an influence on the outcome. However I have received lately stuff to which I attach little credibility because, among other flaws, they invoke the ability of Venezuelan to "cross vote" in pluri-nominal districts. Those districts elect 2 or three representatives at once and we are asked to believe that in such a polarized situation as the country is today people will happily put one name for the PSUV and one for PPT or opposition. I seriously doubt it, the more so when as an example they say that the three seats Irribaren district will yield 1 PPT, 1 PSUV and 1 opposition!!!!! So let's do a little review of the real PPT possibility.
In Lara the PPT was weak but Falcon is strong. Together they are a tepid coalition that could get up to 6 seats but likely no more than 4. This is the only state really where the PPT can be as efficient at taking votes from chavismo as well as opposition. Elsewhere my guess is that for every single vote the PPT takes away from the opposition, it will take two from chavismo thus hurting chavismo more. This is good news for us, helping us in the local small shifts that I alluded above which might exempt the opposition to get the 4 to 6 points lead over chavismo to make it even at the assembly.
The PPT used to have some strength in Anzoategui but I do not buy it anymore. Tarek has been very diligent at polarizing the state and PPT either aligned with him or went opposition.
In Portuguesa and Trujillo the PPT could be a spoiler but the only chance I see there is for former Trujillo governor Viloria to make an upset in his district. And in both states a list vote division between PPT and opposition could be enough to give the four seats to chavismo outright!!! Anyway, that gets us to 5 seats for the PPT.
Elsewhere only in Guarico the PPT has a chance to do something. But it has been battered, the opposition and the PPT have been unable to build bridges worth crossing and the death of William Lara promoted to hero of the revolution even if he was a victim of his own administrative negligence, could benefit chavismo. Not out of sympathy vote but because Lara was not popular and thus less PSUV voters will stay home. I still maintain that in Guarico the best shot of the PPT is the list seat for Albornoz. 6 seats, that is it for me with a maximum remote upset in 4 more if it were not that Chavez has been recovering in polls through late August and early September (1 in Guarico, 2 more in Lara and 1 in Portuguesa).
The effect elsewhere will be punctual at best, and in favor of the opposition. In Yaracuy for example, as the birth state of Henri Falcon I have been told that the PPT is running significantly in Nirgua and Yaritagua. If this is true, which I tend to doubt, that would allow the opposition to pick the San Felipe seat (Nirgua is in that district) and even the Yaritagua one! I doubt it but it is a possibility that with a 5-10% taken away from chavismo the PPT would allow those seats taken by an opposition candidate that will not reach 50% of the vote. Same punctual effects in Caracas or Zulia where the polarization allows for the PPT to take mostly disgruntled chavistas.
If the PPT does as well as some want to believe then it will not take more than 10 seats but could allow the opposition to reach alone by one seat the majority. We can always believe in miracles, can't we?
Of course, if I am proven all wrong, that the opposition manages 90 seats, I will be so delighted that crow will never have tasted better.