Before this blog makes it final prediction I need to repeat again a few things:
1- This is an extremely emotional election, harnessed by powerful blackmail and fear campaign tactics. Voting patterns can change significantly as late as Sunday.
2- Poll are unanimous in predicting a MUD alliance victory. Yet, Datanalisis always in search of notoriety has announced this week that Maduro recovered personally 11% of its "popularity" without explaining what this meant to their earlier numbers. Someone pointed out that Luis Vicente Leon could not rest his ever present wish to be in the forefront, to "declare just for the sake of declaring".
3- This blogger has not performed the painstaking analysis done in previous years. Then he got it right more often than wrong. This time around I will limit myself to examine the possibilities since there was no time, nor will to do the work for personal reasons. Let's say charitably that I base myself on memories and educated gut feeling district per district, under strict prudent assertions, from older data.
4- And of course this assumes that votes will be indeed counted as they come. But let's not be picky about that now as predicting the extent of actual ballot stuffing cannot be predicted. For simplicity let's assume that the regime will count the ballots.
This being said, as in the previous installment, I have divided the 167 seats to be voted on as "safe" "leaning" and "toss up". Let's just say that "safe" means 85% probability of victory, "leaning" 70% probability of victory and toss up, less than that. Thus a final prediction means an arithmetic calculation out of the 5 groups.
Case 1: 10% difference between MUD and PSUV
A narrow victory for the opposition, due to the gerrymandering of electoral districts and the bonus for the PSUV coming from states which are very dependent on social programs.
Case 2: 15% difference between MUD and PSUV
Things improve a little bit for the opposition but the gerrymandering still plays heavily against the comfortable majority the winner would get in a normally functioning democracy.
Case 3; 20% spread between MUD and PSUV
This is still not good enough. The MUD needs a 3/5 super-majority to be able to resit the pressure and abuse of the regime. and be "veto" proof on some type of legislation. That is, the MUD needs to gain 101 seats.
In this case things look a little bit better as the gerrymandering effect starts fading some. The opposition MUD would be getting at least 100 seats and as much as 105. The super-majority number being 101, it is clear that the opposition getting less than 20% more votes than the PSUV will allow the regime to postpone the debacle.
I am not going to calculate what is the spread the MUD needs to get the 2/3 majority in parliament which would mean the end of the regime but I guess it is at least a 25% vote advantage, a majority that as of now I do not see happening. Too many people are willing to bitch about Maduro but once in front of the voting machine, their vote becomes conservative, conservative having become PSUV. In democracy a conservative vote is always the one given to a party that has been more than ten years in office, a situation that people simply are afraid to change.
My final prediction?
I think I am going to go with case 2 with a few provisions. There may be a couple of independents squeaking in. Some upsets may not happen.
So I am going to go with 96 seats and 16% more votes for MUD than for PSUV. Why not? As crazy as any other prediction to be found around. My optimist outcome is 18% ahead with 101 and my pessimist is 13% with 92.