triumphs and defeats. Notes on the municipal election of 2016

Elections are not won or lost only at the polls but also in the interpretation. In particular, when a choice not only thinks for itself but for the following. A municipal election a year before a presidential is not only a way to elect mayors but also a way in which the policy options are measured at themselves, to think of the next election. Then, let’s look at some of the things that are being said around the last election under this double gaze (municipal and advance).

(1) The right won mayoralties important but it is not a triumph overwhelming and neither is it a vote that will secure the 2017

The vote of mayors gives a point and a half on the New Majority (38.5 per cent against 37.1 per cent). In councillors voting is lower -and remains the vote of councilmember more purely policy does not cease to be good apronte for other elections. The Right won most emblematic towns, but several of them are traditionally right-wing (Providencia or Santiago) and in other cases there is a division of the vote (Maipú). Remember that the election of mayors is a single-return, and the presidential election is two; and therefore a 40% of the vote is perfect to win as many municipalities but is still not a great vote as apronte.

More in general, the percentage of the right is not particularly high. It is only a point higher than the 2012 (which, it is supposed, suffered a great loss), and has been less than 2000 and 2008 where he had something over 40%. Not the right maintained its vote in absolute, only that their loss is not very wide (250 thousand votes less between 2012 and 2016)

In summary, the 2012 election for the right is not a choice, very unusual; and in terms of positioning for the presidential election does not seem to not be as promising.

But in order to win an election, well you can say that it is enough to get more votes than the opponent, which leads us to the next point.

(2) But the New Majority lost clearly the election of mayors, with all it is not bad to 2017

While the New Majority got the most votes of councillors that Chile Let (47% against 40%), obtained less votes than the mayors. And perhaps the most crucial lost many votes. The 2012 took 44% of the vote against 37% this time. Or is seven percentage points less. And the decline of voting in absolute mayors is quite clear: around 620 thousand votes less. In the election of aldermen also decreases by 500 thousand votes.

In this sense, although vis-a-vis the right is not so bad (it was not so crushing defeat), in terms of evolution if we can raise the result was a crushing defeat.

Now, what about in terms of 2017? If we think that he pulled more votes in the city council and that the difference with the right in mayors is not as high, the situation is not very disastrous. Moreover, if we recall that the presidential elections are in two rounds and a candidate of the NM could obtain votes of the lists of left (some will still be available for the issue of the lesser evil). In other words, they are not particularly evil.

The foregoing leads us, then, to the considerations of the most far-reaching:

(3) If the elections were purely political choices, the NM continues to have good chances for the 2017; but, as also are the subject of candidates…

Given the above it is clear that thinking in terms purely political possibilities of the NM are more than acceptable: To repeat, the difference in mayors is low, has the greatest vote of city council members and has more to grow: the joint ballot of the left outside NM is relevant and could be available for a second round.

Which is true but you forget that the election of one person matter the candidate. In other words, while Piñera (to use the name most likely from the right) is likely to hold a vote of its sector and also grow into vote, it is not so clear that this happens to the other side. Candidates respective are in general weaker, it is not clear even to ensure the floor of your coalition; and unless it is clear that they are able to win towards the left. Or to put it another way, you can earn to the left without losing it to the right.

(4) while the elections are a rejection of the government, it does not follow that a rejection of reforms.

And we go then to one of the crucial issues: what is the meaning of the elections in relation to the issue of whether the country wants reform or not?

Let’s see:

(a) it Is clear that the election is a defeat of the government. The loss in percentage terms and absolute is undeniable.

(b) on the other hand, that vote is not the won who is generally opposed to the idea of major reforms. To the right is not obtained, or in percentage terms or absolute votes lost.

(c) left, that we remember in the beginning they want more changes what delivers the NM, got a 6% on mayors and 9.9% in the councillors. In votes of councillors remains almost unchanged from 2012 (455 thousand in 2012 and 451 in this occasion). Compared with councillors because, unlike the two coalitions big, do not present candidates in all parties, but at least they are broader in mayors. That is, all of these movements while not losing the vote -the reverse of the right and the NM – not the win.

(d) Then, in general lines what happened is that simply an important part of the voter of the NM decided not to vote. At first glance, this does not imply then that the voter has come to prefer that you don’t make reforms (did not vote for the right) nor convincing discourse of change model (did not vote for the left). One could advance the idea that it is simply a group of people who did want reform but critical of how they have done-and then, you may not vote for the NM (has done wrong) but it is also not available to change the store policy.

(e) In conclusion, it is still perfectly plausible that there would be a majority for reform. Between NM left and reaches the majority of the votes (councillors it is clear, it’s 56%, and while not all of the voting NM approves the reforms, we can at least say that they are not that is to keep things as they are). If in addition we remember that the voters lost is not to maintain the status quo, can be followed in such interpretation. What is clear is that all of this underpins the government; but to distinguish support of the government support to change is half the issue.

(5) In reality the subject is to abstain.

Now, someone might say that all the concern of who won or lost is minor compared to the fact that continues to diminish the vote, election after election. And that this difficulty any reading policy (either in terms of parties or positions on the society) because what is more clear is that the greater part of the country, for various reasons, do not vote.

The interpretations of the abstention are always disimiles. But it is not difficult to argue that an important part of this is boredom and rejection (i.and something similar to the ‘go all’). The policy as such does not serve, nor the politicians they serve. And do not serve to make everything that there is to do, I don’t think that is sustainable to think that many of them are people satisfied with the direction of politics and society (for more may become of their own lives).

Here we can note the following. One could say that the effect of the corruption scandals is rather smaller. The UDI, supposedly the hardest hit, remains the party with the most votes; several candidates with issues important in this respect amounted to important votes, etc., But it forgets the most important for the citizenship corruption is not something that differentiates between political, but something that characterizes the group as a whole. And in front of it then who cares about the corruption is not to punish one party instead of another, what that does is to be subtracted from the vote. That is, 800 thousand votes less between 2012 and 2016 can be attributed in important part to it.

By the way, nor is it clear that the trend of increasing abstention has stop

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