The post-electoral scenario
Politics 17/02/2021

A moving map

ERC is the party with the most evenly distributed electorate throughout the territory

2 min
Most voted party by county

Beyond the distribution of seats, the elections allow us to draw many maps of the socio-political reality of the country. If in 2017 the maps of the most voted party showed a predominance of the orange colour of Ciudadanos on the coast and a hegemony of Junts per Catalunya in the rest of the country, this time the PSC has replaced Ciudadanos as the leading force in the metropolitan areas. ERC, for its part, retains its already consolidated fiefdoms in Terres de l'Ebre, and widens the perimeter of its first position towards Ponent and Anoia. But Junts retains its leading position in many of the country's interior regions, especially in the Girona area and in Central Catalonia.

Even so, the maps of the most voted force are necessarily simplifying. We paint each county in a different colour, but often the differences between the leading parties are very small. Therefore, the map of the second most voted force helps us to complement and better understand the pattern of territorial distribution of the vote. And the second map shows a predominance of yellow for ERC. This is the pattern we already observed in 2017: ERC achieves a fairly homogeneous implantation throughout Catalonia, but does not achieve a clear hegemony practically anywhere, with the exception of Terres de l'Ebre.

The graph of the territorial concentration of the vote gives us more clues to explain these maps. In this graph we can see a clear pattern. On the one hand, Junts has become a very territorially specialised formation. As the years have passed, the formation of Carles Puigdemont has been concentrating in certain parts of the territory, such as Girona or the central regions, while weakening in others, such as the south of the country or in metropolitan areas.

On the other hand, the PSC has managed to reverse the trend. At the beginning of the period analysed, it was the party with the best implantation throughout the territory, because it obtained large majorities in the metropolitan area and was the second force in the rest of the country. As it became smaller, the PSC specialised in certain areas, but now it has once again spread throughout the country.

No hegemonies

In this case, however, Esquerra Republicana stands out. It is the party with the lowest rate of concentration. If before it was a party with a very concentrated vote, nowadays it is still the party with the most homogeneous territorial implantation. Esquerra is not hegemonic practically anywhere, but it has a very consistent presence in metropolitan and rural areas, on the coast and inland. That is why its rate of territorial concentration of the vote is still the lowest of all parties, as it was in 2017. It seems that Oriol Junqueras's bid to turn ERC into a catch-all party capable of attracting diverse voters,would have achieved a very balanced penetration. It has not served to achieve consistent hegemonies (beyond Terres de l'Ebre), but it has been able to have a consistent presence in the territory as a whole.

The other parties, because of their nature, have a more territorially concentrated electorate, with the partial exception of the comuns and, curiously, of Vox, which manages to penetrate beyond its most obvious fiefdoms. All this configures an electoral geography in transformation, which gives us clues about the deep foundations of the new Catalan party system. It is very fragmented, without clear hegemonies, but with a formation that manages to penetrate in a relatively homogeneous way in the different areas of the country.

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