Some days ago I posted in the comments of the Live Digest that the Lehendakari (President) of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has called early elections on October 21 for this part, the biggest part of the Basque Country. Then David Nir asked me to write a diary about it, very kindly as always, and also my friend ridemybike asked me to write about my native country. Well, here is the diary.
It is always nice to write about my native country. As a native Basque citizen I have the right to vote in the elections in my native country, but now it is not my turn because I'm from another part of the Basque Country.
The entire Basque Country is a little smaller than New Jersey, so do not be surprised if I also know well the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country where the biggest part of the population of the country lives.
Everything in the politics of the Basque Country revolves around the Basque Conflict and the Peace Process that the country is experiencing now and that has its biggest political expressions in the Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference supported by:
and with the support and the presence of:
and the ETA's 2011 Permanent Ceasefire and Cessation Declaration of Armed Activity a few days later.
This part of the country includes three of the seven Basque regions: Araba, Biscay and Gipuzkoa. The Parliament of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has 75 seats, 25 for every territory, despite the big differences of population. The people elect the Parliament with closed candidacies (with a list of candidates fixed previously by internal election inside every party), and later the Parliament elects the Lehendakari, as in many European countries.
My opinion about this law is very negative. The majority of the Basque people think the same. The Spanish legislators and justices use it with a partisan interest for manipulating the results of the elections. It is the same as the Republicans are trying to do with the new rules about voter registration and early voting in some states, but on a lot bigger scale in the Basque Country, as you will see. Until now, when the Spanish side is interested in banning a candidacy they do it, and similar candidacies with the same ideological principles do not get banned when they prefer not to. When they ban some candidacies, the people that vote for them must find other options. Those options are:
- To vote for the banned candidacy and the vote is null.
- To stay home without voting.
- To find another not banned candidacy in order to keep the natural majorities (Aralar, EAJ-PNV, or also EA and EB).
We can see it easily in the chart of results of the 2009 elections for the Basque Autonomous Community:
In the image you can see the high number of null votes in a country where the voters did not need to write on the ballot and every party has its own ballot. In the Basque Country the voter needs only to select the ballot and to put it in the official envelope for the elections. Those null votes were votes for the banned candidacy.
The effect of changing the majorities that want the Spanish side is also clear. In 2009 the official result gave to the Spanish parties (PSOE, PP and UPyD) a majority of 39 seats in a Parliament of 75 seats. Counting the null votes as valid and applying the rules, the result in 2009 would be:
EAJ-PNV = 28
PSOE = 23
PP = 11
Null = 7
Aralar = 4
EA = 1
UPyD = 1
EB = 0
And the Spanish parties (PSOE, PP and UPyD) would have 35 of 75 seats, being minority.
The false Spanish majority of 2009 took the government, and the candidate of the PSOE, Patxi Lopez, became the new Lehendakari with the support of the PP.
My opinion about this government is also very negative. It is a government that does not care about the interest of the country and increases the debt in an irresponsible way, not spending enough in stimulus against the crisis, but spending to make the Basque Country more Spanish against our language and our identity and leaving the debt for future nationalist governments. The previous government of the Lehendakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe with the support of other Basque parties of the left has very low debt ratings as you can see here:
The data show the ratio debt/GDP by Autonomous Community and year (quarter for the last years). As you can see the debt/GDP was 2.2% when Patxi Lopez became Lehendakari in the second quarter of 2009, while now it is 10.2%, a rough growth of a 464% in three years (the last data is for the first quarter of 2012). Still it is not a number that puts at risk the Basque economy, because of the strength of the private sector and because we must take into account that the Basque regions (the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country and Navarre) have fiscal autonomy and as a consequence have their own income and the chance to modify this income if it is not enough. The rest of the regions in Spain do not have fiscal autonomy and that makes them a lot more vulnerable to this economic environment. The Spanish government created many of these regions around 1980 for the purpose of diluting the historical specificity of other territories.
That fiscal autonomy is a unique case in Europe, and is very old. It comes from the time when the Basque Country was an independent country (the Kingdom of Navarre) and the economic autonomy was greater still until recent times. The Basque territories had their own currencies until the 1840s and customs with the Crown of Castille. All that was part of the old Basque Foruak that John Adams knew in his travels to Europe, thanks to Diego de Gardoki, and that likely had some influence in the United States Constitution.
But returning to the present, the unpopular government of Patxi Lopez kept the pact with the PP until the last year of his term because if they appeared on the ballots with this pact they would have a big debacle. Many voters of the PSOE in the Basque Country dislike this coalition, because the old Francoism that the PP represents is hated in the Basque Country even by many humble and honest workers that came to the Basque Country from some regions of Spain in the darkest years of Franco. The rupture with the PP is a planned rupture, a rupture forced by the PSOE. The PSOE thinks the PP would keep them in the government for fear of nationalism, but the PP did not do it and Patxi Lopez was forced to call for early elections on October 21.
2012 ELECTIONS: POLITICAL PARTIES
In the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country there are four big political areas: the Basque right, the Basque left, the Spanish right and the Spanish left. And this time four big political options will run in every area.
When I talk about the Basque right, Basque left, Spanish right and Spanish left we must take into account that the left and the right are different in the Basque Country, in Spain and in the United States. There are three different political balances. The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country would be an 85% Obama country.
Basque right: EAJ-PNV
Candidate for Lehendakari: Iñigo Urkullu
The party of the Basque right is the Eusko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco. That party was born in 1895, after all the wars of the XIX Century where the government of Madrid wanted to destroy the old Basque Foruak. The Basque Nationalist Party has been illegal for more than 50 years of its history (not only during the Francoism). This party was born as a reaction against the centralism of Madrid and against the destruction of the Basque culture, of the Basque historical forms of government and of the Basque language.
It was a Christian-Democratic party in its origin, full Catholic, like the majority of the country. But this position began to fail in the Spanish Civil War when we began to see images like this, of Spanish Catholic bishops doing the fascist salute:
You can find the image in this link. I do not want to blame the Catholic religion, but I think it is necessary for people to know what we have experienced for decades. Despite an important part of the Basque Catholic priests not taking this way (Francoism executed by firing squad 14 Basque Catholic priests, and the bishop Mateo Mugika was expelled into exile), the positions of the Spanish hierarchy since then have had a big effect in the Basque Country and in the EAJ-PNV. Now the relationship of the EAJ-PNV with the Catholic church is cold. The Spanish Catholic hierarchy have the bishops that they want in the Basque Country, and the people in the Basque Country hate them and do not follow them.
The EAJ-PNV always takes part with the right side, with the democratic side. In the Spanish Civil War they sided with the Legal Government of the Republic. In World War II they sided with the Allies. But they suffered a big, a very big disappointment when Dwight Eisenhower, the President of the United States, gave support to fascist Francoism in the 1950s. It was a really bad choice that deeply hurt the big majority of the Basque people, and also the EAJ-PNV that always leads the Basque Government in exile.
In terms of European policy and ideology, the EAJ-PNV is now positioned in the center. The EAJ-PNV is in the European Democratic Party. As you can see in the link to Wikipedia, the ideology of the EDP is centrism, social-liberalism and Christian left. The closest ally of the EAJ-PNV is the French MoDem of François Bayrou, who is a sane Basque neighbor from the Bearn and who endorsed the election of François Hollande, the new Socialist French president. Both parties, the EAJ-PNV and the MoDem, run in coalition in some elections in Iparralde (French Basque Country).
In the European Parliament, the European Democratic Party (EAJ-PNV included) and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (that includes the British Liberal Democrats) join to form the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, where the Liberals are a little to the right of the EDP.
Then as you can see, the Basque right is inside the European center, and is a little to the left of the British Liberal Democrats, surely the most known of these groups in the United States.
Today the EAJ-PNV is an Obama Party. No doubt. The leader of the party and candidate for Lehendakari in 2012, Iñigo Urkullu, supported the election of Obama in 2008, attending at public events. Surely now you can understand better why the Basque Country would be an 85% Obama country.
This party wants the independence of the entire Basque Country. They pursue it by peaceful ways (among the four big Basque political blocks they have the least violent history) and with a controlled and smooth transition. The EAJ-PNV is a party that wants a Basque Country inside the European Union as one more member.
The candidate Iñigo Urkullu is the leader of the party (unusual in this party) and seems a little to the right of the previous Lehendakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe, that has such a big appeal to the most moderate parts of the Basque left thanks to the old coalition with Eusko Alkartasuna (see them below, in the Basque left).
Basque left: EH Bildu
Candidate for Lehendakari: Laura Mintegi
The first party of the Basque left was EAE-ANV. It was born from the EAJ-PNV as a secular party in 1930 opposed to the Catholic dependence of the EAJ-PNV. This party had decent results during the Spanish Republic. It also took a position on the side of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War with Tomas Bilbao Hospitalet becoming Spanish Minister of Justice in the government of the socialist Juan Negrín. Despite that help and support, the PSOE outlawed this historical party in 2008. EAE-ANV was also part of the Basque government from 1936 until 1980 with Gonzalo Nardiz Bengoetxea. Also EAE-ANV supported the Allies in World War II.
Another nucleus of the Basque left was born in the late 1950s under the name of ETA, again from the EAJ-PNV, and took a clear left-leaning way after the support of Eisenhower to Franco. That choice of D Eisenhower hurt many Basques and gave to the Basque Country 20 more years of Francoism, of National-Catholicism, that is living still, and is still legal because the Spanish law of parties does not prosecute this kind of fascism (even if you do not understand Spanish, take a moment looking at the pictures).
In the end of the 1970s the Basque left began a political organization under different names and coalitions that include the old EAE-ANV and many other groups.
EH Bildu is a new coalition. And it is the biggest Basque left coalition ever. After the end of the violence, even some Basque political parties of the left but against the violence are joining in this big group of Basque left. EH Bildu is a coalition that includes:
Sortu is the biggest group, illegal until now, that keeps the tradition of the Basque left closer to the fight of the ETA. The group was born in the first months of 2011 but did not become legal until June 2012 thanks to the habitual maneuvers of Spanish justice around the Law of Parties. The ideology of the group is still under definition, or at least has not enough spreading. It is to the left of social-democracy, but in line with other democratic European lefts. Looking at the ideology of the entire coalition I would say it follows the basis of European eco-socialism.
Aralar is a group founded in 2000 opposed to the return to violence after the 1998 ceasefire. This party has kept legal status in these years, as you can see in the chart of the results of 2009 that I included before. The ideology of Aralar is defined by eco-socialism. At the European level, Aralar has joined the European Free Alliance that is included in a bigger group in the European Parliament, The Greens-European Free Alliance group, with many European Greens.
Eusko Alkartasuna is a group founded in 1986 by the former Lehendakari Carlos Garaikoetxea Urriza from the EAJ-PNV. This group never was involved with the violence, but ideologically is in the Basque left. They define themselves as social-democrats. The alignment in the European political environment and the European Parliament is the same that Aralar has.
Alternatiba is a group founded from the group Ezker Batua, leaving this party in the end of 2009 after the last elections for the Basque Parliament (see the chart).
The coalition is creating their ideological basis. Their first documents put the Scandinavian model as their model in social-economic issues. They also want the independence of the Basque country, and the coalition is taking a pro-European way, but defending changes that drive Europe to the Scandinavian model of life and social protection.
The candidate Laura Mintegi is new in the political world. She is a university professor who comes from the world of the Basque culture. She was born not in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. She was born in the same part of the Basque country were I was born.
Spanish left: PSE-EE/PSOE
Candidate for Lehendakari: Patxi Lopez
The PSOE was founded in 1879 by Pablo Iglesias and like the two Basque parties was not a legal party for most of the years of its first century of life. Also until then, the PSOE was not the leading party of the Spanish left. During the Second Spanish Republic, the party leader of the Spanish left was theIzquierda Republicana of President Manuel Azaña, but the PSOE came to be head of the Spanish government with Francisco Largo Caballero (1936-1937) and Juan Negrín (1937-1939). Until then, in the first century of its life this party was a friend of the Basque Country, despite some centralist leaders like Indalecio Prieto.
Historically, the PSOE was a party of honest and humble Spanish workers that came to the Basque Country to find a better life as manufacturing and iron mining workers. It is not surprising that their two leaders until the 1960s in the Basque Country, Facundo Perezagua and Indalecio Prieto, were born outside the country. Historically, the party has done the right things in the Basque Country and that has made them popular in the country in the past (the most numerous and prominent generation of Basque politicians in the PSOE born in the 1940s). They have supported autonomy for the four Basque territories of the South, they were part of the Basque government during the war and during the exile, and they supported the right to self-determination for the Basque Country until the 1970s.
But after the death of Franco (1975) the PSOE took the wrong way in the Basque Country. The first big change was about the territory of Navarre. They changed their internal organization and they decided to support the division of the country. They also decided to refuse the right to self-determination for the Basque Country. They create the GAL as a continuation of the state terrorism that all the Spanish governments conducted until Aznar. They supported pacts with the Spanish right, especially in Navarre, but also in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, even using nefarious ways to change the majorities as I explained previously in this diary.
The governments of Felipe González (1982-1996) never prosecuted the high level members of the dictatorship. His governments were always unconcerned about the victims of the Francoism. There is also some speculation about a Francoist origin of Felipe Gonzalez, around this picture of the Agencia EFE.
In terms of alignment with the European political movements, the PSOE is part of the Party of European Socialists and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. It is a social-democratic party member of the Socialist International.
But I would say in overall terms the health care and social protection has been better in the Basque Country than in Spain, even in the time of the PSOE government. I would say the EAJ-PNV is better than the PSOE on social issues.
The candidate for Lehendakari, and current Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, is highly unpopular because of his pact with the PP and because of his incompetence and inability to manage the country well. The management of the debt is atrocious. For example, now the government of Spain owes €500 millions to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (€225 per inhabitant, a 0.775% of the GDP of the Community). That means the government of Patxi Lopez fell into debt paying high interest by giving the money to the Spanish government without charging them interest, and without knowing if Spain will return this money. The management of the culture and education in his term is negative for an endangered language like the Basque language, and he was off about the peace process. For example, he was out of the country because of the PP influence during the Donostia-San Sebastian International Peace conference and did not receive Koffi Annan and all the international delegation, provoking acid jokes of the people (if you understand Spanish read some of the comments under the article of the last link).
Patxi Lopez is the son of a former politician of the same party. He is incompetent by nature. He did not finish his university degree, lied about it for many years, and became a career politician before he was 25 years old. His wife, Begoña Gil Llanos, is in the Parliament of Biscay as was his brother-in-law, Melchor Gil Llanos, until recently. The family also has an aura of corruption (link1, link2). Sorry, I can not always find links in the English language.
But the worst thing is the lack of loyalty of the leaders of this party toward the Basque Country, and the submission to the orders that come from their leaders in Madrid, which led to all the changes after Francoism that I explained before. And a large majority of the Basque people hate that.
Spanish right: PP
Candidate for Lehendakari: Antonio Basagoiti
In a few words, this is the party of the old Francoism. After the death of Franco in 1975, seven leaders of the Francoism, six of them among the younger and most prominent ministers of Francisco Franco, founded this party in 1976, then called AP. They were:
Manuel Fraga: (vice president of the dictatorship just after the death of Franco and minister of Franco)
Licinio de la Fuente (vice president and minister of Franco)
Laureano López Rodó (minister of Franco)
Federico Silva Muñoz (minister of Franco)
Gonzalo Fernández de la Mora (minister of Franco)
Cruz Martínez Esteruelas (minister of Franco)
Enrique Thomas de Carranza
Unfortunately I can not find biographies in English for people to understand well the level of these people during Francoism, and their true ideology. Wikipedia has not and in some cases does not give enough importance to the Francoist part of the biography. Many people do not understand well the influence and power of these people during Francoism, but in this list you can find three of the four first ministers of Franco that were born in the 1920s and the first minister of Franco that was born in the 1930s. They were the leaders of the last generation of ministers of Franco. And also many people do not understand the nature of the ideology of these people until they see images like this:
You can find this picture in many links like this. The man in the picture is Manuel Fraga in 1968, when he was minister in the government (many years after the support of Eisenhower for Francoism).
That should help people understand why the People's Party never prosecuted and always protected the Francoism of the law. They are the Francoism. AP was refounded in 1989 and changed its name to PP, but they are the same people. The old Francoism still can be prosecuted, but the PP will continue protecting them. Ten of the old ministers of Franco are living still, but two of them (Licinio de la Fuente and Antonio Carro) are also old high profile PP leaders and a third, Jose Utrera Molina, is the father-in-law of Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, the current Minister of Justice with Mariano Rajoy. What justice can the victims of Francoism expect with them? Spain has not prosecuted (now and in the past) the leaders of Francoism despite Licinio de la Fuente becoming this year one of the protagonists of the facts for the commemoration of the coup of July 18 of 1936 with the son of Augusto Pinochet, and Jose Utrera Molina sending a message of support to the commemoration.
At this point it is clear that Spanish law protects Francoism, as we can see in the case of the magistrate Baltasar Garzón. Every bid for justice gets blocked, as we will see again in this case that affects Jose Utrera Molina.
In the Basque Country Francoism commited a true genocide. Not only during the war, but also after the war. Even Germany apologized to the Basque people because of the bombing of Gernika. On April 26 of 1937 Francoism killed more people in a single little city in a single day than the ETA in all its history. But the Spanish government never apologizes, even with the PSOE leading the government. The Basque people never forget that genocide and still demand for justice strongly.
After the war, Franco's regime promoted a big migration from many Spanish regions so that for some generations in Basque regions like Araba and Biscay, the people that were born in the Basque Country were less than the people that were born outside. But also that backfired for Franco because many of the people that came to the Basque Country were honest workers, poor people, with their lives destroyed because of Francoism in their previous home. They came to the Basque Country for a new life and hated Francoism as much as the Basque people did, and fight against the Francoism together with the people of Basque origin.
The PP won the November 2011 general elections in Spain with an absolute majority, and Mariano Rajoy became the President of the Government. But also in May 2011 the PP won a lot of the regional power in Spain. Their erratic economic policies drove the country toward a second recession and toward the economic rescue from the European Union.
But they arrogantly use this need of the European rescue in a new centralist effort that again goes against the autonomy of the historical regions, even if those regions have better economy than the Spanish government, as is the case of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (remember the debt of the Spanish government to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country that I explained before). The Spanish government of Rajoy has fixed different debt limits for every region, giving the lower limit to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, a 10,19% of the GDP, while Rajoy has given to other regions governed by the PP, like the Valencian Community, a limit of the 22,18%.
Since taking the Spanish government, the PP has go down in the voting-intention to the level they have after their 2004 defeat, when Aznar lied to the world and to their citizens about Basques doing the 2004 attack in Madrid.
In terms of European policy and ideology, the PP is aligned with the Christian-Democracy. The party is a member of the European People's Party, the biggest party of the European right. In the European Parliament they are in the group of the European People's Party. And finally the Spanish PP is a member of the Centrist Democrat International, the former Christian-Democrat International.
The candidate for Lehendakari is Antonio Basagoiti. This man is smarter than Patxi Lopez, but always has some incendiary remarks, especially in the issue of the peace. He is a radical nut. He was not born in the Basque Country, but has some Basque ancestors. It has been a family of bankers since the XIX century when his ancestors left the Basque Country for the first time. He is a career politician elected for the first time at 25 years old, by the hand of his aunt Asunción Pastor. His family worked for Francoism and the Spanish right. His father was CEO of some public companies under Aznar, and now is CEO of the Banesto Bank.
The PP is very unpopular with the Basque people, including a large percentage of the voters of the PSOE. Because of that Patxi Lopez distanced himself from the PP before the elections. But the Basque people have memory, and that does not work.
In Europe it is not habitual to ask people about their favorable/unfavorable opinion of a politician, but sometimes the pollster asks about giving a value between 0 and 10 for every politician. As an example, on page 37 of this link you can see some values. The pollster is close to the PSOE and to the PSOE-PP alliance. Still, under a favorable pollster, the politicians of the PP have abysmal values in the Autonomous Community of the Basque country: Basagoiti 2.2/10, Quiroga 2.0/10 and Rajoy 1.7/10.
Little partiesIn the Basque Country there is a big rejection of the support that Eisenhower gave to Francoism and a big rejection of the close relation between G.W. Bush and Jose María Aznar. Both things damaged the image of the United States and the Republicans in the Basque Country, but on the other hand the work of Clinton, Obama, and the support of key Democratic figures like Carter or Mitchell for peace in the Basque Country are changing the situation.
Also we have some little parties that can have some seats because of the lack of love for the Spanish parties.
One of them is UPYD. This party defends an extreme Jacobean Spanish centralism. It is the alternative to the PP for the Spanish military in the Basque Country, and the people of their environment.
Also there are some groups founded recently that come from the previous EB. The party has suffered some divisions since 2009, when they won one seat, and has been plagued by corruption. But also these groups are the alternative to the PSOE for people of the left that do not wish to vote for the Basque left. These groups are to the left of the social-democracy.
Only the weakness of the PP and the PSOE can make these little parties survive by winning some seats. It would be difficult for them to survive in the Basque Country if they do not win some seats.
Also what has helped the image of the United States a lot in the Basque Country is the friendship of the state of Idaho. This was boosted in a bipartisan effort by local Basque-American politicians like Pete Cenarrusa (R), very loved in the Basque Country, Ben Ysursa (R), David Bieter (D), with the help of non Basques like Frank Church (D), and finally by more Basque-Americans outside Idaho like John Garamendi (D).
Idaho, being one of the reddest states of the US, is at same time one of the closest friends of the Basque Country. Idaho, California and Nevada are the home of the biggest number of Basque-Americans (Boise, Reno...).
2012 ELECTIONS: RECENT RESULTS AND POLLS
In the Basque Country the people vote not for a single candidate, but for a list of a party. Because of that there is not usually a big difference between the results of different elections.
In 2011 the Basque people had two elections in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. The first was in May for the municipalities and for the parliaments of Biscay, Gipuzkoa and Araba, and the second was in November for the Spanish parliament in Madrid.
We can do the calculation of the number of seats that would have every party for the Parliament of the Autonomous Community in these two elections of 2011.
For the election of May we would have:
EAJ-PNV = 24
Bildu = 22
Aralar = 1
EB = 2
PSOE = 13
PP = 13
For the election of November we would have:
EAJ-PNV = 20
Amaiur = 20
EB = 2
PSOE = 18
PP = 15
(EH Bildu = Amaiur = Bildu + Aralar)
We have these little changes because the first election has a more local focus and the second is more pro-PP vs anti-PP in the Basque Country. And also there are differences because some part of the voters chooses to vote in some election and not to vote in others.
You must remember now that there are three constituencies, and a change of three seats likely means a change of one in every constituency (a lot of easier than the change of three in a single constituency).
The electorate of an election for the Basque Parliament is habitually closer to the first election than to the second when they are near in time like now. Then, at first glance, the result of the elections of this year should be closer to the first distribution than to the second distribution, but with the addition of the changes in the last year (with the PP falling after Rajoy took the government). And that is what we see in the polls.
This would be the polling chart for this election:
La Razón and El Mundo are the media of the Spanish extreme right peace haters. Libertad Digital is internet media of extreme right. El Correo is also the media of the Spanish right (it is a member of the same media group that ABC, and you can see some reference in the last link). The Euskobarómetro is Spanish left leaning but friendly to the PSOE-PP pact. And Gara is the media of the Basque left. Then the poll chart is dominated by the Spanish media (as always), but despite that you can see that there are not big differences and the results are close to the first approach that I gave before seeing the polls.
Looking at that (and still waiting forl some more polls) my prediction (being prudent) would be:
EAJ-PNV = 26
EHBildu = 23
PSOE = 15
PP = 11
Still, I would not be surprised if the little parties win some seats (UPYD can win one and former EB can win until three), but the mix of polls is not clear here. Even giving them one seat or more the polls agree not about the constituency the seats would come from.
In the popular vote the EAJ-PNV will likely win, because their strongest basis is in Biscay, the most populated territory. They can even win the popular vote and get second in the number of seats, because EHBildu is stronger in Gipuzkoa. But the most favored parties by the equal distribution of the seats for every territory are the Spanish parties because Araba is the less nationalist territory and the less populated.
I will update the polling chart and my prediction before October 21. Then you can continue looking at this diary if you are interested.
2012 ELECTIONS: THE FUTURE GOVERNMENT
Surely the candidate of the EAJ-PNV, Iñigo Urkullu, is the person that has a better chance of becoming Lehendakari. Laura Mingegi, the candidate of EH Bildu, has less chance.
I would expect a government in minority in both cases (Urkullu or Mintegi as Lehendakari), that finds external support in the Parliament. For the EAJ-PNV it would be easier to find that external support, while for EHBildu it would be harder, basically because the EAJ-PNV would have enough work digesting a defeat from EHBildu.
Also I think the future government of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country would be a pragmatic government focused on the management of that part of the country. The EAJ-PNV has an historical separate leadership. The leader of the party can not be Lehendakari at same time, and habitually is not the candidate. This means that if Iñigo Urkullu becomes Lehendakari the EAJ-PNV would again have internal elections for a new leader. And EHBildu is also taking this way of a separate leadership.
Finally I do not expect political steps toward the independence in the short-term (I mean one or two years). The country is living the peace process, and surely there are political hidden conversations that I do not know where they are going. But in the future I expect steps because Basque nationalism is the strongest in terms of social support, and the most pro-independence in all Western Europe.