Economic voting in the 2012 Catalan election

GT 4.3 Elecciones autonómicas en contextos de cambio: condicionantes del voto y análisis electorales

Agustí Bosch Gardella (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
Lluis Orriols Galve (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
Sesión 1
Día: viernes,20 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 09:00 a 11:30
Lugar: E11SEM03

Southern European elections have been affected by the economic recession for the last five years. Voting under recession has basically involved the electoral punishment of the incumbents, in line with the ‘attribution of responsibility’ hypothesis. This higher predisposition to economic voting seems to have spread even to local and regional elections. Under recession, elections seem to act as referenda over the economic policies of the incumbents. But what if a government can portray an election as a referendum over the economic actions of a higher government level? And what if a government can portray the election as a protest against the economic abuse its nation suffers? These are not idle thoughts, but very likely prospects in some nationally complex settings across Europe. As a god’s gift, the 2012 Catalan election provides a wonderful case for testing. On the one hand, it was carried under severe economic recession and under severe austerity policies. But on the other hand, it was carried under the impression – among broad segments of the electorate – that the economic policy of the Spanish government was harshly punishing Catalan economic interests. Under these circumstances, did incumbents still get electorally punished? Or did they transfer the electoral punishment to the higher level of government? The paper analyses economic voting in this election with a particular emphasis on the defections from the incumbent, the radicalisation of the winning parties, and the booming of the turnout levels.

Palabras clave: elecciones, crisis, economía, comportamiento