On an atypical election day, on a weekday and marked by the pandemic, Madrid residents are flocking to vote. At least, according to the first official data and the images that have been seen early in some schools. At 13.00 hours the participation rate was 28.44% compared to 26.18% of that registered in the elections of just two years ago. So the final share was 64.2%. Today it is expected that it can clearly exceed 70% once the polls close at eight in the afternoon.
The high morning turnout and long lines that have been seen in some areas, in any case, may be conditioned by the fact that the elections are not held on Sunday, as is usually the case. Despite the fact that workers have free hours to be absent from their position and to be able to exercise their right to vote throughout the day, many, possibly, have preferred to do so before starting the working day. In some cases, the wait to be able to cast the vote in the ballot box has taken up to an hour. Even so, the start of the day has proceeded normally: 100% of the polling stations have been set up. The following participation data will not be given until after 7:00 p.m.
Madrid faces the appointment with the polls after a polarized campaign and anger as has rarely been seen and whose results are more than likely to shake the national board. The polls published in recent weeks point to a huge victory for Isabel Díaz Ayuso. In fact, his goal at this point is no longer to win, but to reach the absolute majority or at least get closer to it so he does not have to depend on Vox. On the other side of the scale, PSOE, Más Madrid and Unidas Podemos trust in adding more than the right. All polls indicate that Ciudadanos will stay out of the Assembly.
And both of them trust the mobilization. There is a fact that is already known. About 259,000 people have voted by mail, which is 41% more than just two years ago. Leftist formations believe that if participation is high, their options will increase. That has been one of the leitmotifs of the campaign speeches by Ángel Gabilondo, Pablo Iglesias and Mónica García, the More Madrid candidate who can become the big surprise of the day if she ends up giving the ‘sorpasso’ to the socialists. The three, especially the former vice president of the Government, have proclaimed that a high participation in the low-income neighborhoods would facilitate the change in the regional Executive, in the hands of the PP since 1995. But it is a theory that most of the demoscopic specialists They cast doubt.
The participation in the regional Madrid it usually moves in a range that goes between 64 and 70%. That record number was reached in 1995, in which it was Alberto Ruiz Gallardón’s first victory. The president of GAD3, Narciso Michavila, has been predicting in recent days that in this case it could rise to about 80% but that does not mean that the great beneficiary is the left.
In any case, it is assumed that Madrilenians will go to the polls in a much more massive way of what the Basques, Galicians and Catalans have done in recent months. Those have been the three calls made so far in the midst of the pandemic and in all three cases the participation has been meager. In the Basque Country it was 50% and in Galicia it touched 49%. The two appointments were in July 2020. Last February in Catalonia it was 53.5%.
The high mobilization that is expected collides with the epidemic situation in the region. For comparison, when the Catalans went to the polls on 14-F the incidence rate was around 330 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, in Madrid it rises to 380. 16 health areas are confined, which means, more than 450,000 people. And even so, from first thing in the morning, queues have already been registered.
The authorities have distributed 55,000 liters of hydroalcoholic gel and five million masks. Recommendations for times to go to vote have also been established. From 10 to 12 for those over 65 and from 19:00 to 20:00 for people who have covid or suspect that they may have it or have been contacted by someone infected.
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