ASEP’s Indicators System
All most significant indicators this month have worsened in larger or lesser degree since July. Consumer Sentiment decreases six points, while the Evaluation of the National Economic Situation decreases eight points, so that both indicators are 10 and 19 points respectively below the equilibrium level. Both indicators on savings are very much the same as last month’s. Personal Optimism decreases two points and is exactly on the equilibrium level. Satisfaction with the Quality of Life continues at very high levels, but loses two points with respect to July (the second lowest value of the last twelve months). All other social indicators remain in their usual levels, except post-materialism, that loses four points in only one month, placing itself again below 40%, returning to more materialistic values of greater security. Regarding political indicators, Satisfaction with how Democracy is working decreases six points, the second lowest value of the last twelve months though it continues at a very high level. Satisfaction with the National Government also loses seven points, though it is still positive. All remaining indicators maintain their usual levels. With respect to the image of institutions, this month’s ranking is the following: Armed Forces (5.8 points in a scale 0 to 10 points), the Crown (5.7 points), regional public TVs (5.6), the public state TVE (5.5), Banks and the National Government (4.5 points each), and Political Parties (3.9 in a scale 0 to 10 points). Almost all institutions suffer significant loses this month, between 3 and 4 decimal points. In the public leaders’ ranking Felipe Gonzalez (5.2 points) is the only political leader that breaks the 5 points barrier. Below 5 points are Jose Bono (4.9 points), José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (4.7), Alberto Ruiz Gallardón (4.5), Rodrigo Rato (4.2), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (4.1), Rosa Díez and Gaspar Llamazares (3.8 points each), Fernando Savater (3.7), Mariano Rajoy (3.1), and José Mª Aznar (2.9 points in a scale 0 to 10 points). Most leaders receive similar or lower ratings than the last time that they were rated, except in the case of Felipe Gonzalez, Gaspar Llamazares and Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, all of which improve their rating even in only by one decimal point. Vote estimate for the future (announced but not yet officially called) elections shows a difference of 4.2 per cent points between PSOE and PP, (only four decimal points more than in the last elections of 2004). But it must be repeated once more that since May 2004 voting estimates have shown a tie situation between the two largest national parties, with a variation in those estimates ranging from two points in favour of PP to four points in favour of PSOE, depending on the estimate of turn out-abstention. One should also take into account that abstention estimate, 22.7% this month, is practically the same as that really observed in the March 2004 elections, something that explains that the difference in voting estimate be also very similar to that observed in those elections. In fact, the most significant changes in voting estimate are the increase of eight decimal points for IU, and the decrease of twelve decimal points for nationalist parties in the centre and the right.
Evaluation of Government’s Policies and Actions
Policies, actions and decisions with which a clear majority of Rs are in agreement, ranked in order from more to less agreement are: the Law of Dependence, legalization of marriage between homosexuals, establishment of the subject on Education for Citizenship, and the policy against delinquency, organized crime and the mafias. There is controversy with a tendency towards agreement regarding the project of Law of Historic Memory, relations with the United States, economic policy, and support to the new statute for Catalonia. There is also controversy of opinions, but with a tendency towards disagreement with respect to Government’s negotiations with ETA, allowing that UPN rules in Navarra, not having implemented that the Spanish Flag stands up in all public buildings in Spain, and immigration policy. And there is a clear disagreement with the pacts to rule jointly with radical nationalist parties, and with not having requested yet the illegalization of Basque Nationalist Action (ANV). Supposing that PSOE wins again the next elections, there is a very clear majority that thinks that the Government will negotiate with ETA again, that it will improve relations with important countries in the European Union, that it will make pacts again with radical nationalist parties, and that it will defend the unity of Spain. There is also a controversial opinion with a tendency to believe that PSOE will improve the economic situation, and a controversial opinion with a tendency not to believe that PSOE will promote a federal state, that it will decrease corruption and will push Spain to become a great world power. Finally, between 50% and 55% of Rs think that the Government is doing everything possible to fight narcotraffic, to defend Spain’s unity, and to fight corruption. More than 40%, and in any case a higher proportion than those who think that Government is not doing everything possible, think that Government is doing everything possible to guarantee that all Spaniards have the same rights and duties, to implement and make implement the 1978 Spanish Constitution, to prevent violent groups as the so called “kale borroka” from acting, and to prevent aggressions and insults to the Spanish Flag.
Identification of PP’s and PSOE’s Policies
A majority of Rs identifies with the PSOE (fully or closer), with more than 50% identifying with all the policies mentioned above, from 71% who identify more with PSOE’s policies regarding the 11-M investigations to 52% who identify more with PSOE’s policy regarding the possible illegalization of Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) and the Communist Party of the Basque Lands (PCTV). Between these two policies one should mention all the rest, according to the larger or lesser degree of identification: the economic policy, the subject of Education for Citizenship, the policy to fight against ETA’s terrorism, the relationships with the European Union, the policy towards illegal immigration and the policy to fight against delinquency, organized crime, mafias and youth bands, the project of a Law of Historic Memory, the defence of Spain’s unity, and the obligation to have the Spanish Flag standing on all public buildings in Spain. Nevertheless, one should pay attention to the fact that the greatest identification with PP’s policies (even if always in relative minority), is observed with respect to the obligation that the Spanish Flag stands on all public buildings in Spain, the policy to fight ETA’s terrorism, the defence of Spain’s unity, and the possible illegalization of ANV and PCTV, while the less identification is observed with respect to the subject of Education for Citizenship, the investigations of 11-M and the project of a Law of Historic Memory.
Posible Post-Electoral Pacts
Supposing that in the next elections PSOE or PP would win by a small difference, the electorate is divided in an absolute proportional way in tour responses: a quarter prefers that the party that wins would make a pact with nationalist parties, another quarter prefers that it would make a pact with the other national party, another quarter prefers that it would not make pacts with anybody, and another quarter does not answer the question.
Government’s Treatment of Regions (Autonomous Communities
47% of Rs think that the Government treats some regions better than others, as against 36% who think that it treats all of them similarly. In fact, 64% think that the Government treats Catalonia better, 34% mention Andalusia, 26% Madrid, and 25% the Basque Country (all other regions were mentioned by less than 10%). And the regions more cited as receiving worst treatment from the Government are Extremadura (mentioned by 20% of Rs), Andalusia, Madrid, and the Valencia Community (mentioned by 18% each one).
Territorial Organization of Spain
For the tenth time since November 1996 a question has been asked regarding Spaniards’ preferences with respect to the best way to organise the territory of Spain. As in previous occasions, almost 50% of Rs think that the best option is that everything continues as now. But, in contrast with the nine previous surveys, in which the second option was the establishment of a Single Administration, in this survey the second option is that the National Government recovers some powers already transferred to the regions. This option had never been mentioned by more than 11% since July 1998 (though it was mentioned by 13% in November 1996), but has got the support of 16% in this survey.