The Venezuela News and Views final 2010 vote prediction (well, maybe)

Well, it is time to make a final prediction, and I am afraid that most readers of this blog will not like it.  And I may add that never was I so keen to be proven wrong.
Seats to be taken by the two sides in the legislative elections of 2010, according to the 2008 votes, the 2010 estimated potential and the rosy scenario with at least a 6% swing from chavismo to the opposition
In the figure above in red we have the number of seats the PSUV and allies will take and in blue what the Opposition will take.

How did I reach this?

First I analyze again the 2008 results based on ESDATA numbers and CNE numbers.  I decided where was the opposition division more deleterious and where it had the best chances to mend.  I also ruthlessly removed all the minor votes who if added to the strictu sensu opposition vote would have made an overall even result between chavismo and the "rest".  Considering the unfair electoral system and that in my calculations chavismo was beating the opposition in its strictest sense by up to 8%, we can see the lopsided victory chavismo would have gotten in 2008.

Then I applied my own "corrective factor" where I calculated almost district by district what percentage of votes chavismo would lose.  These varied from 5% to 15% but I also decided that the loss of chavismo did not result in an automatic transfer to the opposition.  Thus district by district the opposition rose from 0 to 10% though very rarely to 10%.  What I took into account to decide that factor was the 2008 vote compared to 2007 and 2009, weighed in by results in 2004 and even 2000 if needed, and how the recent catastrophes of chavismo affected some regions more than other (health care, electricity crisis, etc...).  When possible I also tried to account for the quality of the nature of the candidates though I did not put too much weigh on that as I suspected that Chavez would try to turn once again the election into a plebiscite around himself.  Which happened.

I did design a rudimentary but fair Excel sheet to help me along and on that basis the popular vote this time around would decant 49.5 to 50.5 IN FAVOR of chavismo.  That is, I am seeing a slight vote victory for chavismo and henceforth an amplified result in its favor: 96 seats to 69.  Keep in mind that I had to make a decision to grant a seat even if my excel sheet were giving me 1% difference, a factor small enough that it can be affected by local conditions (rain storm for example).  That is the difference between this unsparing bar graph and my Wednesday graph where I indulged in subjective ratings of "leaning" and "too close to call" districts.

I am intellectually comforted (but emotionally crushed) by the fact that the scarce serious polls available seem to indicate such an outcome.  That is, without polling, just though observation of tendencies over the years and my limited knowledge of local politics due to my lack of time to dig in and the scarce information that can be found through Google I still manage to coincide with pollsters who often do not bother studying the why of  their numbers (self patting on my back...).  For the record, I was Googling one of the opposition candidates the other day to verify its political affiliation for my last half moon chart and I was shocked to see that the only mention was the earlier post where I had named him!!!!!!!!!  Not even a facebook page!  The guy is on the web courtesy of this blog!  Whatever local rag he is reported upon does not have a web page!  Just to let you know that my job was harder than what I suspected when I started this series of posts.......

Yet I cannot resign myself to such a crappy outcome although I have given up totally on the democratic nature of the Venezuelan people as of February 2009.  People in Venezuela do know that Chavez is an incompetent piece of shit and yet they keep voting for him, so I suppose that they deserve him until he runs them to the ground once and for all on starvation diet.  But I digress. 

There are plenty of contradictions in the polls, the main ones is that large majorities complain about this and that and yet when cornered into the voting question a majority still votes for Chavez.  Are they scared?  Do they actually believe chavismo can figure out who they voted for?  Is chavismo just a religion, that in spite of all its fault they keep going back to church no matter what scandal explodes?  I suspect that the opposition will in the end prevail in votes.  Heck!  You cannot be a chavista, spend your recent life protesting that the regime is not fulfilling its promise and yet vote for Chavez as if nothing.  Something is wrong somewhere.....

Thinking hard about it I came up with an optimistic scenario where somehow the opposition will reach 52.9% of the vote.  This is in my opinion the very best that can be hoped.  Thus the chart above should be read as follows:
The opposition will get at least 69 seats but if all goes well, if the blip registered by chavismo in August did fade some though September, it could reach as much as 87 seats.  That is, the final result will be between 69 and 87, more likely closer to 69 than 87.

And of course chavismo cannot get less than 78 seats and will be very close to ensure the magic half at 83 seats with a fair chance at getting up to 96 seats.
Last but not least, as you read these numbers do not weep unnecessarily or become too optimistic.  Remember  that we are dealing with a thug regime and that for such regimes what matters is not democratic numbers but brute force.  Even if the CNE were to count all the votes as cast, the incredible cheating it allowed before the election for the campaign is already enough to cast a doubt on WHATEVER RESULT we told on 26S at night.


I will be busy these coming days, hence the publication in a rush of this entry.  If time allows, if I get new data (politicians who may read me, send data in all confidentiality) I might adjust some this prediction.  But right now I am calling it a victory for the PSUV.  If you do not like it you know what to do: go out, convince people, vote, stay behind after to make sure all votes are counted at your polling station.  That is THE ONLY way you have to affect the result, sorry! 

I might also publish my calculator sheet if I have time to polish it some.  That is, to make it more understandable for ease in use.  Right now it is designed for my own special use so it would not be of much good for me to make it public as it is.  Nor would it be very comforting for you to put numbers in it that will not happen, such as a 10 point swing.  Time to go down to earth and realize that the battle against Chavez does not end next Sunday, EVEN if we were to get 100 seats!

You can be at least happy with one thing: I am predicting that through unity and putting its act together at least partially the opposition will go from the 40 seats it would have got in 2008 to at least 69 this year.  In any political system in the world this is good and bearing of good tidings for future contests.