Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

General elections; The CIS macro survey

La macroencuesta del CIS que marcará el arranque de la campaña del 28-A

A macro survey exceptional for some general elections Exceptional The Center for Sociological Research (CIS) will publish on Tuesday something more than a simple monthly barometer: not only will be the poll prior to the elections on April 28, but, precisely because of that, it will be based on more surveys, offer greater depth in its results and, consequently, to
it will be more reliable than any other pre-election poll published to date.

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At this point, the data is incontestable. For today's survey, the CIS has made a total of 18,460 personal interviews at home, which means multiplying by five the sample on which the barometers of each month are based (approximately 3,000 surveys). The other great novelty has to do with the presentation of the results. The barometer of this Tuesday will break the custom imposed by the current president of the organization, José Félix Tezanos, to avoid what in slang is known as the kitchen, that is, the estimate of the distribution of seats that the Center makes based on the raw data collected by the surveys. There had only been one exception: the pre-election survey of the Andalusians last December.

That means yes there will be a translation of votes to a seat of seats and that the Spaniards will have at hand the prediction of the CIS of how the Congress of Deputies will be composed. In this case, the CIS makes a considerable effort, also in the economic sphere: the cost of the macro-survey for such a large sample amounts to 300,000 euros.


However, there are also some caveats. First, that nowadays the capacity of success of the surveys in general is in question. Experts defend themselves by arguing that a study of these characteristics is often confused with a tarot-style future prediction, when what a poll does is send a photograph of the moment and point out the tendencies of the electorate.

In addition, specialists stress that in these times it is more difficult to guess than a few years ago. The electorate is today more volatile than yesterday, the number of undecided grows and the majority of citizens opt for one or another option more and more at the last minute. This was precisely the reason that Tezanos has often argued to justify that in his time at the head of the CIS they stopped publishing estimates of votes and seat projections, a decision at its most controversial moment.

Finally, there is a third problem linked to the two previous ones: the survey is presented two days before the beginning of the electoral campaign, that is, almost 20 days before the elections. In this way, the margin of reliability is reduced. In contrast, private consultants may continue to submit surveys until the second week of the campaign, which is when the law explicitly prohibits doing so.


Made reservations, there are many views on this CIS, which should confirm or refute the trends that point to the latest surveys. The February barometer - without kitchen- placed the PSOE in the lead with an intention to vote of 33.3%, taking an advantage of 16 points to the PP, which scored 16.7%. Behind were Cs with 15.3% and Unidos Podemos with 14.5%, while Vox was at 5.9%.

The Private surveys are not far from these figuresalthough most of them reduce support for the Socialists -which prevails in all- and above all they give a higher percentage of support to the extreme right party led by Santiago Abascal.

With regard to postelectoral pacts, many of these polls allow the configuration of a government between PSOE and Ciudadanos, although they also draw the repetition of the majority that led Pedro Sánchez to the Moncloa (Socialists, Podemos, PNV and Catalan separatists and Basques).

The GAD3 survey for The vanguard
, published in February, granted the PSOE to victory, with 28.2% of the votes and 119 seats in Congress; followed by the PP (23.6% and 97), Citizens (17.1% and 60), United We Can (12.4% and 32) and Vox (8.8% and 16).

In May, more

In parallel, the CIS is already working on the development of a second macro-survey this spring, corresponding to the municipal, autonomous and European elections of May 26. In this case, 18,071 personal interviews will be carried out in all the provinces to be able to offer voting intention data about the European ones, the 12 autonomous communities where there will be elections, and the municipal ones in 52 Spanish capitals.

Likewise, estimates of the distribution of the 54 seats corresponding to Spain in the European Parliament will be offered, as well as the 715 regional deputies in dispute and the councilors in the 50 provincial capitals. The CIS calculates that it will be able to present this data on May 9.

Both macro-surveys will also work as barometers, so as not to break the historical series, so they will include the usual questions of each month. Once finished and presented for the spring election cycle, the CIS will return to the usual routine and present the barometer for May starting in June.

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