Election result in National Council clearer than in some forecasts

Election result in National Council clearer than in some forecasts

Tue, Oct 24th 2023

Last polls and forecasts before election day had expected a slight slide to the right. However, the SVP’s result was now clearer than some augurs had predicted. The loss of the Greens had also been estimated in some polls slightly lower than it was.

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Source: x.com

The polls for the National Council elections have been showing the same picture for some time: losses for the Greens, gains for the SVP. In addition, the surveys show stability for the most part among the other parties. They predicted slight gains for the SP and the center.

However, the demographers disagreed on the extent of the shifts. For example, the latest election barometer conducted by the Sotomo research center on behalf of SRG predicted a gain of 2.5 percentage points for the SVP. According to the Tamedia poll from the beginning of October, however, it was 3.1 percentage points.

Gains for small right-wing parties

In fact, the SVP now gained 3.0 percentage points and stands at 28.6 percent. In addition, there were gains by small parties, the Federal Democratic Union (EDU) and the Geneva-based right-wing protest party MCG.

In turn, the Greens’ loss of 3.5 percentage points in the SRG Election Barometer was higher than the Tamedia poll’s loss of 2.7 percentage points. But even this forecast was slightly better than what arrived: the Greens lost 3.8 percentage points. The GLP, on the other hand, remained within the predictions with its new 7.2 percent.

The close race between the center and the FDP for the place of the third strongest party in the National Council also caused discussions in the past months and weeks. This actually close race was now decided in favor of the center party: it comes to 14.6 percent, while the FDP reached 14.4 percent after losses.

Compared to the last federal elections in 2019, there were fewer polls this year. The Gallup and GFS Bern institutes did not conduct surveys, unlike four years ago.

Very different hurdles

In any case, shifts in voter shares allow only limited conclusions to be drawn about the future balance of power in the National Council. The most important reason for this is that in the National Council elections, each canton forms its own constituency.

The proportional representation hurdle varies greatly. While 36 seats were up for grabs in Zurich and 24 in Bern, there were only two in the cantons of Jura and Schaffhausen. In Uri, Glarus, Nidwalden, Obwalden and the two cantons of Appenzell, only one seat was up for grabs.

In this context, it is worth taking a look at forecasts on possible seat shifts published by the media houses CH Media and Tamedia as well as the NZZ in recent weeks. The SVP was predicted to increase to 55 to 57 seats. It actually increased by nine seats, from 53 to 62.

Seat losses for Greens and GLP

The SP was expected to remain the clear second strongest party in the National Council with 39 (+0) to 42 seats. This forecast was more or less fulfilled. The SP won 41 seats, two more than before. The predicted slight increase for the FDP to 30 or 31 seats, however, did not materialize. It lost one mandate and now stands at 28.

Predictions were also more optimistic for the Center Party, which gained one seat and now stands at 29. According to the polls, the Center Party could have hoped for up to 32 seats.

The Greens, who currently have 28 National Councilors, were predicted to lose four to five seats. Here, the worst forecast was the best: The Greens lost five seats and now have 23.

The GLP, on the other hand, had been predicted to lose fewer seats than it has now actually suffered: According to the polls, it could still have expected 11 to 13 mandates. However, the party has now lost six of its previous 16 mandates and now has ten seats.

Overall, the polls had anticipated the trends of the elections very precisely, Michael Hermann, managing director of Sotomo, told the Keystone-SDA news agency. On average, the deviations between poll numbers and actual election results were well below the error range of the polls.


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