Date:September 19, 2013

Local political power, September 2013

The Political Rating Agency conducted a statistical report and analysis of the number of mayors the political parties in Romania have, just before the 2014 elections (European Parliament and Presidential elections) and as resulted from the 2012 local elections. It’s an electoral geography project very important in understanding the structure “political” vote and the coalition potential of the Romanian political parties.

„Local Political Power in Romania” – Report on the political power of parties translated into number of mayors
Press release

The Political Rating Agency conducted a statistical report and analysis of the number of mayors the political parties in Romania have, just before the 2014 elections and as resulted from the 2012 local elections.

The majority of mayors won the elections in 2012 being backed by an alliance logo and brand. For this reason there were no centralized statistics of the number of mayors of the Romanian political parties, considered individually, until now. The Political Rating Agency team identified the political party membership of all the 3186 mayors in Romania, as it was in June 2012. The main conclusions are presented below and extended in the attached report.

1. PSD had after the local elections 1192 mayors – 37,4% of the total, PNL had 808 mayors – 25,4%, PDL had 769 – 24,1%, UDMR had 203 – 6,4%, Independent mayors 53 – 1,7%, PC had 40 mayors – 1,3% and PPDD had 31 – 1% (in spite of the average 8% vote at national level). We didn’t register the later “migrations” and party changes.

2. Thus, we find there are 3 big political “blocks” – PSD, PDL, PNL – that have, taken two by two, a sum of mayors close to or more the 50%: PSD+PNL=62,8%, PSD+PDL=61,5%, PNL+PDL=49,5% (pg. 4, 7).

3. The number of mayors is an indicator for the parties’ voting intention (pg. 5), meaning the number of mayors, designated here as the “local political power” of one party, is a strong indicator of the potential of votes that the party can hope to win.

4. The big parties in Romania are aware and considering the number of mayors when setting up the electoral targets for European elections (pg. 6). The targets recently announced for the next year European Elections by the big parties leaders are very close to what we designate here as the “local power” share of the parties.

5. The PSD mayors “rule” over a population of 6.922.285 of voters – 38,1%, the PNL mayors “rule” over a population of 4.977.821 of voters – 27,4%, and the PDL mayors over a population of 3.938.032 of voters – 21,7%  (pg. 8). We can observe here similar shares of the “local power” as in the case of the numbers of mayors.

6. PNL and PSD are better positioned in the large cities and towns, and in the urban areas compared to PDL (pg. 14-15).

7. We investigated two scenarios for the creation of new regions and the “electoral design” involved, and PSD has the majority of mayors in over 60% of those new regions.

8. PSD can jump from a 38% share of the mayors and a 52% share of the County Presidents to over 60% in the number of the new regions “governors”. Such a development with an accumulation of extra local power for PSD may generate on a medium term a hostile attitude from the other two big political “blocks” and an attempt to create a counterbalance (pg. 12-13)..

9. The electoral law for local elections (for mayors, County Presidents and in perspective for the new regions “governors”) has a great impact in shaping the “local power” of the political parties. The “first past the post” system (the current system) is not offering the option to negotiate coalitions before a run-off and gives a clear advantage to the more powerful party. Therefore, if a similar law will be introduced for all kinds of elections this may force either the emergence of some political “blocks” – an alliance between the “weakest” against the “strongest” (similar to the PNL-PDL Justice and Truth Alliance in 2004), or the “sharing of power” through negotiations by the “strongest” with one of the “weaker” parties (the PSD-PNL, USL model in 2012).

Read the Report here. For the translation please contact us.