Balearics is ignored in Congress. | ZIPI - EFE - EFE

The Balearic Islands has one of the lowest representations in the national Congress of Deputies among regions and provinces of Spain. The islands rank 41st in terms of deputy per population: eight for some 1,100,000 people.

In the event that traditional bipartisanship (the Partido Popular and PSOE) is broken at the forthcoming election, some peculiar situations could arise in Congress, such as with the party that receives most votes not obtaining the most seats. In the Balearics, as with some other constituencies, such as Madrid and Catalonia, seats in Congress are comparatively scarce, given population size, compared with regions such as Castile Leon and Castile-La Mancha and Aragon.

It will be in these provinces, experts believe, where the election’s outcome will be decided. The Balearics has a ratio of one deputy for each 138,000 people. By contrast, for example, Soria in Castile Leon has two seats up for election, but it only has 92,000 inhabitants. Many other provinces have ratios of one seat for 50,000 to 60,000 people. In these parts of Spain, therefore, seats in Congress will come much more “cheaply” than in the Balearics and other more “expensive” regions.

Senior figures within the Partido Popular acknowledge that no one should be under any delusion. “The election will be won in the numerous provinces with small populations and much smaller ratios.” Sources within PSOE say that there needs to be an adjustment to these ratios in the future. “It’s not right that a vote is worth very much more than others in determining the election of the prime minister.”

The Balearics lies behind important areas such as Alicante, Seville, Malaga and Barcelona in terms of Congress deputies. In practice, it is said that the Balearic vote is worth less than a half of a vote in places like Segovia (with 53,000 people). The balance has been complicated by the era of austerity, which has demanded that the number of deputies should not increase. The distribution of seats highlights a “demographic disequilibrium in Spain” with a densely populated periphery - Madrid with 36 seats and Barcelona with 35 - and an inner plateau with few residents who can decide the election outcome