Socialists Sue Over Polls Predicting Election Loses ━ The European Conservative

Spain’s ruling socialist party has filed a lawsuit against three newspapers and several polling companies for publishing polls predicting the party’s loss in elections. 

The lawsuit, which names the newspapers El Mundo, ABC, and El Español along with the polling companies Sigma Dos, GAD3, and Sociometrica, claims that the polls violated article 69 of the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime (LOREG), which stipulates that a series of details from the polling data must be available to the public to ensure transparency and accuracy. 

But the crux of the matter for the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) was the high number of votes the polls predicted the rival party, the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) would win. 

“We have verified on some occasions how some of these surveys give the Popular Party a much higher result than what the citizens later give it at the polls,” the secretary of Electoral Action of the PSOE, Javier Izquierdo, explained to Spanish media. “Therefore, what we want is to contribute to knowing if what is published as a vote estimate corresponds to the reality of the data.”

The claim filed with the Central Electoral Board (JEC), demands that the newspapers write a correction to their initial articles publishing the polling results, including publishing the data the PSOE alleges is missing. The claim further stipulates that the correction run no later than three days after the JEC hands down its decision. 

The complaint against El Mundo refers to a survey published on May 11th in which some of the information required by law was allegedly not indicated, specifically: “the name and address of the organisation or entity, public or private, or the natural person who carried out the poll, as well as the person who commissioned it to be carried out, the full text of the questions raised and the number of people who have not answered each of them, the margin of error of the same, the level of representativeness, selection procedure of the respondents and the date of completion of the fieldwork”.

The PSOE also accuses El Español of not disclosing “the name and address of the body or entity, public or private, or of the natural person who carried out the poll, as well as the person who commissioned it,” in polls published on June 11th, 13 days after the decree calling general elections for July 23rd was published in the BOE.

Finally, the party claims in its suit that it wants to  facilitate the greatest possible transparency and ensure that citizens have access to truthful information so they can decide their vote on July 23rd “in a free and conscious way, unrelated to any type of poisoning.”

In regional and municipal elections held in May, the PSOE lost votes throughout the country and some long-held regional parliaments and town halls. Upcoming general elections, called early for July 23rd, are expected to reflect the local ones, but the wins on the Right were often by slim margins, and Sánchez has proven himself a political survivor, meaning nothing can be taken for granted. 

While his party is going after conservative newspapers, his government is hiring 101 journalists, presumably for a last-ditch propaganda campaign.