Indonesia’s legislative elections went off without a hitch on April 9. For everyone, that is, except for the PDI-P. It will be awhile until we know the full results, but these results will be interpreted as disappointing for PDI-P supporters and their fellow travelers. Look at this:
We don’t know the seat shares for 2014, just the vote shares, and these are just provisional still. It seems that PDI-P (the bright red) will get the plurality of the votes, but it won’t even crack 20%. As I tweeted when I saw the numbers,
Jokowi w/ PDI-P at 19% != Jokowi w/ PDI-P at 25%. Goodbye agency, hello structure
— Tom Pepinsky (@TomPepinsky) April 9, 2014
I’ll admit that I’m surprised—when I wrote about what “the Jokowi effect” could mean last month, I was careful to say that
There are lots of “ifs” in this scenario. It is a long shot, simply because the structural constraints are really strong — in a country with lax party discipline and fluid partisan attachments, it is unlikely that power-seeking retired generals and businessmen will give up the parties that they have spent so much money to create.
What I did not expect, of course, was that PDI-P would fail to reach 20% of the popular vote. This is one of the “ifs” that I hadn’t anticipated.
There is little more that I could add that hasn’t been said by others who watched the vote unfold, and from 10,000 miles away from the action, there’s no real on-the-ground insight that I can provide. I’d recommend four quick reads for those interested in learning more from those who were there.