Who won in Spain

Following up on the weekend’s post, the results are now in. Overall, the conservative People’s Party (PP) got mauled, dropping from 46% last time round to 33% this time and losing control of most of the regions they controlled.

“let’s get you off to the retirement home”

The centre-left PSOE also had their worst result ever, dropping from 29% last time to 25% this time, but conversely, have been cheering the results, as the results are slightly better than some of the opinion polls suggested and the surge of left wing parties means that the PSOE are likely to reclaim at least some share of power in regions where they haven’t had any for up to 20 years. The big gainers were the new parties: the far left Podemos, with nearly 19% of the vote, and centre-right Citizens, with 12%, slightly less than the latter expected. Both those parties will hold the balance of power in several regions and, in addition to making gains at the expense of the big two, have largely replaced their smaller rivals, United Left and Union Progress Democracy (UPyD) respectively, as the third and fourth biggest parties.

Before I get into the detail of the results, it’s important to note that, as I said in the previous blog, this is unchartered territory for Spain. Unusually in a country with proportional representation systems in place, coalitions are unusual, with single party administrations being the norm. That’s no longer possible.

With Podemos and Citizens being new, there’s no precedent for how they will act and both face tough decisions. Podemos at times has the look of an angry teenager who hates life, the government, his parents and everyone. Having risen on the basis of discontent with austerity measures, it remains to be seen whether they can back PSOE-led administrations, which will not be flush with cash, to put it mildly.

At least Podemos have a clear two-way option: support the PSOE or abstain. For Citizens, it’s even trickier, as they promote themselves as being a pro-market party and have largely grown due to gaining the support of disenchanted PP voters. Having promised to shake up the existing order, can they then continue to let the same old PP administrations continue in power with their support? The alternatives of backing administrations of PSOE and Podemos, either through direct support or abstention, could also prove costly to their ambitions. All will become clearer in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, this is a region by region seats summary/overview.

ARAGON

PP 21 (-9)
PSOE 18 (-4)
Podemos 14 (+14)
Aragonese Regional Party 6 (-1)
Citizens 5 (+5)
Chunta 2 (-2)
United Left 1 (-3)

A swing to the left means the end of 4 years of PP rule here, with a PSOE-led administration likely to follow. The Aragonese regional party have backed both PP and PSOE governments in the past, but even if they teamed up with the PP and Citizens this time, the other parties would have a 3 seat majority.

ASTURIAS

PSOE 14 (-3)
PP 11 (+1)
Podemos 9 (+9)
United Left 5 (=)
FAC 3 (-9)
Citizens 3 (+3)
UPyD 0 (-1)

This was the only region where the PP gained a seat and even then that’s hardly impressive. FAC, the Asturian Forum, had been set up by Francisco Alvarez Cascos, the former PP deputy prime minister, in a huff when he didn’t get the PP regional presidential nomination in 2011. He even egotistically gave the new party his initials. He wasn’t a candidate this time and the poor results mean this may well be FAC’s swan song. Most of his voters probably drifted back to the PP, masking their losses to Citizens. United Left had one of their better results here, helped by having Gaspar Llamazares, the former party leader, as candidate. The UPyD’s solitary deputy had joined Citizens. Overall, after a period of PSOE minority governments, backed firstly by United Left plus UPyD and then by the PP (!) this was a solid win for the left.

BALEARIC ISLANDS

PP 20 (-15)
PSOE 14 (-5)
Podemos 10 (+10)
Mallorcan Socialists plus coalitions 9 (+4)
Proposal for the islands 3 (+3)
Citizens 3 (+3)
People for Formentera 1 (=)

A collapse for the PP, after 4 years, with more than enough votes for the left parties to regain control.

CANARY ISLANDS

Canarian Coalition 18 (-3)
PSOE 15 (=)
PP 12 (-9)
Podemos 7 (+7)
New Canaries 5 (+2)
Citizens 3 (+3)

One of the PSOE’s better results here, holding all their seats. Overall, no change to the regional government, with PSOE supporting the Canarian Coalition.

CANTABRIA

PP 13 (-7)
Cantabrian Regionalist Party 12 (=)
PSOE 5 (-2)
Podemos 3 (+3)
Citizens 2 (+2)

The Cantabrian Regionalists have been happy enough to form coalitions with both the big two in the past and were in coalition with the PP from 1995 to 2003 and PSOE from 2003 to 2011. Given the leftward trend in the country, and the fact they could negotiate more ministerial positions for themselves with the leftist parties than the PP, a left-regionalist coalition looks the most likely outcome.

CASTILE LA MANCHA

PP 16 (-9)
PSOE 14 (-10)
Podemos 3 (+3)

The PSOE had controlled La Mancha for the first 28 years, losing by a single seat to the PP in 2011. The PP had controversially pushed through a reduction in deputies here. It didn’t help, as the left won a 1 seat majority. The allocation of seats on a provincial basis in constituencies of between 5 and 9 members meant that this was one of only two communities where Citizens failed to win seats. If the election had been fought under the old system, PSOE would have had 7 seats more, PP 4 more, Citizens 4 seats and Podemos 1 more.

CASTILE AND LEON

PP 42 (-11)
PSOE 25 (-4)
Podemos 10 (+10)
Citizens 5 (+5)
United Left 1 (=)
Leonese People’s Union 1 (=)

The PP failed, by 1 seat, to win a majority here for the first time since 1987, but will be fine to form a minority government.

EXTREMADURA

PSOE 30 (=)
PP 28 (-4)
Podemos 6 (+6)
Citizens 1 (+1)
United Left 0 (-3)

There was uproar here in 2011 when United Left, who had returned after a 12-year absence to deprive the PSOE an overall majority, then refused to back a PSOE government, letting the PP win the right’s first victory here. With United Left goners and the PP slipping to second, the PSOE have regained the presidency here, even if Podemos abstain.

LA RIOJA

PP 15 (-5)
PSOE 10 (-1)
Podemos 4 (+4)
Citizens 4 (+4)
Riojan Party 0 (-2)

The PP had won La Rioja with absolute majorities since 1995. Citizens could team up with the left parties to deprive them of that, but it’s more likely they’ll back a continuing PP minority government. Also of note, this is the first time that the Riojan Party has failed to win seats as they had held 2 at every election since the first in 1983.

MADRID

PP 48 (-24)
PSOE 37 (+1)
Podemos 27 (+27)
Citizens 17 (+17)
United Left 0 (-13)
UPyD 0 (-8)

A disastrous result for United Left and UPyD in what both would have counted as their best region. The PP also did poorly and the initial results suggested a 1 seat majority for PSOE-Podemos, but this swung later on and the media now expect Citizens to back a continued PP government.

At municipal level, it’s a different story, the PP, who had had majorities on Madrid city council since 1991, lost to the left parties, who, again, will command a one-seat majority. (PP 21, Podemos 20, PSOE 9, Citizens 7.)

MURCIA

PP 22 (-11)
PSOE 13 (+2)
Podemos 6 (+6)
Citizens 4 (+4)
United Left 0 (-1)

The PP smashed the left here last time out but, as in Castile Leon, have lost their overall majority for the first time in 20 years this time round. A deal with Citizens to continue is most likely.

NAVARRE

Navarran People’s Union UPN 15 (-4)
Geroa Bai 9 (+1)
Bildu 8 (+1)
Podemos 7 (+7)
PSOE 7 (-2)
PP 2 (-2)
United Left 2 (-1)

Navarre has always been a weird one, with leftist Basque groups in Geroa and Bildu wanting closer links with the Basque Country and UPN and the PP opposing it. Until 2008, UPN effectively acted as the PP’s regional branch, but the two parties then fell out over a national parliamentary vote. With Citizens having their worst result here and failing to enter the parliament, 20 years of UPN/PP rule look to have come to an end here with a left/Basque nationalist coalition replacing it.

VALENCIA
PP 31 (-24)
PSOE 23 (-10)
Compromise 19 (+13)
Citizens 13 (+13)
Podemos 13 (+13)
United Left 0 (-5)

Valencia was one of the results of the night that the media trumpeted as evidence of the PP’s collapse and it was indeed a disaster for them, losing nearly half their seats, with the leftist regionalists of Compromise almost reaching second place. PP could retain the presidency with Citizens’ support and Podemos refusing to play ball, but, given the controversy over PP corruption scandals, that scenario is highly unlikely and a left/regional coalition looks set to end 20 years of PP rule.

On Valencia city council, the PP had an even worse result, losing half their seats, with Rita Barbera, PP mayor for 24 years, overheard muttering “what a f***-up!” to a colleague. Results there were PP 10 (-10), Compromise 9 (+6), Citizens 6 (+6), PSOE 5 (-3), Podemos 3 (+3), with United Left losing both its seats. In this case, the road is clear enough for PSOE and Podemos to support Joan Ribo as the first non-PP mayor since 1991.

Other municipal elections also produced changes, with the centre-right Catalan party CiU losing control of Barcelona and the PP losing other major cities, including Zaragoza and Seville.

Nationally, all parties, except United Left and UPyD are talking up the results in some way, the PP pointing to the fact that they were still the most popular party and PSOE trumpeting their occasional gains and rubbing their hands at the prospect of regaining some degree of power in long-lost regions like Valencia. Ultimately, though, it’s the end, for now, of two party politics in Spain and the start of a greater period of uncertainty, with the coming weeks giving significant clues as to how November’s general election will pan out.

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