Conservatives conquer regions: defeat for left-wing alliance in Spain

Conservatives conquer regions
Election defeat for left alliance in Spain

The party of Spain’s Prime Minister Sánchez suffers heavy losses in the regional and local elections. The election is considered an important yardstick for the national parliamentary elections in December, which will decide the fate of the minority government.

The governing left-wing alliance around Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s socialist party PSOE suffered a severe setback in the regional elections in Spain on Sunday as a mood test before the parliamentary elections in December. According to official figures, after counting around 95 percent of the votes, the PSOE can only defend its majority in three out of twelve regions by a very narrow margin. In the other regions, the conservative People’s Party (PP) is likely to win, but would have to enter into coalitions with the far-right party Vox in some cases for a majority.

PSOE spokeswoman Pilar Alegria said at a press conference that the results were not “what we hoped for”. More than 35 million Spaniards voted in twelve regions and 8,000 cities. The biggest setbacks for the PSOE were losses in the regions of Valencia, Aragon and the Balearic Islands, as well as in one of the party’s strongholds, the southwestern Spanish region of Extremadura.

Boost for the Conservatives

In addition, the PSOE is likely to lose the city hall of Seville, the largest city in Andalusia, and one of its bastions to the PP, as reported by the Spanish television channel TVE. At the same time, the PSOE failed to recapture Barcelona’s city hall as it had hoped. According to initial results from the regions, the left-wing Podemos, coalition partner of the PSOE, also suffered a loss of votes.

The PP’s gains suggest that the Conservatives could replace the current left-wing coalition led by the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) in December’s general elections. “The map has completely changed, giving Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, the new leader of the PP, a boost ahead of the elections later this year,” said Ignacio Jurado, professor of political science at Carlos III University.

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