New local political map in Spain as the People’s Party lose much of local power

Interel Global Partnership member Reti España give us their take on the Spanish elections, and the affect of the seemingly new parties.

  • The People’s Party (PP) loses the mayor’s office in 15 provincial capitals of the 34 it had, among them some as iconic as Madrid, Valencia, Seville and Vitoria. It will govern in 19.
  • The Socialist Party (PSOE) recuperates part of the local power: it goes from 9 to 17 city halls in provincial capitals; and needs the support or abstention from Podemos, Izquierda Unida or minority nationalists to govern in 15 of them.
  • Parties close to Podemos will govern in 5 provincial capitals: Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, A Coruña and Cádiz.
  • The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) will govern the City Halls of three Basque capitals; and Convergència i Unió (CiU) losses the government of Barcelona but retains Girona.
  • Of the 10 most populated capitals, parties close to Podemos have won the mayoral race in 3 of them; PP, 2; PSOE, 3; and nationalists from the PNV and Compromís, 1 each.
The new local political map after the establishment of the new local alliances reflects the PP’s drastic loss of much of the local power it had accumulated over the past 4 years. Left-wing pacts have consummated the radical turn that the May 24 elections predicted for local governments. This is the first time since the Constitution of 1978 was approved that most of the cities are going to be governed with a minority. This unstable situation will lead to a new way of doing politics based on pacts and agreements, and one in which it will be impossible to govern in cities without extensive consensus in key issues such as local budgets, general plans and town planning development.
The PP has lost 15 provincial capitals of the 34 it governed, among them Madrid, Valencia, Seville and Vitoria, despite having been the most voted party. It got control of the City Hall of 19 provincial capitals, and in 3 of them it needed the support from Ciudadanos.
The Socialist Party has recuperated part of the local power lost in the past local elections. It set off with 9 City Halls and thanks to support from electoral platforms close to Podemos and other left parties, it will govern in 17 provincial capitals.
Podemos and its close electoral platforms managed to get the City Hall of 5 important provincial capitals – Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, A Coruña and Cádiz – with support from the Socialist Party (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Cádiz) and/or from minority nationalists suchas ERC (Barcelona), BNG (A Coruña) or CHA (Zaragoza). Furthermore, it gets the government of Santiago de Compostela, capital of the Galician Community.
As far as the nationalists go, the PNV managed to revalidate its leadership in Bilbao, although with backing from the PSOE; and it also got San Sebastian with abstention from the PSOE, and Vitoria thanks to the votes from EH Bildu. The latter has claimed power in Pamplona.
CiU has lost the mayoral race in Barcelona but retains Girona.
Ciudadanos, the other emerging party together with Podemos, both of which burst into the political scene after the May 24 elections, will not have the commanding baton in any capital.

Michael McLaughlin

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