Spain: socialists sink in Andalusia, far-right breaks through

  1. Andalusia has the biggest economy behind Catalunya and Madrid
  2. Spanish Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE) rule for 36 years to end
  3. Anti-immigrant and anti-feminist party Vox gains significant foothold

The Spanish regional government of Andalusia experienced Sunday, 2 December a historic shift in its political map, dominated for 36 years by Socialist party PSOE.

Electoral results in the most populated autonomous community in the country veered to the right, with an unprecedented weight added to ‘nationalist’ party Vox.

Although the Socialists won the elections, their 14-seat loss compared to 2015 makes a most bitter victory for their leader, Susana Díaz, who has been left with almost no possibility to repeat government. Their 33 seats, even if joining forces with 17 benches from Adelante Andalucía (local alliance of Podemos and IU) or 21 from Ciudadanos, fall short from the absolute majority (55).

Candidates from conservative parties PP (26 deputies) and Ciudadanos (who have doubled their number of seats), Juan Manuel Moreno and Juan Marín, have already been nominated as the lower chamber’s potential presiding officers. Neither disdains the support of Vox’s 12 seats.

Ms Díaz called for early regional elections — they had to be held in March — to guarantee stability, based on polls that predicted an easy win for her group. This result in the polls turns out to be a political earthquake instead.

Low participation of voters (58.65%, almost four points less compared to 2015), the debut of Vox and the rise of Ciudadanos have put an end to the hegemony of socialist and left-wing positions in the community.

New times appear to dawn in Andalusian politics, with the addidion of a right-wing party bearing significant power to bolster PSOE’s minority government for the first time in Spain.

While Madrid press headlines highlighted PSOE’s debacle and called Vox’s increase in voters’ preference a “gallop“, Barcelona media were more prone to call them “extremist” and “ultra-right”.

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