An­dalu­cia turns right - sharply

Huge bal­lot blow for PM's PSOE in the region - where it is set to lose power for the first time in four decades as ex­treme-right-wingers Vox get a shock­ing 12 re­gional MP seats

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - SPAIN NEWS - By James Parkes [email protected]­

PM PE­DRO Sánchez's PSOE party won, and com­pletely lost the re­gional elec­tions in An­dalucía on Sun­day.

Although it con­tin­ues to be the most voted party in Spain's largest region, act­ing re­gional pres­i­dent Su­sana Díaz - who fought for na­tional party lead­er­ship was de­feated by Sánchez - is set to lose her of­fice in San Telmo, the seat of the An­dalucían re­gional gov­ern­ment.

The PSOE ob­tained only 33 seats (14 less that be­fore) and lost the sup­port of around half-a-mil­lion vot­ers. With the over­all ma­jor­ity line stand­ing at 55, even the 17 ob­tained by Ade­lante An­dalucía (Pode­mos) will be in­suf­fi­cient to form a left-wing re­gional gov­ern­ment.

Pode­mos, in al­liance with Izquierda Unida, lost three seats in com­par­i­son to the 2015 vote and sees its sup­port in the region plum­met.

Losers but win­ners

The PP party also lost sup­port and reached only 26 seats (33 in 2015), but it be­comes the sec­ond most-voted party in the region and avoid a dreaded over­tak­ing by cen­trists Ci­u­dadanos. The re­gional re­sults were cel­e­brated as a na­tional vic­tory with PP party leader Pablo Casado tak­ing the lime­light in the cel­e­bra­tions on Sun­day evening.

The PP will be ex­pect­ing sup­port by Ci­u­dadanos, an­other win­ner on Sun­day that more than dou­bled its num­ber of re­gional MPs (21, only nine in 2015). How­ever, on Mon­day re­gional Ci­u­dadanos leader Juan Marín said he would be pre­sent­ing his name as re­gional pres­i­dent be­cause Ci­u­dadanos 'was the only party to have largely in­creased its sup­port to change things in the region'.

Far right comes for­ward

A PP-Ci­u­dadanos agree­ment would still fall short of a ma­jor­ity and the only al­ter­na­tive will be the sup­port of far-right party Vox.

This is the first time a far­right party has ob­tained a sig­nif­i­cant re­sult in an elec­tion in Spain, the fact that it has oc­curred in the left-wing strong­hold of An­dalucía makes it even more sur­pris­ing.

Vox, that broke-off from the PP, de­mand­ing a move to the right, has ob­tained 12 seats - poll sur­veys gave them one and on Satur­day its leader said eight would be a 'huge suc­cess'.

Vox did not even have a man­i­festo for the region, as one of its main tar­gets is the cen­tral­i­sa­tion of Spain and the grad­ual elim­i­na­tion of re­gional power. It also has strong view on im­mi­gra­tion, fam­ily poli­cies and the de­fence of Spain and its sym­bols - which ac­cord­ing to Vox in­clude bull­fight­ing and game hunt­ing.

The PSOE had 'dared' the PP and Ci­u­dadanos to rule the re­gional 'hand-in-hand' with the ex­treme-right wingers.

Charis­matic Pode­mos leader Pablo Igle­sias has also shouted wolf! And has urged na­tion­al­ist par­ties in Madrid to sup­port the PSOE-Pode­mos bud­get to en­sure sound gov­ern­ment and 'block the fas­cists'.

Na­tional read­ing

As ex­pected, the An­dalucía re­sults have been given a na­tional read­ing.

The PSOE dis­as­ter is ob­vi­ous and call­ing a gen­eral elec­tion to­day seems the worst pos­si­ble op­tion even if PM Pe­dro Sánchez can­not get enough sup­port for the 2019 bud­get.

PP leader Pablo Casado has slightly re­in­forced his new lead­er­ship, although Ci­u­dadanos and now Vox are eat­ing away as his elec­torate from both ends.

Ci­u­dadanos con­tin­ues to be on the rise and has now con­firmed its abil­ity to get good re­sults both in the richer north­ern region (it won the Cata­lan elec­tions) and in the un­em­ploy­mentstuck south. It seems ready to go head-to-head with 'tra­di­tional' par­ties PP and PSOE, and seems ca­pa­ble of agree­ing with both, although in re­cent months it has been closer to the PP than to the So­cial­ists.

To the left of the left, Pode­mos' bub­ble seems to be de­flat­ing and if An­dalucía is any­thing to go by, it sinks way be­yond the main play­ers.

More wor­ry­ing is the sud­den pop­u­lar­ity of Vox, which has ex­isted for sev­eral year but has this week­end put its mark in na­tional pol­i­tics.

The ar­rival of the far-right wing ac­tu­ally fol­lows a trend that has al­ready flour­ished through­out Europe with the clear ex­am­ples of France, Ger­many and Italy.

Their main tar­get will be to con­vince vot­ers they are not the sup­port­ers of the late dic­ta­tor Franco's poli­cies ('Fran­quis­tas')an ac­cu­sa­tion all other par­ties have made.

Vox leader San­ti­ago Abas­cal (cen­tre with An­dalu­cia can­di­dates dur­ing the campign

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