Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 01:59:09 PM EST
El Pais: Spaniards go the polls after campaign marked by street protests
Turnout figure holding up so far after demonstrations which saw Madrid's Sol square filled by up to 30,000 people, with other Spanish cities staging their own sit-ins
At 9am on Sunday polling stations opened across Spain, with more than 34 million people eligible to vote to decide on over 8,000 town and city councils and 13 regional parliaments. The campaign has been marked by street protests against the perceived undemocratic behaviour of Spain's major parties, and party leaders will be keeping a close eye on turnout and whether a mass abstention will indeed materialize.
The first signs were that turnout was set to be high. At 2pm, according to information gathered from 96 percent of polling stations, 35.83 percent of registered voters had cast their ballots, about 1.5 percentage points higher than in the equivalent elections tour years ago.
Use this thread as an open thread for polls, results and discussion of the Spanish elections.
Election information can be obtained from the Spanish Interior Ministry at http://elecciones.mir.es/
Regional election results are available from websites run by the respective regional governments.
Update [2011-5-22 18:20:0 by Migeru]: The Socialist party has been routed, losing about 1/5 of their vote in the municipal election. The PP vote stayed roughly constant, increasing slightly, but in terms of seat apportionment they have gone up.
ElPais: Socialists braced for disastrous election verdict
Popular Party on course to win overall victory; pro-independence Bildu poised for success in Basque Country; turnout similar to 2007 ballot; May 15 protestors decide to continue Sol sit-in
According to the results of exit polls, the conservative Popular Party (PP) was set to emerge as a clear overall winner as expected, even increasing its majorities in key regions such as Madrid and Valencia. In the latter the incumbent Francisco Camps seemed set to renew his mandate despite facing a corruption trial, exit polls indicated. The Socialists were also set to lose the city of Barcelona to the Catalan nationalists of CiU, which could conceivably enter into a coalition with the PP to obtain the majority it needs to gain the mayoralty. Voters also strongly favored the PP in the city of Madrid.
Even longtime left-voting bastions like Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura were teetering on the verge of change to PP rule, despite regional leaders' efforts to distance themselves from the central Socialist leadership. Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was asked not to visit Castilla-La Mancha during campaigning. After early counting at press time, the Socialists were still hanging on to both regions by a narrow margin. The Socialists also risked losing the city of Seville.
El Pais' English edition lags a little, the PSOE defeats in Castilla la Mancha and Extremadura have been confirmed.
Update [2011-5-23 1:56:27 by Migeru]: Complete nationwide count of votes in municipal elections:
The main features of the results:
- participation up 2.26% to 66.23%
- null votes up form 1.17% to 1.70%
- blank ("none of the above") votes up from 1.92% to 2.54%
The PP vote gained 560k votes while the PSOE lost 1.5M (in terms of vote percentage, PSOE lost 1/5 of their share).
CiU gained 50k votes, IU 200k votes.
300 thousand votes went to the Basque independentist lists of Bildu in the Basque country. They got 35% of the vote in Gipuzkoa and won in Donostia/San Sebastian.
A new left nationalist party from Valencia got 180k votes.
A breakaway PP faction in Asturias got 121k votes (and in the regional elections they became the largest party).
UPyD, the party of a former Basque socialist leader, also contesting the municipal elections for the first time (the general will be their second), got 465k votes.