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Spanish local election open thread

by Migeru 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.

Display:
The 2007 results.  For comparison.  



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 03:01:09 PM EST

Party with most local concillors, by region.

PSOE loses:
Canary Islands to CC
Castilla-La Mancha to PP
Catalonia to CiU

PSOE gains:
Navarra from Other

I find it somewhat shocking that Bildu, the coalition which was nearly banned on suspicion of association with ETA, won in the Basque Country.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 04:55:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember that this is councilors.  So 1=50 in the mountains, while 1=5,000 in Bilbao.  

Then again, maybe they are just really popular.



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 05:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Looks like it.

They have even won in Donostia - San Sebastián



Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 06:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and also: in small towns, if people understands that you didn't vote right, you may get killed.

This help win the elections.

by Xavier in Paris on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not anymore.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 04:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:

I find it somewhat shocking that Bildu, the coalition which was nearly banned on suspicion of association with ETA, won in the Basque Country.

Well, they have a narrative in place as to why both big parties suck, a solution and an organisation in place.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 03:14:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Looks like a PSOE rout.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 05:25:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Source: ElPais.com

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 05:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Total votantes: total votes cast 65.57% [+1.60%]
Abstención: abstaining 34.43% [-1.60%]

These add up to 100%

Within the votes cast, there are
Votos nulos: Invalid votes 1.64% [+0.47%]
therefore valid votes cast are 63.93% [+1.13%]

Within valid votes, there are
Votos en blanco: blank votes ("none of the above"): 2.60% [+0.68%]
therefore votes to candidates are 61.33% [+0.45%]

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 04:40:33 PM EST

Total votes cast is 20.4M

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 05:01:40 PM EST
It would appear that nationalists have won in Asturias.  This has got to be a surprise for PSOE.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 06:21:50 PM EST
That's former PP honcho Alvarez Cascos and his breakaway faction.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 06:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow.  How's that work out? PSOE-FAC, FAC-PP, PSOE-PP?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 06:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody has any clue.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 06:30:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even worse. Check out Navarra.

Only possible government is UPN-PSOE. Or rather a UPN government where the PSOE hold their noses. No way that UPN pacts with the Basque nationalist parties (Bildu and Naforroa-Bai) because UPN is Navarran nationalist.  What a mess.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 06:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK so this is then the question that arises: How are these results contextualized given the enormous youth demos in Madrid and elsewhere in Spain. What does it say about the true extent of backing the demos have? In Madrid I see the PP, reaching 55%. That means that the demonstrators calls for boycotting the two big parties went to nothing. Only a very small fraction of the large losses of PSOE went to its left. But what was the popular attitude towards the protesters? Did opinion polls show a disapproval of their demands?

And what is the PP proposing? Is it promising a way out of austerity? Why is it that all through Europe the apostasy of the Socialists (a process with a long history though recently accelerated) means turning to the original Thatcherites? What are people voting for?

What I mean is that the pictures from Puerta del Sol and the electoral results I'm seeing seem to not add up. An interpreter is needed.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 07:56:07 PM EST
Will if you look at the results from Madrid you see that the PP held steady, PSOE collapses, IU picked up about 1-2%, and a new party called Union for Progress and Democracy picked up 5-10% of the vote as compared to none before.  My suspicion is that those are the people in Sol, plus abstention and blank votes.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 08:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UPyD is the party of former PSOE and Basque PSE politician Rosa Díez. For the first time they have managed to field local candidates after contesting the last national and european elections.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 01:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sort of suspicious because of the involvement of one of the leaders of Basta Ya. They're as bad as Bildu honestly.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 12:04:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they could be described as social-liberal Spanish anti-peripheral-nationalist.

Rosa Díez quit the PSOE in exasperation at ZP's negotiation with ETA and his support for the Catalan Socialists' project for reform of the Catalan Statute.

In a way they're similar to Ciutadans/Ciudadanos which started out from a movement seeded by Catalan-speaking, progressive, anti-nationalist intelectuals.

Rosa Díez has been more successful.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 12:15:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ElPais: UPyD gets into madrid strongly
[Rosa Díez]'s party keeps garnering citizen support since it was founded in September 2007: it got, newly born, one seat in the General election of 2008 - 3006k votes, more than [left Catalan Nationalists] ERC and nearly as many as [right Basque nationalists] PNV --, another seat in the 2009 Basque regional elections and, that same year, one MEP. In those European elections it was the only party that grew in votes since the General: no less than a 47% increase. In these elections, with more candidates on their lists than party members (some 6000), with a budget of barely €1.2M and with a campaign os street events throughout Spain, the party succeeded in establishing itself and getting into the Madrid city council and regional goverment.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 04:20:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People are voting against, not for.
by cagatacos on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 01:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The election was a local election, not a general election. The  PSOE took a disproportionate hit that people are directly blaming ZP for. Everything else is as expected. The protests had been there for less than a week and they don't quite know what they want to achieve.

I haven't seen opinion polls about the protesters - but even people who would vote a straight PSOE ticket even in these circumstances approved of them. As an anecdote, people celebrating the PP victory by the party headquarters in Madrid were both chanting against the protesters and against Bildu. Also, the extreme right wing of the PP party, or at least Madrid regional president Esperanza Aguirre, was extremely bothered by the protests and though they were a PSOE operation against them. The more moderate wing though it was just an issue internal to the left, and they were probably right.

The PP actually lost 50k votes in the Madrid municipal elections:

(That's regional level - in the city itself it was worse - they lost 120 thousand votes, the same amount the PSOE lost, and the same amount UPyD got. IU increased their share by 30k votes)

The PP also lost votes in the regional election in Madrid:

Where are you getting the 55% figure? That's form last time around.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:24:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, the number of null and blank votes in the Madrid regional elections doubled:

Similarly in the municipal elections, region-wide:



Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:28:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No backup, old population voting for the traditional right in the country, young people trying to find something new in cities.

No future.

by Xavier in Paris on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:43:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the pessimistic version.

The optimistic one is: people in Sol have not yet got an influence on the people in the country. Hopefully in the following weeks/months the link will get bound and the movement may get an influence, especially if relayed in other european countries, with always the ajor risk that it be used by the far right.

by Xavier in Paris on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:49:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, probably in 12 months (assuming the PSOE will last asl ong) the only EU country with a social democratic government will be... Greece?

Interesting results for a crisis of global capitalism.

by cagatacos on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 01:33:08 AM EST
The Social Democrats adopted Neoliberal economic thinking in the 90s to remain serious and electable and so became Social Liberals in all but name. The result is not entirely surprising, and people turn conservative in a crisis.

The Spanish election early next year will kick out the last Social Democratic incumbent elected before the crisis started. And then we'll have 4 years to see if the SocDems have managed to reinvent themselves on the economic front or not.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:32:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That then is of easy answer: they will not re-invent themselves in any fair way.

People are highly influenced by the companies they keep. Last time I checked soc dem parties seem to be in pretty bad companies these days.

Furthermore, it would be difficult, at least in some places, to get good company anyway: The way labour is disorganized.

The solution lies elsewhere. Where? Good question.

by cagatacos on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ElPais has a apportioned General election seats using the municipal election vote counts and the result is the data would leave the PP 13 seats away from an absolute majority.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you could have France...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 03:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, you could even have Portugal (the race seems to be competitive again).

But considering that Sarkozy said, about the Portuguese PM, that if Socrates is a Socialist, then he would also be a Socialist...

Oh well...

by cagatacos on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 12:09:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ElPais.com: Rajoy leads a crushing victory
On the street [in front of the PP headquarters], sympathisers sang "this is democracy, and not that Sol thing", on the protests of the 15M Movement, and, then, "Bildu, out", referring to the Basque independentist coalition which became the second political force in the Basque Country.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 04:13:12 AM EST

  So, I wonder: (briefly) how do you read the "messages" intended for the socialist party from this vote?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 08:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  I found my answer here:

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2011/5/22/13599/1435#21

   thank you.  It's interesting.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 08:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to write a post-election analysis diary later today or tomorrow.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 09:19:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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