So, the Andalucian people went to the polls yesterday to vote for a new regional parliament, and they went for... the PP, by a hair's breadth. It was a real cliffhanger - at 10pm, the PSOE was actually leading, but then their lead dropped, they went neck-and-neck with the PP, and the PP just edged ahead. Like watching an exciting horse race. Although the Partido Popular (People's Party) won a narrow, and historic, majority, this was not enough to secure them outright ruling power in the new government - they needed 55 escaños (seats) out of 109 for this. Instead, the socialist PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero España) will most probably form an alliance with the IU (Izquierda Unida, United Left). The PA (Partido Andalucista) only managed 96,608 votes, or 2.5% of the vote, and its future is now in question. Here are the seats, gain/losses, and percentage of vote:
PP: leader Javier Arenas: 50 (+3) 40.66% PSOE: leader Jose Antonio Griñan: 47 (-9) 39.52% IU: leader Diego Valderas: 12 (+6) 11.34% The province by province breakdown is as follows: Huelva: PP 5, PSOE 5, IU 1 Sevilla: PP 7, PSOE 9, IU 2 Cadiz: PP 7, PSOE 6, IU 2 Cordoba: PP 5, PSOE 5, IU 2 Jaen: PP 5, PSOE 5, IU 1 Malaga: PP 8, PSOE 7, IU 2 Granada: PP 6, PSOE 6, IU 1 Almeria: PP 7, PSOE 4, IU 1 Turnout was 62.23%, as compared to 67.25% in 1994, 55.34 in 1990, and 66.31% in 1982. The PSOE's result was a surprise for some, who were convinced that the levels of corruption throughout the party, especially in town halls - mayors and urban planning departments being the most typical culprits - would have put the people off. But Andalucia will remain socialist, it seems. Seville is most firmly entrenched; I wonder if this is connected with the city's fate at the beginning of the Civil War, at the hands of the brutal General Queipo de Llano. People have long memories. It was Griñan's fourth attempt to gain a clear PP majority, and while he won the PP's first-ever majority in Andalucia since democracy, he didn't achieve what he set out to - and what many people thought he would - and many believe it's now time for him to concede the leadership to allow in fresh blood. Turnout was low; perhaps people believe that things are so bad, it won't make much difference who is in power. This disinterest is always dangerous in a democracy, but is it also entirely understandable. Let's just hope the politicians surprise us.