The Socialist Reign Continues

Six times in a row! That's Manuel Chaves for you, Andalucia's president once again winning the elections. But not, however, without a new little twist this time around. Even though Socialists once again swept the board across southern Spain, the opposition Popular Party has shown its strength - winning 10 extra seats in our regional parliament (while Socialists lost 5!). This is hardly surprising given that a conservative heavyweight, Javier Arenas, is back in his native Andalucia providing a strong lead for his party in this corner of the country. But what happened to our regional party, the Andalucistas? As if someone waved a magic wand, they've dissappeared entirely from the scene, losing all five seats in a single round at the polls. We'll be watching to see whether or not they begin the fight to make a comeback next time around... Possibly President Chaves has so championed Andalucian "nationality", constitution and other aspects of southern Spanish individuality that people no longer see the need for an Andalucian regional party. One thing is sure and that is that socialists will continue to rule with absolute majority (56 of the 109 seats in Seville's parliament). The opposition has made an undeniable gain, however, and it will be interesting to see how the Popular Party makes use of its progress during this coming term - and whether or not it is able to continue to take us down a road that could lead one day to an historic conservative takeover of this decidedly left-wing region.
Blog published on 10 March 2008