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Spain - Andalucia Regional Elections

ANDALUCIA REGIONAL ELECTIONS

2022 election result

After three and a half years dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic Juanma Moreno, president decided to hold election on 19th June rather than wait until December. The was proved to be a good move as early summer is an optimistic time and inflationary problems related to the Ukrainian war had only begun to take effect and his unflappable Coronavirus stewardship fresh in memory. .

The PP for the first time ever received 58 seats, three more than the 55 needed for an absolute Majority. This was more than double the 26 received in the 2018 election, more than the 33 he received in 2015. “We’ve made history in Andalucía,” Juanma Moreno, declared on Sunday night. True in the sense of the first ever PP absolute majority, second ever PP government to be formed, but not withstanding the 50 seats his predecesor Javier Arenas received in 2012.

The PSOE-A only obtained 30 seats - 3 down on 2018 - breaking their 'worst ever result' record again. Juan Espadas was the new party leader was not well known outside Seville where he had been Mayor. Not that long ago it seemed inposible for the PSOE not to govern in Andalucia. It had been even been jokingly said that Andalucia was created for the PSOE. It now looks likes Andalucia does not have PSOE in its DNA, it is that Andalucia does not like change; with only one change of Government in 40 years.

There was a large drop in the left which was not helped by the spilt of the left coalition into two. Adelante Andalucia lead by Teresa  Rodriguez obtaining only 3 seats and Por Andalucia lead by obtaining 5. Podemos whose late registration meant they had to campaign outside of Por Andalucia did not obtain any seats. The 8 seats the combined left obtained 2022 was 12 down on the 17 in 2018.

The far right wing VOX party with new leader Macarena Olona obtained 14 seats, just two more than 2018 and suggesting the growth of this party has slowed.

Perhaps the most ironic result was the other big growth party, the centre Cuidanos. They lost all 21 seats obtained in 2018. The Cuidanos under leadership of Juan Marin formed a pact with PP in the last government. Juan Marin was vice-president and his portfolio included Tourism. The pact included commitments on cost cutting, transparency amongst other practical measures. Repeating 2015s experience of the left coalition a pact in Andalucia is followed by defeat for the minor party.

Election Procedure background

Andalucía has one of four regional parliaments that are permitted to call elections independently of municipal (local) elections, upon the decision of the current regional president to dissolve the parliament (the other regions that are permitted to do this are Galicia, Catalonia and País Vasco). The other 13 regions hold their local and regional elections together, on the fourth Sunday in May, in the year before a leap year.

The Andalucia regional elections, are to elect 109 diputados (deputies) to the Andalucia Parliament, one of three bodies of Andalucía that form the Junta de Andalucia. The diputados of the seated Parliament  elect a President (who must be ratified by the King) who in turn forms 'Consejo de Gobierno'.  The Andalucían parliament is based in the regional capital – Seville (currently in the old Hospital de las Cinco Llagas).

The Andalucía regional elections are held every four years. Since Andalucia region was formed there have been elections held in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 25 March 2012, 22 March 2015, 2 December 2018, 19 June 2022. The Andalucia election traditionally coincided with National election. Elections are always held on Sundays.

The seats are divided by the D´Hondt method of proportional representation (the total votes cast for each party in the electoral constituency is divided first by 1, then 2, then 3, up to the total number of seats to be allocated for the constituency – in this case 109), and if more than five deputies from any one party (across all constituencies of the region) are elected, then they will form their own parliamentary group.

Only Spanish nationals are allowed to vote in the regional elections; EU nationals residing in Spain cannot take part in either these nor national elections. They can, however, vote in the municipal and European elections.

Polling stations open at 09.00 and close at 20.00 hrs. Preliminary results are published at 22.00 and then are escrutado (checked or audited) over the next few hours.

Election Result background

The elections take place every four years and the Socialist party PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) won the first nine elections and formed governments since the creation of Andalucia in 1981. The president for much of this time (July 1990 to April 2009) was Manual Chaves Gonzalez who resigned to become deputy prime minister in the Madrid government of José Luis Zapatero. He was replaced by Antonio Griñan who also resigned in September 2013 in favor of Suzana Díaz who took became president in 2013.

2012

In 2012, there was nearly a change in government as the conservative PP (Partido Popular) under the long standing leadership of Javier Arenas obtained 50 seats in the election just short of the 55 needed to from a majority government. The PSOE who only obtained 47 seats and formed a pact with the IU (Izquerda Unida) the communist left wing to form a government, awarding the IU control of three Conserarias (Ministries) the Vice President, Tourism, and Housing.  Antonio Griñan (PSOE) retained the presidency.

2015

In 2015 the president, Susana Díaz (PSOE) broke off the pact with the communist stating ‘lack of confidence with the IU and instability' and called early elections for 22nd March 2015, rather than wait for a concurrence with the National elections or even the Municipals and other most Spanish regions on May 25th 2015. She obtained 47 seats (equal to her predecessor in 2012)  with Manuel Moreno new leader of PP in Andalucia obtaining only 33 (17 less than 2012) and Antonio Maillo of the IU obtaining only 5 (7 less than 2012). The reason for the change was the arrival of two new parties - left wing Podemos obtaining 15 seats lead by Terresa Rodriquez and Cuidanos lead by Juan Marin. with 9 seats. 

Following this result Susana Diaz did not have a majority nor the support of other parties. She was elected president on the fourth attempt on 11 June 2015 with the support of the Cuidanos party. The UPyD party obtained no seats. After Rosa Díez, became their national leader two UPyD deputies left the party's leadership there was a gradual march of party members to Ciudadanos .   VOX presented in Andalucia for the first time lead by Francisco Serrano Castro but secured no seats and obtained 0.5% or the popular vote.

2018

After three difficult years for Susana Diaz, president without a majority and a corruption trial underway involving her two presidential predecessor she decided to call an election in December 2018 rather than wait until March.

The PSOE was once again the most voted party, but only obtained 33 seats (14 down on 2015). There was a large drop in the left with the left coalition called Adelante Andalucia lead by Teresa  Rodriguez obtaining 17 seats (down 3) which benefited Ciudadanos obtaining 21 (up 12). Despite the fact that the Popular Party also fell as in the previous elections, it managed to pact with Ciudadanos in government and for the investiture of Juan Manuel Moreno (PP) with the support of right wing Vox (12 seats) just for the investiture.

Not only the latter being the first time that Vox entered a parliament in Spain this, this was the first time in the history of Andalucia in which the PP gained access to the Andalusian government, unseating the socialists, who had governed since the restoration of democracy.  In contrast to other European countries whose political parties have imposed a cordon sanitaire against the extreme right, both the Popular Party and Ciudadanos who entered into a government agreement (the PP had agreed to 20  Cuidanos demands covering economic stability and government transparency) depending for their parliamentary majority on VOX's votes for the investiture.

Juan Marin of the Cuidanos became Vice President of the Junta de Andalucia supporting Juanma Moreno as President. The term was obviously dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic by reasonable management, economic progress and no crisis lead Juanma Moreno to decide to call an early election at the beginning of the summer of 2022.