SEVILLE – The Partido Popular (PP) took a stunning victory in Andalucia’s elections on Sunday. Juanma Moreno will rule the southern Spanish state with an absolute majority. Support from the extreme right-wing Vox is no longer necessary.
The conservative People’s Party has won 58 seats (43.1%) in the regional parliament in Seville. That is 32 more than in the 2018 elections. The absolute majority is 55 MPs. Sánchez’s socialist PSOE, which ruled the most populous community for decades until 2018, finished in a distant second place with 30 seats (down 3 seats and 24.1%). Since Andalucia used to be the socialist stronghold of the PSOE and the PP ruled in coalition in recent years, the result of the elections on Sunday can be described as historic. The PSOE has been the ruling party in Andalucia since the first democratic elections were held after Franco’s death.
For Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the PP’s victory is ringing alarm bells, according to Spanish media. PSOE lost three seats and fell to a total of 30 in the regional parliament. The centre party Ciudadanos suffered the biggest loss and suffered another electoral disaster, losing all 21 seats. There are also indications that PSOE voters have defected to the PP.
The elections in Andalucia are also seen by political experts as a rejection of Vox. Although this party known as the extreme right has gone from two to fourteen seats, they had counted on at least twenty seats. Consequently, it is now suggested that support for the PP was partly driven by fears of Vox.
The left-wing electoral alliance Pro Andalucía got 5 seats (7.68%), and the left-wing alliance Adelante Andalucía got 2 seats (4.57%).
PP is also a national threat to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez
The success of the PP in Andalucia also means strong momentum for PP president Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who was only elected in April. Like Moreno, he is considered a moderate conservative and could pose a threat to Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in the next national elections. They will probably take place in November next year.
Election campaign topics
The election campaign was about the high unemployment rate in Andalucia, which stands at almost 20%. That is almost six percentage points higher than the Spanish average. Politics during the corona pandemic, climate change from which Andalucia is already clearly suffering due to its geographical location, and immigration via the Mediterranean were also controversial topics.
Moreno takes to Twitter
After the results were announced, Moreno of the PP Tweeted, “we believed, we dreamed and we have made it a reality. For the first time, the @ppandaluz gets an absolute majority. But the most important thing is that #Andalucía will have a moderate government of all Andalucians”.