Socialists win Catalan elections

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Salvador Illa
ASSSA

As the polls predicted, the election win in the regional elections in Catalonia went to the Catalan Socialists.

After the polls closed and with almost 99% of the votes counted, Salvador Illa of the Socialist Party (PSC) is considered the big winner of these Catalan elections with 42 seats. The Junts party, led from abroad by Carles Puigdemont, follows in second place with an improvement compared to 2021, with three additional MPs (35 in total). Further away is ERC with 20 seats in Parliament. This is a significant loss of 13 seats and thus leadership within the independence bloc.

The parties that strive for an independent Catalonia will therefore not win the Catalan elections. This means that Carles Puigdemont, the Junts party leader, cannot make a new bid for independence after these elections. This is what the politician living in exile because of his role in the illegal independence referendum in 2017 hoped for because of a possible new Spanish law that could grant him and other politicians amnesty.

Other parties

The Partido Popular (PP) is the fourth party with the most votes with 15 seats. That is a significant gain compared to 2021 and taking advantage of the collapse of the Ciudadanos party. Vox retains its position as the fifth party in Parliament without losing ground despite the rise of PP. Parties with fewer than ten seats are the left-wing Comuns-Sumar (6 seats), CUP (4 parliamentarians) and Aliança Catalana with two seats. The latter will therefore take a seat in the Catalan Parliament for the first time.

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The formation of government

Of the many political forces in Parliament, only three parties had the chance to lead the Generalitat de Catalunya: Salvador Illa with PSC, ERC led by Pere Aragonès and Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya. Illa, the former minister, was the big favourite according to all polls during the election campaign. Now, with the election results known, the key to power lies in the possible coalitions that PSC can form.

Possible coalitions

A possible coalition could consist of PSC, Comuns-Sumar and ERC. Together these parties would form an absolute majority in Catalonia of 68 seats. The independence bloc with Junts, ERC, CUP and Aliança Catalana does not achieve a majority with 61 seats.

Another possibility is a collaboration between Junts and PSC, although the practical feasibility of such a coalition remains to be seen. Without viable coalitions or agreements, the situation could lead to a stalemate in which new elections are the only way out, with a possible new round of elections in October.

Also read: Spain is eagerly awaiting the results of the Catalan elections

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