Spain’s conservative People’s Party delivered a massive defeat to the ruling Socialist Party in key elections in Andalusia on Sunday, securing an outright majority in the region’s government, according to exit polls.
The PP’s projected victory beat poll predictions in a vote aimed at securing the party’s main ambition of forming a viable regional government without having to rely on support from the hard-right Vox party.
An exit poll by state public broadcaster RTVE showed the BJP winning 58-61 seats, well above the 55 needed to secure an absolute majority in the 109-member regional council. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s socialists are expected to win 26-30 seats and Vox 13-15.
The People’s Party’s victory in Spain’s most populist region and former socialist stronghold of Andalusia marks a decisive advance for the party ahead of municipal and regional votes culminating in general elections scheduled for the end of next year.
Alberto Nunes Feyoo, who took over as leader of the People’s Party in April, has sought to distance his party from the anti-immigrant Vox and establish himself as a moderate opposition leader ready to replace Sanchez. Prime Minister.
Antonio Barroso, associate director of research at Teneo, said: “PP appears to be gaining momentum and Voter concerns about inflation could make it more challenging for Sanchez to sell his government’s achievements in the next legislative election. “
Inflation in Spain hit 8.7% in May, with soaring fuel prices sparking protests as Sanchez’s Socialist-led government grapples with the economic fallout of the war in Ukraine.
PP campaigned for a “hands free” regional government, meaning not dependent on Vox. But leading Vox candidate Macarena Olona insists her party will demand senior positions in exchange for support if the PP fails to secure an outright majority.
In February, Vox won 18 percent of the vote in elections in Castile Leon, northwest Spain, entering regional government for the first time by becoming a junior partner in a coalition with PP.
The Socialists served in Andalusia for 36 years until they were defeated by the centre-right coalition in the last election in 2018. Vox, which was made up of PP dissidents in 2013, failed to win a seat when it first campaigned in the region in 2013.