Conservatives win big in Spain

May 24, 2011

The regional and municipal elections on Sunday in Spain confirmed the Left’s worst fears, as the ruling Socialist Party was routed and the conservative Partido Popular achieved its largest electoral victory in its history, predicting a similar victory in next year’s general election–although not all the votes that the Socialists lost went to the Right. The New York Times´ Raphael Minder explains:

The Popular Party, the main center-right opposition, won in 11 of the 13 regions where voting took place Sunday. Among the four regions where the Socialists lost control was Castilla-La Mancha, which had been in the hands of the Socialists for three decades, since Spain’s return to democracy. In the municipal elections, the Socialists lost control of two of Spain’s biggest cities, Barcelona and Seville.

Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who has been in office since 2004, already announced in April that he would not seek a third term. The debacle Sunday, however, suggests that whoever replaces him at the helm of the Socialists will struggle to defeat the Popular Party’s leader, Mariano Rajoy, in the next general election.

More here.