The social-democratic government in Spain has suffered its worst local and regional election result under democracy. It lost 1.5 million votes, polling just 27 percent. Its support, once massive, has collapsed after it adopted harsh austerity measures in response to the economic crisis.
Prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist Party has lost control of historical strongholds such as Seville and Barcelona.
The media is presenting the results as a big success for the right. However, the conservatives (PP) only increased their vote by 500,000.
The Eurocommunist United Left increased is vote after many years of decline. And where there was a serious, more radical, contender there were serious advances for the left.
Most wonderfully in the Basque country the pro-independence Bildu party obtained more councillors than any other party. This is despite the Spanish government and Supreme Court attempting to ban it from standing!
In Catalonia the CUP, a radical pro-Catalan independence organisation, increased its councillors from 22 to 101. This suggests that the mass protests of the previous week have had an impact—as does the historically high level of blank voting papers.
But it’s only a change of language
Leeds students have occupied too