Socialists Lose Election in Andalusia, Far Right Breaks Through

The Socialists will probably lose control of the regional government after forty years.

Susana Díaz, the president of Andalusia, answers questions from regional lawmakers in Seville, March 16, 2017
Susana Díaz, the president of Andalusia, answers questions from regional lawmakers in Seville, March 16, 2017 (Junta de Andalucía)

The right and far right did better in elections in Andalusia on Sunday than the polls had projected, possibly ending forty years of left-wing rule in the most populous region of Spain.

Results

There are 109 seats in the regional legislature.

  • Socialist Party: 33 seats (-14) with 28 percent support (-7)
  • Far left: 17 seats (-3) with 16 percent support (-5.5)
  • People’s Party: 26 seats (-7) with 21 percent support (-6)
  • Citizens: 21 seats (+12) with 18 percent support (+9)
  • Vox: 12 seats (+12) with 11 percent support (+10.5)

Possible coalitions

Possible majorities, in order of plausibility, are:

  • People’s Party + Citizens + Vox = 59
  • Socialists + People’s Party = 59
  • Socialists + Citizens + far left = 71

Neither option has been tried before.

The outgoing Socialist Party president, Susana Díaz, has called on the center-right to avoid normalizing the far right, but Spanish media report the People’s Party and Citizens have already reached out to Vox for talks to form a government.

National implications

  • The loss of the Socialist alliance with the far left in Andalusia throws doubt on Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ national alliance with Podemos, although he is still ahead in the polls.
  • However, the polls in Andalusia overestimated support for the Socialists and underestimated support for Vox. It could be that voters were unwilling to admit their support for a party that is still seen as politically incorrect. That has been the case in other European countries whenever the far right broke through.
  • The People’s Party’s inability to arrest the rise of both the Citizens on the center-right and Vox on the far right also throws doubt on the harder line taken by the Pablo Casado, the national party leader. The conservatives may take over the government of Andalusia, which would be historic, but they would do so with their smallest delegation in the region’s parliament in two decades.