Madrid, Jun 20 (EFE).- Spain’s conservative Popular Party won a historic majority in Andalusia’s regional election Sunday, a poll widely regarded as a litmus test ahead of general elections next year.
Left-wing parties saw their vote share drop in the region, a stronghold of the Socialist Party (PSOE) for nearly 40 years after the country’s return to democracy in the late 1970s.
The PP’s regional candidate, Juan Manuel Moreno, who represents the moderate camp in the conservative party in line with its national leader Alberto Feijóo, secured 43% of the vote to take 58 of the 109 seats in the regional chamber.
The outright majority means the PP does not have to rely on the far-wing Vox party to form a regional government, as is the case in other Spanish regions such as Castille and Leon.
Vox pinned its hopes on Macarena Olona as its candidate in Andalusia, but the party, which has the wind in its sails in Spanish politics, fell short of expectations, boosting its seat share from 12 to 14, well below the 20 that pre-election polling had predicted.
PSOE, the party of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, lost three seats in the poll, dropping to 30 in the chamber.
The socialist outfit lost its grip on the regional government in the 2018 elections for the first time in 36 years, when the PP and the small, liberal Ciudadanos party were able to form a coalition with the support of Vox.
Two left-wing formations, Por Andalucía and Adelante Andalucía, garnered five and two seats respectively.
The result of the election represents a stark warning for the national government, a PSOE-led coalition with the left-wing Unidas Podemos party, ahead of general elections in 2023.
The most painful blow of Sunday night’s results was reserved for Ciudadanos, which disappeared off the map by losing all of its 21 seats.
The voter turnout in Andalusia, Spain’s most populous region with roughly 8.4 million inhabitants, stood at 58%.EFE