Monthly Archives: November 2011

UPDATED: 2011 Spain election results live #20N

Spain election result: The right wing PP (Partido Popular) has won a massive victory in Spain's general elections today. They have achieved an absolute majority, as well as controlling all of the regions of Spain except Catalonia and Euskadi (Basque Country).

Live updates below.

21:53 – With 67% of the vote counted, the PP has 187 seats for the PSOE's 109.
In Catalonia, CiU looks like it could beat the PSC.

20:28 – Andalucia is the most important victory for the PP. They've achieved more voted there than the PSOE for the first time ever. The PSOE has lost about 10 seats in Andalucia. This is one of the poorest regions in Spain and many PSOE voters feel they have been forgotten about by the Madrid government.

20:23 – The Socialist PSOE has dropped by 14 points in Spain ('2 million votes') whereas the PP has increased its share of the vote by only 3.5 points. The PP will govern not because they've been chosen by a plurality but because the Socialist vote has withered so seriously.

Today's elections in Spain will probably result in a significant PP victory. I'll be updating this post from time to time with tasty morsels of doom. I'll probably find some sort of widget to help me out too. My last blog post, about who will win Spain's elections, why, and what that means, can be read here.

20:00 – First exit poll results: The PP has a clear absolute majority in Spain's elections with up to 185 seats. The PSOE is down to 119.

In Catalonia: the PSC leads, followed by CiU and then the PP. The results here are not surprising: the PP has failed to overtake CiU or PSC. Iniciativa (Green/Communist) has done well. ERC maintains 3 seats. UPyD and fascist PxC have failed to win any seats.

19:44 – IMPORTANT: until 2000 (8 pm), the Spanish government prohibits actual results of the elections being reported. So we have to wait just over 15 minutes for first results.

19:30 – TV3 is also reporting that the cost of this year's elections is 6% below 2008's. Austerity in action.

19:00 – Catalonia 'leads the decline in turnout' according to TV3. They always find a way for Catalonia to be ahead of Spain.

18:30 – Voter turnout is down 3.3 points on 2008. This will likely benefit the right (PP).

Spain elections: the view from the edge of the precipice

Mariano Rajoy's PP will win tomorrow's general elections in Spain. The size of the majority it achieves will shape Spanish and Catalan politics for the next few years.

The prospect of seeing the PP in power again after 8 years is not a happy one. While I'm no fan of the PSOE (I think I called them 'the very worst party in Spain' at one point, though I can't find a link), my suspicion is that before long many who loathe the Socialists will remember how much more they loathed the PP last time they governed.

In Barcelona, the general mood seems to be one of totally ignoring these elections. After a swing to the right in recent Catalan and city hall elections, most people here seem to be trying to avoid thinking about having the PP in government. My prediction is that the turnout will be very low.

It is once the PP take over government (in a few weeks' time, according to Spanish electoral law) that the dread will really set in. This is a party running for office in a country on the verge of massive economic disaster which has failed to express any coherent economic policies whatsoever. Their posters include slogans like "Primero, el Empleo" (Jobs First) but their policies will doubtless be savage cuts and successive rounds of redundancies and privatisation.

At the same time, it looks increasingly possible that Spain could be forced into needing a bailout from the European Central Bank or the IMF. I say 'forced' because categorcially, this does not need to happen. The pressure being applied to successive European countries is organised, focused and has at its core the aim to destroy the Euro. Politically, I'm no great fan of the EU. But forcing Spain's exit from the Euro along with other countries in 2012 could threaten the very existence of the EU. I'd rather try to make it better for people.

In Catalonia, there are already some hints that the PP might try to buy an end to the Linguistic Immersion education policy with a fairer share of tax revenues. CiU, craven demagogues that they are, may well go for this. I worry too that fascist groups like 'Plataforma Per Catalunya' (Catalan fascists whose electoral pamphlets are seemingly only published in Castilian Spanish), may win a seat or two.

Finally, I expect this PP government to be faced with huge protests and strikes. One of the many problems with a PSOE government pushing through neo-liberal policies was the failure of the unions to properly challenge them. Now that the PP will be in government, there will be more inclination on the part of unions and workers to fight back. The Indignats (which inspired the Occupy movement in the USA) will also probably fight back harder: I'll bet that more than a few Indignats have voted PSOE in the past and will do again, but that basically none of them are PP supporters. Also, the harder left wing party Izquierda Unida might fare better at the polls this year than for the last decade or so: they may be able to use this to force a more left wing opposition.

So here we are on the edge of a precipice, you and me. We face the prospect of a government which will not have won on merit but by default, with no policies for saving Spain's economy, but hopefully with broad opposition from a curiously revitalised left. People might not be interested in these elections but the next four years will be anything but boring.