Sunday, May 22, 2011

Regional and municipal elections in the Basque Country: Nationalist Left very strong

As part of the Spanish municipal, provincial and regional elections, the Southern Basque Country had today the chance to vote for most important institutions: the town halls and the provincial (or regional) parliaments, both deeply rooted institutions, dating from (at least) the Middle Ages.

Following results are provisional and based on municipal elections, when not specified.

Vote distribution in the Southern Basque Country (from Gara)
  • PNV - Basque Nationalist Party (Basque Nationalist Christian-Democrats)
  • Bildu - "To Gather" (Basque Nationalist Left coalition)
  • PSOE - Spanish Socialist Worker Party (Spanish Nationalist Social-Democrats)
  • PP - People's Party (Spanish Nationalist Right)
  • UPN - Navarrese People's Union (Spanish Nationalist and Navarrese Regionalist Right)
  • NABAI - Navarre Yes (one of two Basque Nationalist Left bloc in Navarre, essentially the same as Aralar elsewhere)
  • Aralar (Basque Nationalist Left party, the name is taken from a mountain where a meeting was held)
  • EB - United Left (Spanish wide Left wing coalition led by the Communist Party)
  • IE - The Left (more or less as above in Navarre)
  • H1! - Hamaikabat (meaning "a lot", Social-Democrat Basque Nationalist breakaway party - only running in Gipuzkoa)
  • CDN - Convergence of Navarrese Democrats (Christian-Democrat Navarrese Regionalist party, long ago separated from UPN but of similar ideology, maybe a bit more to the center)
  • Besteak -  Other options (mostly local lists)
  • Baliogabekoak - without value: null votes

See also here the four provincial or charter (foru) elections, as Castile chartered these four territoryes after it conquered them to Navarre, charters that gave the provinces near-independence until 1833. These historical charters are a major part of Basque identity and history.

Essentially four forces remain:
  • the Basque Nationalist Right (EAJ-PNV) with 23% of vote nation-wide 
  • the Basque Nationalist Left (Bildu) with 22% of vote nation-wide
  • the Spanish Nationalist Right (PP, also UPN in Navarre), with 18% together in all the Southern Basque Country
  • the Spanish Nationalist Center-Left (PSOE), with 16% also in all the Southern Basque Country
Additionally, other left-wing parties (Aralar and United Left essentially) together gathered c. 8% but, excepting in Navarre, where Nafarroa-Bai (Aralar essentially) gets 15%, their share is very low. Also local lists, many of them rather lefty and independentist, gathered 11%.

Notable is the advance of Bildu, which is a coalition of three forces: social-democratic Eusko Alkartasuna, neo-communist Alternatiba and independents which are implicitly representing the former Nationalist Left parties, now all illegal by imperial decree.

Bildu takes the provincial government of Gipuzkoa almost for sure and rolls over in many many many municipalities, often small but not always so, taking more than a thousand councilors (the first force by that measure). For example Bildu becomes the first force in Donostia (San Sebastian), the second largest city of the Basque Country, what surely means the end of the long career of social-democratic mayor Odon Elorza.

Bildu has also become the second force in Biscay, even if performing rather poorly in Bilbao and its metropolitan area, gathering 22%.

In Navarre Aralar (Nafarroa Bai) and Bildu split the Left Nationalist vote, with 14-16% each, totaling some 30%. The pro-Spanish Right, also divided in UPN and PP, rolls over with almost 40% of the vote (but actually losing from 2007 when we also factor CDN). In fact there seems to be some slide in favor of the Basque Nationalist Left, not too big however.

In Araba the complex division persists: most of the rural vote goes to the nationalist parties but the capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz, which gathers most of the population, has a lot more Spanish Nationalist vote, and there the Spanish right wing is leading and likely to rule. But in the province the situation is wide open.

Will update later or tomorrow. Further South, in Spain, I understand that the PSOE has collapsed under the weight of its violin policies (sustained by the left but played by the right) but that a lot of votes have gone to other left-wing options. However many institutions will go to the conservatives, who will extend corruption, cronyism and stupidity all around.

Sources: Gara[es] and Berria[eu].

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