Sunday, October 21, 2012

Galician elections: conservatives consolidate, left-wing nationalism advances

Somewhat surprisingly, the Spanish conservative party (PP) consolidated and even reinforced their strong majority in the Galician autonomous Parliament. 

Meanwhile the left-wing nationalists also gained important positions in spite of running divided: the wider coalition Galician Left Alternative (AGE), born this very year and led by historical and charismatic Xoxé Manuel Beiras, got nine seats, while their former comrades of the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) lost five, retaining seven. 

Together AGE and BNG gathered more than 24% of the votes, more than the social-democrat unionists (PSdG, 21%) but, running separately, they are hurt by the D'Hondt method of seat apportionment, which favors larger parties. 

The Spanish social-democrats (PSdG-PSOE) simply collapsed, losing seven seats. It seems that you cannot claim to be a left-wing "worker" party and then apply the politics of Big Capital without even an aspirin. Its leaders are already in "penance mode".

Overall the results appear to send a message of calm to the beleaguered Spanish government (PP), even if the peculiarities of Galicia do not really make this result easy to extrapolate to core Spain, where it is Rajoy and not Feijoo who matters.

The overall advance of the nationalist left divided project actually reminds of the record electoral triumph of the BNG led by Beiras in 1997, at least in number of votes. However it seems apparent that such is the ceiling that independentism can muster in Galicia: c. 25%. 

Main sources: La Voz de Galicia, Wikipedia (several languages and articles).

Update (Oct 23): massive abstention:

The participation figures were brutally retouched so they looked "normal". In reality there was a massive abstention of more than 45%, with all parties losing major shares of votes in raw numbers.

Discussed in more detail here

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