Saturday, May 31, 2014

European elections in the Basque Country: map of most voted list by township

I already wrote a quick review on Sunday night on how the European elections went on in the Basque Country. I believe that this map of most voted list by municipality has some interest as well, as it illustrates, even if shallowly, the socio-political trends through the Basque geography.

It must be said that the Basque Country should be highlighted along with Greece, Cyprus and Spain, as one of the European countries where the Left performs best. In the South EH Bildu came first in two of the four regions (Gipuzkoa and Araba) and second in the other two, while the all-Spain Left lists Plural Left and Podemos performed well also, with notable growth that is unclear how it will reflect in elections where the only district is not the Spanish state as a whole.

It is also apparent that there some geographical trends that must be explained:

The Basque Nationalist Left is most strong in the core-Basque area around Gipuzkoa, Eastern Biscay and the mountains, with some important penetration in second tier urban areas like Laudio or the towns around Iruña-Pamplona, and in general an obvious reinforcement in the central parts of Navarre and Araba. It is notable that this time they won in Eibar, traditionally a Spanish social-democrat stronghold. In Navarre it is the only Basque Nationalist option to consider, at least within the context of these elections.

The Basque Nationalist Right is still well established in its traditional stronghold of Biscay (NW). It is quite ironical that much of this area is urban and of industrial tradition and that EAJ has been gaining many votes among the worker class of Greater Bilbao, largely of Castilian and Galician immigrant origins. In Sestao the recent racist declarations of the EAJ Mayor against the Roma community and African immigrants apparently boosted the voters' sympathies for this list. 

Otherwise it is worth mentioning the inroads that the EAJ-PNB has made in the North, while in Navarre it became apparent that the vote for Geroa Bai! does not automatically translates as support for EAJ at all (almost no votes for them in that region).
The Spanish Unionist parties (PP, PSOE) are still very strong in Southern Navarre and to some extent also southernmost Araba, where the population seems quite refractive towards Basque ethnic identity. The PP managed to come first in Navarre in spite of heavy loses, giving some air to the beleaguered President Yolanda Barcina (UPN, a close ally of the PP). Still the Real Left vote in Navarre was ~40%, roughly the same as gathered by Barcina Unionist supporters (PP, PSOE in these elections), so it does seem that the turnover in political power in this Basque region, prisoner for decades of Spanish Unionist corrupt mismanagement, is something very real and will happen almost certainly.

In the Northern Basque Country, politics are still dominated by the all-France political parameters, with clear win for the Unionist Right (UMP). However the Basque Nationalist forces' increased presence is apparent in the many towns won by Europe Écologie and EAJ-PNB in the interior.

Most worrisome is, of course, the advance of the Fascist National Front, which, in spite of getting quite worse results in the Basque Country than elsewhere in the French state (15% in Lapurdi, 11% in Low Navarre and Zuberoa) has managed to come first in several communes (notably Hendaia) and is clearly a dangerous enemy of freedom and human rights to eradicate from our land (and elesewhere).

Sources: Gara, Liberation.

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