Local elections across Spain on Sunday saw the further rise of left-wing parties and candidates as an ongoing populist push from below resulted in the worst performance of the ruling People’s Party in a generation.
Fueled by the street-level support that began with the indignados movement in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and other recent successes by the newly-formed Podemos party at the national level, Sunday’s municipal elections revealed Spanish voters continue to be compelled by the anti-austerity and pro-democracy agenda of the left. Demanding a new economic and political vision, an assortment of left-leaning and more centrist parties have now put a serious dent in the hold on power currently enjoyed by the PP-controlled government and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
“This spring of change is irreversible,” said Pablos Iglesias, head of Podemos Party on Sunday night. “We will take up the challenge of winning the [parliamentary] elections against the Popular Party.”
The New York Times notes that while the PP won the most votes overall, the ruling party is “set to lose its parliamentary majorities in most, if not all, of the country’s provinces.” If, as expected, the various left-wing parties can form coalitions with one another, they may have the ability to unseat the conservatives in key areas, including in the nation’s two largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona.
As the EU Observer reports:
Following her victory in Barcelona, Ms. Colau raised her fist in victory and told supporters, “We have shown you can do politics in another way.” And added, “Ordinary people, who normally don’t have any power, had a historic opportunity and used it. Congratulations.”
According to the Guardian: