The people of Andalucía went to the polls on Sunday and they went with a new leader in mind.
Mariano Rajoy’s centre-right Partido Popular (PP) won the regional election, but did not secure the outright majority that had been expected.
Andalucía, known for it’s beaches and tourism and one of Spain’s most populous autonomous regions. A majority win would have given Rajoy’s party control over 12 of the 17 regions, and would have been a boost to party confidence just days before the 2012 budget is announced.
However, without the majority, the PP is not guaranteed power as the Socialists can join forces with a leftist party to control the regions legislation.
With 96% of the votes counted, the PP won 50 of the 109 seats, more than it has held before, while the Socialists won 47, leaving the United Left with 12.
Forecasts and opinion polls had suggested a majority win for the PP as Andalucía grew tired of Socialist rule following 30 years in charge, a period stained with corruption scandals and high unemployment.
Although they suffered a devastating defeat in Novembers national elections, the Socialists did better than expected. A union between them and the United Left is not a done deal but United Left leader, Cayo Lara, seems to have given it some thought.
“Today we’ve seen that the majority of voters in Andalucia have not voted for the right. They want change that defends the social model and the equality of opportunities,” he said in a television interview.
“The people of Andalucia want change, but they want change through the left,” he added.
Following on from yesterdays elections, I found a great article on the history of Andalucian regional elections.