Last Sunday’s elections have bought change to Spain, and it was a change kicked off by a young couple from Almeria now living in New Zealand. Jesús Ruiz and Marga García were officially the first Spaniards to vote after the Wellington embassy opened its doors last Wednesday.
Spaniards nationals abroad had from Wednesday until Friday to deposit their votes for deputies and senators in an urn at their local embassy, if they chose not to use postal voting.
Closer to home, the election saw a greater turn out than in the previous 2011 elections. Across the province 311,059 people turned out to vote for their deputies, 68,73% of the total electorate.
The province voted for six deputies in the Congress, and a further four senators in the Senate. In 2011 the PP took four deputies and the PSOE two. This time around, the PP kept just two deputies, losing almost half of their voters. The PSOE lost only around 4,000 votes and kept their two seats. The other two deputies were shared between Cuidadanos with 14,36% of the vote and Podemos, with 12,79%. IU came a distant fifth, gaining no seats.
Things were different in the race for the Senate, where electoral turnout dropped slightly *over 2011. But the PP kept their three senators, with the four position staying in the hands of the PSOE.
Izquierda Unida, now a mainly communist coalition, came a distant fifth in the elections gathering just 3,49% of the votes in the province, less than a quarter of the votes gathered by the fourth party Podemos. It is a hole that will be difficult for the grouping to get out of, as such a position is severely handicapped by the Spanish electoral law.
Meanwhile, the first PP & PSOE pact in the new political reality came in La Mojonera, where both parties launched a vote of no confidence against the current independent Mayor. Six PP councillors and one PSOE voted together on Monday to oust the six councillors of local party Tod@s. Mayor José Hernández will be ousted in favour of the PP leader in an extraordinary plenary meeting due to be held on January 4, which will see him replaced by José Cara (PP).