Riding on the wave of their victory in the November general election, the right-wing Partido Popular went into the elections for the autonomous communities of Andalucía and Asturias expecting to cement their grip on power in all but the Basque and Catalan regions. The big prize was Andalucía, Spain's most populous region, where they've never held power during the democratic era. With the socialist PSOE apparently in melt-down the PP expected an easy win and an absolute majority in parliament. What happened yesterday was that although PSOE did lose their majority and half-a-million votes, many of those votes did not migrate to the right, but to the left. The PP won most seats but the coalition of communists, anarchists and greens, the Izquierda Unida (United Left) took 11% of the vote, doubling their representation and now hold the balance of power.
It's happy days for those who have been fearing a strengthening grip of right-wing, catholic authoritarianism across the country and proof that Andalucians at least do not all buy into the right-wing political hegemony.
In Asturias too, the PP juggernaut was halted and the socialists remain the largest party, although here the PP appears most likely to form an administration in coalition with the Asturian conservative splinter group FORO.
PP wave of triumph falls short.