It’s that time of the decade again. Every 4 years the municipal elections are held in Ibiza which determines who controls the local town halls and the island council.
This vote is arguably more important that the national elections that took place last month as the local and island decisions are what affects us all on a daily basis and gives a clear indication in which direction Ibiza and its municipalities are travelling in.
The 2015 elections saw the Island council plus 3 (Ibiza, San Jose & San Antonio) of the 5 municipalities become coalition councils with the socialist PSOE party having the majority of seats but having to play lip service with their more hard left coalition colleagues. Only San Joan and Santa Eulalia remained under the control of the conservative Popular Party.
The 2019 election looks like it could split the vote even more with several new parties entering the fray, the PP party will be particularly vulnerable from the right wing Vox and the centre right Cuidadanos who may eat into their core support.
The Island council vote will be interesting after the national elections saw the left wing Podemos party experiencing a surge in Ibiza but the incumbent president Vicent Torres of PSOE has proven quite popular over the last 4 years despite his differing views from his coalition partners.
San Antonio is spicing up nicely with 2 young and enthusiastic guys heading the big parties. Simon Plannells looks a natural fit for PSOE who have teamed up with Reinicia to form a pact going into the election. There’s no room for the polarising deputy mayor Pablo Valdés in his team nor security councillor Aida Alcaraz but the strong list includes several who served on the last council.
San Antonio’s Popular Party is headed by the hard working Marcos Serra who proved to a thorn in the left wing council’s side over the last 4 years as a very effective opposition spokesman landing many blows. He has overhauled his team injecting youth and mixing it with experience to try and appeal to those who may have been disillusioned in the last.
The centre right PI Party who had 3 councillors in San Antonio over the last 4 years have the experienced Joan Torres at the head of their list. PI were the coalition power brokers last time round and could be again however their falling out with PSOE over the swapped allegiance of their number 2 and the subsequent break up of the San Antonio coalition could affect their vote especially with other parties lying in wait.
The real wild cards of the San Antonio vote will be Ciudadanos (C’s) and Vox. These are brand new parties to the island and could benefit from any right wing protest vote. The centre right C’s are well on their way to becoming the 2nd party in Spain so can expect good support come 26 May.
The polarising right wing Vox Party has recently come to foreground of Spanish politics with positive results in the Andalucía autonomous elections as well as the April general election and may well be the surprise package. If they can garner enough local support then they could assume the power broker role this time around.
With less than 2 weeks to go until the elections the pressure is now on for all the parties to hammer home their message and grab those swing voters. Expect plenty of twists and turns and lots of handshakes. Watch this space.