They say that a week is a long time in politics so the last 10 days might have seemed like a lifetime for some after the 26 May local elections proved inconclusive for San Antonio.
As predicted there was no clear majority so now it’s all about negotiations between the 5 parties that won seats and, as sometimes happens with proportional representation, those with the fewest votes have the strongest hand.
A low 49% turnout saw the Partido Popular (PP) defy the critics coming first with just over 3000 votes and gaining 9 seats. The Socialist Party (PSOE) came in second winning 8 seats with 2853 votes while Podemos came in 3rd with 870 votes and 2 seats. The PXE Party (Proposal for Ibiza) gained 458 votes and 1 seat and finally Ciudadanos’ (C’s) returned 436 votes winning 1 seat.
11 seats are needed to form a majority in the 21 seat council so some simple maths is all that’s required to work out that 3 parties will need to team up together to form a coalition government……and this is where it gets interesting.
The centre right C’s have clearly stated on a national level that they won’t work with the left wing Podemos under any circumstances so PSOE’s only hope is that the moderate PXE party join with them and Podemos……,, however PXE had a very public fallout with PSOE just before the election after one of their team switched sides, something which isn’t taken lightly in Spanish politics.
This spat is still rumbling on and PXE refuse to negotiate with PSOE until they remove their former member from any prospective government team, something they have so far refused to do.
One way forward is for PP, PXE and C’s to form an 11 seat majority government but there’s no love lost between PP and PXE from previous administrations so this isn’t as straightforward as it appears especially after the centre right PXE decided to go with the left wing coalition in 2015 specifically to oust the PP.
We now have to wait and see if Marcos Serra (PP) and Joan Torres (PXE) can put the past behind them and look to the future while Simon Planells (PSOE) waits in the wings preparing his own olive branch.
The inauguration of the new council is on 15 June so all parties have little over a week to agree on a way forward for a 3 way deal to form a majority government for San Antonio.