June 17, 2022 15:39 GMT
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The centre-right People's Party (PP) are on course to win a plurality of seats in the southern autonomous community of Andalusia for the first time ever in the 19 June regional election according to opinion polls.
- Since the end of the Franco regime and the return of democracy, the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) has been the largest party in Spain's most populous autonomous community. However, for the past four years the regional gov't has been run by the PP alongside the centrist liberal Citizens (Cs), supported in a confidence and supply agreement by the far-right Vox party.
- At present polls show that the PP is on course to emerge as the largest party, but fall short of a majority. It could seek to govern in a minority, or it could be forced to team up in a formal coalition with Vox after the election. This would mirror the situation in Castile and Leon, which held its regional election earlier this year.
- A strong result for the PP would serve as a major boost to the party's national leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo in his first electoral contest as party head. The next legislative election is due in 2023, and a majority or near-majority in an historic stronghold for PM Pedro Sanchez's PSOE could demonstrate the PP's credentials as a gov't-in-waiting.
- Feijoo has sought to present himself as a moderate, is somewhat dour, leader who would serve as a reliable PM. Should PP-Vox coalitions become the norm at the regional level it could legitimise the potential for a repeat at the national level. This scenario could see a major backlash from independence-minded autonomous communities such as Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Galicia. One of Vox's major policy planks is returning devolved powers to Madrid and clamping down on separatism in the regions.