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The minority gov't of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was dealt a significant blow last night when the conservative People's Party (PP) doubled its vote share to emerge as the largest single party in elections for Madrid's regional assembly.
Chart 1. 2019 and 2021 Madrilenian Election Results, Seats
Source: Government of the Community of Madrid, MNI
- The PP of regional president, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, more than doubled its seat total to 65. This is just short of the 69 seats required for an outright majority. The right-wing nationalist Vox, up one seat to 13 in total, has already pledged its support to Ayuso, likely meaning Spain will have its first outright right-wing regional gov't coming to power.
- The result of the Madrilenian election is such a blow to the federal gov't due to the amount of political capital spent by both parties in the federal gov't in trying to boost their respective parties' vote share.
- PM Pedro Sanchez from the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) campaigned strongly in the region, while Ayuso ran the campaign as an explicit rejection of the federal gov'ts COVID-19 restrictions with the slogan 'freedom or communism'.
- For the junior coalition partner, the far-left Unidas Podemos (UP), the result was even more damaging. While the party's seat total rose from seven to 10, the result was still seen as a poor one given party leader Pablo Iglesias had given up his position as Deputy PM to run in Madrid, only for his party's support to rise a marginal 1.6%. In the capital, Podemos' position as the main leftist party has been comprehensively usurped by Mas Madrid, which won 24 seats (up four), level with the PSOE. Iglesias announced his retirement from politics in the aftermath of the election, a major blow for Podemos given he has led the party since 2014.
- The strength of the vote for the PP may encourage other PP gov'ts in Spain's regional assemblies to call snap elections to try to take advantage of a collapse in support for the centrist Citizens, with the Madrid vote seemingly showing that many Citizens voters are willing to switch their support over to the PP. Andalusia is currently under the control of a minority PP-Citizens gov't propped up by Vox, and as such could be a likely candidate for a snap poll.