Vox demands top job in regional government PP minority win in Castilla
February 13th, 2022

Ciudadanos and Podemos almost disappear in ballot that leaves regional parliament more divided than ever. Provincial parties do well.

Share of seats in the regional parliament in Castilla y León
Share of seats in the regional parliament in Castilla y León

The Popular Party has managed to improve its result by two seats in the regional parliament in Castilla y León but has lost 60,000 votes and o.04 percentage points of support. Instead of having Ciudadanos in its regional government, like before Christmas, with their 12 seats, now Alfonso Fernández Mañueco will have to reach an agreement with Juan García Gallardo, of Vox, who has improved from one to 13 seats thanks to the early elections called by the PP. “This guy Juan Garcia-Gallardo looks like a Deputy First Minister to me!”, shouted Santiago Abascal during his appearance. They have already demanded a good seat at the top table but Mañueco didn’t mention them in his own appearance. He wants to govern “of all and for all”. He doesn’t have that many options.

Only seven or eight years after starting to grow in Spanish politics, Podemos and Ciudadanos have almost disappeared. Both parties that not very long ago were “revolutionary”, each in its own way, are left with just one seat each in the regional parliament, following along in the wake of their national parties. Voters want less far-left and less liberal centre. The national leaders of both parties should accept their part of the responsibility for the regional results. Unión del Pueblo Leonés, Soria Ya and For Ávila have all had a good night, with seven seats in total for the three provincial parties, all focused on more local issues.

This is the most divided regional parliament in Castilla y León since Spain’s Transition to democracy in the 1970s, with eight parties represented.

And only time will tell if Vox consolidates its position as an alternative further to the right of the Popular Party or if, as is now happening to Podemos and Ciudadanos, they promise a lot in election campaigns and deliver little in government. If Mañueco’s talking “to all” just ends up with a right-wing government subject to Vox’s ideology, it will be the first time Abascal’s party joins a regoinal or national government in Spain. Although technically the PP won in terms of seats tonight, this cannot be considered a strategic victory for Pablo Casado nationally. Vox is starting to look like a winning horse on the right. The energy of this election campaign in Castilla y León suggested that was the case and the results have confirmed it. Abascal is moving forward. Casado and Mañueco are standing still. Vox overtaking the PP on the right in some future election cannot be ruled out. The next immediate challenge will be Andalusia. What must PP First Minister Juanma Moreno be thinking in Seville tonight?

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