The conservative People’s Party (PP) has won the Spanish General Election with an absolute majority. The PP obtained 186 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, its best ever result. The Socialist Party (PSOE), who are the current Spanish Government, obtained the worst results in its history, winning just 110 MPs. In Catalonia, another historical change has taken place: the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU) have won in the Spanish elections for the first time. The Socialists lose 44% of their MPs in Catalonia, and their main candidate Carme Chacón, is in a bad position to lead the PSOE after Zapatero. The PP continues as Catalonia’s third party, despite an improvement in its results.
Catalonia is the only autonomous community where the Socialist Party has clearly won, but has lost around 35% of its MPs, according to the exit poll released by TV3. The People’s Party (PP) will remain Catalonia’s third biggest force, behind the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU), who will increase their share by some 40%. The exit polls released at 20.00 CET, when the polls closed, indicate an absolute majority for the PP and an historical defeat for the Socialists throughout Spain. The PP will get between 181 and 185 MPs, when the absolute majority is 176 seats. The election day has been calm, with a lower turnout than in the 2008 elections, particularly in Catalonia.
Catalonia and the Basque Country might be the only Autonomous Communities in Spain without a victory for the People’s Party (PP). The Socialists are likely to win once again in Catalonia, but they risk loosing 40% of their seats. If they slump even further then they risk being overtaken by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) or even the PP. A quiet electoral campaign has come to an end, with three main unknown answers: if the Socialist party will get its worst results over the past few decades, if they will also lose in their stronghold of Catalonia, and how the international financial markets will react in the coming days.
In Catalonia, the PP would get its best results in history, and could become the second most voted party in the territory, a position disputed with the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). The Socialist Party, which has won the Spanish elections in Catalonia for the last 32 years, might still win, but it will be a close battle with the CiU and the PP. A major surprise in Catalonia cannot be completely ruled out. In any case, on the contrary to previous elections and as it seemed some weeks ago, votes in Catalonia might not change the final results and the PP’s absolute majority would not depend on its Catalan supports.
Next November 20th, Spaniards will vote for the new Spanish Parliament. They will elect one of the lists running in their province, which is their constituency. Catalans will thus elect the lists running in the four Catalan provinces. Therefore, they will not directly elect Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (PSOE) or Mariano Rajoy (PP), but their party candidates in Catalonia, as well as parties only running in Catalonia, such as the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) or the Catalan Green Socialist Coalition (ICV-EUiA).
According to polls, Catalonia might be essential to ensure the absolute majority to the People’s Party (PP) or to save the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) from getting its worst results ever. The Socialists risk loosing more than a third of its seats in Catalonia while the PP, far from winning in Catalonia, could get its best results. Catalan nationalists ‘Convergència i Unió’, who are the third largest group in the Spanish Parliament, could win the elections in Catalonia, ending the ten Socialist Party victories in a row in these elections.
Catalonia has a different political landscape than the rest of Spain, and it is where the People’s Party (PP) always gets its worst results. Polls indicate that in the next Spanish elections, the People’s Party will be very far from winning in Catalonia but it could get its best results winning between 12 and 14 seats. Looking to ensure an absolute majority in Spain, the PP’s leader Mariano Rajoy plans to better the party’s results in Catalonia and therefore decided to start the official campaign in a town from Barcelona Metropolitan Area.