Mixed bag in the first pandemic election in Spain

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Núñez Feijóo is the most prominent voice in the moderate wing of the PP, which is the main opposition force in the Spanish national parliament, and is considered a potential rival of Casado. Therefore, the results could be used by critics of Casado to suggest that he is toning down his combative approach as leader of the opposition.

The leftist Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) more than tripled its parliamentary presence to win 19 seats and become the second largest force in the region. The group overtook the Socialists, who maintained their 14 seats. The left-wing Galicia alliance in Común, led by the far-left Podemos party and torn apart by internal strife, remained without representation.

The Basque elections dealt a harder blow to the PP, which presented itself on an experimental joint ticket with Ciudadanos – a party which shares its strident trade unionism and which had never previously occupied a seat in the region. Together, the two parties won five seats, four less than the PP won in 2016 when they ran alone.

The Moderate Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) came out on top overall, slightly increasing its share of seats to 31, seven less than a majority. The party candidate, Iñigo Urkullu, has been president of the region since 2012.

The pro-independence left party EH Bildu won 22 seats, ensuring an increase in the overall nationalist majority. However, the PNV should continue to count on the help of the socialists to govern. This arrangement has been reciprocal in recent months at the Spanish Congress, where the Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez governs in coalition with Podemos.

The Basque socialists made slight gains by obtaining 10 seats. On a disastrous night for Podemos, the party’s Basque ticket won only six seats.

The far-right Vox party will make its debut in the Basque Parliament with a seat.

The two ballots were postponed from April due to the COVID-19 crisis and local opposition leaders asked that the vote in some areas be postponed again. The 70,000 residents of La Mariña, on the Atlantic coast of Galicia, were quarantined from Monday to Friday due to an epidemic of coronavirus. In the Basque Country, the city of Ordizia has also recently experienced a peak of infections.

In both regions voting took place as planned, with additional security measures. However, around 250 Galicians and several dozen Basques were not allowed to vote because they had recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

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