Isabel Diaz Ayuso takes region’s crown
SPAIN’S conservative Partido Popular was today celebrating victory in Madrid after one of the most bitterly fought election battles of recent times.
The PP’s leadership candidate Isabel Díaz Ayuso underlined her position as a political heavyweight and a rising star of her party after securing 65 seats in the 136-member regional authority, and just four members short of an absolute majority.
Combined with the far-right Vox, the two parties secured 77 deputies in total; the left-wing bloc won 59: the socialist PSOE 25, Más Madrid took 24, and Unidos Podemos 10. It means Spain’s richest region moved further to the right against the 2019 result.
Ayuso came to power in 2019. The PSOE candidate actually won but was unable to form a government despite having the most seats. Instead, the PP in coalition with centre-right Ciudadanos – and supported by Vox – took office.
And the result of the snap election is a blow to central government, made up of PSOE in coalition with junior partner Unidos Podemos. The socialists lost ground in the ballot although Más Madrid and Unidos Podemos gained points it was a minimal increase – Ciudadanos lost all its 26 seats.
And PP national leader and head of the opposition in central government Pablo Casado spoke out as news of victory became clear, saying: “Today, Madrid has delivered a vote of no confidence in ‘sanchismo’.”
It was a derogatory reference to the programme of prime minister Pedro Sánchez; but a spokesman for his PSOE party described Madrid as an island which voted differently to the rest of Spain – and underlined the PP’s terrible results in recent polls in Catalonia and the Basque Country.
“It is a very important region, but it doesn’t represent the whole of Spain,” said José Luis Ábalos, PSOE organisation secretary – he said the party had two years to fight back before the next Madrid election.