Spain Facing Local Election Shakeup

Spain Facing Local Election ShakeupSpain Facing Local Election Shakeup

Spaniards went to the polls on Sunday in regional and municipal elections that could challenge the grip of the country’s two main parties.

Seats in all of the local councils are at stake, as well as places in 13 of the 17 regional parliaments. Opinion polls suggest that the ruling party and its main rival could both be punished by voters, BBC reported.

Sunday’s vote is seen as an important barometer of opinion ahead of national elections later this year.

Spain’s economic crisis and a series of corruption scandals have damaged the reputations of both the ruling Popular Party (PP) and the leading opposition, the Socialists (PSOE) party.

Analysts say that the PP could lose its majority in almost all of the 10 regions it currently controls. The vote could open the door for newer parties such as Ciudadanos and the anti-austerity party Podemos.

Podemos - meaning “We can” - came third in Andalusia’s regional election in March. The PSOE, who have governed Andalusia for more than 30 years, were left short of a majority.

Podemos, a leftist grassroots movement launched in January 2014, unexpectedly won five seats in last year’s European elections.