The new municipalists defeated in several Spanish cities.

Updated re Barcelona, Sept 2019.

Here is a summary of the major results for the “Cities of Change” (or Fearless Cities / cover of book on the global movement of new municipalism - Fearless Cities, Spanish editionCiudades sin Miedo), where the insurgent, new municipalist, left gained power, in 2014. Most of these innovative coalitions have been defeated by the more traditional Spanish Socialist Workers Party, the PSOE (somewhat similar to the UK Labour Party) or in the case of Barcelona by the forces of the nationalist left (Catalan Republican Party, ERC) and the PSOE allied Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). In Madrid, although the radical Más Madrid grouping got the largest share of the vote, this was insufficient, even with the support of the PSOE and Podemos, to yield a majority of councillors. So the right, led by the Popular Party will now take over with support from Ciudadanos (opportunistic centre right) and Vox (neo-Falangists).

Against this disappointing set of results, the new municipalists in Cadíz and Valencia increased their support, despite the advances of the PSOE.

There are many reasons for these results, and they differ from place to place. In Madrid, the advance of the PSOE, together with in-fighting on the left is mostly responsible. A disastrous decision of Podemos was to support leftists who split from Carmena’s coalition and campaigned separately as Madrid en Pie, gaining no seats but 2.6% of the vote. That’s not to say Carmena’s city government was free from mistakes but factionalism has yielded defeat for the left. In Barcelona, Ada Colau and Barcelona en Comú’s principled stance on Catalan independence against both Catalan and Spanish nationalists (that people have the right to vote on the matter but BeC did not support the secessionists) and calls for dialogue will not have helped her.  However it remains unclear whether she will have to relinquish to position of mayor (see below).

In all the cities, the newness of the PSOE government and the (somewhat) leftward and green turn under Pedro Sánchez will also have led to former PSOE voters returning to the fold.

A summary of the principal municipal results is given in the table below.

Meanwhile in the European election, of those parties gaining representation, the PSOE gained 32.56% of the vote, the PP 19.95%, Ciudadanos 12.06%, Podemos and allies 9.96%, Vox 6.14, the republican left 5.56, right wing secessionists 4.54 and the liberal CEUS 2.8%.

City Change Comment
Madrid Más Madrid lost to the right.

Mayor Manuela Carmena unseated.

While Más Madrid gained most votes, the left vote was split by the candidature of former aliies now in Madrid en Pie which gained no seats. The seats of Más Madrid and PSOE together were insufficieint to prevent an unholy alliance of PP, Ciudadanos (Cs) and Vox unseating the radical mayor, Manuela Carmena.
Zaragoza Zaragoza en Común lost to the PSOE.

Mayor Pedro Santiesteve unseated.

Competition between Zaragoza en Común and Podemos led to ZeC getting just 3 seats, and Podemos 2 ,on the council. As the largest party PSOE will now take the city, although with support from the smaller left groupings.
Barcelona Barcelona en Comú pipped in terms of votes by the ERC.

Ada Colau congratulated ERC leader Maragall but could still retain the mayoralty.

UPDATE:  Ada Colau was able to form a minority administration with the  PCS and the passive support of Manuel Valls, former French Socialist Party PM who allied with Cs for the elections but subsequently broke ranks with them to enable Colau to take the mayoralty while blocking the independentistas (he was also appalled by Cs alliance with the far right elsewhere).

The Catalan nationalist left party ERC might takes over the city, on the basis of a slightly greater number of votes, though the same number of seats as BeC.  However its leader gave a victory speech that emphasised Catalan independence which is not supported by either BeC or PCS (the Catalan Socialist Party, allied to the PSOE).  As Colau says, Barcelona is a city of the left, not of independence.  Maragall wants to ally with the neoliberal secessionists but can’t form a majority. So the situation as of 28 may is unclear.  Colau could form a minority administration with PCS but would need tacit support from outside the coalition from Ciudadanos. BeC stood for dialogue in the Catalan independence conflict, against both Catalan and Spanish nationalists.
Santiago, A Coruña, Ferrol Marea Galicia lost all three cities to the PSOE.
Martiño Noriega, Xulio Ferreiro and Jorge Suárez unseated.
Valencia Compromís retained the city.

Joan Ribó continues as mayor.

Compromís strengthened its position despite increase in vote for PSOE
Cadíz Adelante Cadíz retained the city.

José María González ‘Kichi’ continues as mayor.

Adelante Cadíz strengthened its position, to one short of an overall majority. Podemos was part of this alliance.


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1 Response to The new municipalists defeated in several Spanish cities.

  1. Pingback: Things I’ve written lately, mostly elsewhere. | Uncommontater

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