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Galician nationalists posts best ever vote as conservative Popular Party win fifth straight majority

19 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Photo BNG

Luke James

Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP) has secured its fifth consecutive majority government in Galicia despite a historic increase in support for their rivals in the Galician National Bloc (BNG).

The PP won 48 per cent of votes and 40 seats – two fewer than the last elections in 2020 but still above the 38 needed for a majority and more comfortably so than polls had predicted.

The BNG achieved its best ever result with 24 per cent of the vote (+7 percentage points) and 25 seats (+6).

It attracted some support from former PP voters and won a seat at the direct expense of the conservatives in two of Galician’s four constituencies.

Socialist party

But the BNG’s support primarily came at the expense of the Socialist party, which won 19% (-5pp) and 9 seats (-5).

Ourensan Democracy, a local populist party representing one of Galicia’s four constituencies, were the only other party to win a seat as left-wing Sumar and far-right Vox fell short of the 5 per cent threshold.

“These results show that the Partido Popular is the party that best represents Galicia and the one that works for the wellbeing of the people of Galicia,” said Paula Prado, the general secretary of the Galician PP.

BNG spokesperson Rubén Cela said his party had achieved a “historic result” through a “great campaign, which was very intense and also very emotional.”

The left-wing nationalists ran a “positive” campaign “focused on problems related to social inequality,” according to Professor Helena Miguelez-Carballeira of the Centre for Galician Studies at Bangor University.

“The PP has focused on political issues related to Spain’s internal national conflict, painting a picture of the BNG as pro-independence extremists,” she added.

BNG leader Ana Pontón had appealed for a “massive participation” in the elections when she spoke to the press after voting at 9.30am this morning in the capital city, Santiago de Compostela.

Early voting was slower than the previous election but picked up in the afternoon and finished a full 18 points higher than the previous election in 2020.

The right also mobilised its voters, with at least one report of the controversial ‘carretaxe’ practice which sees nuns transport elderly or disabled people to polling stations.

A number of younger voters were pictured staging a satirical protest against the practice by going to vote in nun fancy dress.

Insufficient

Ana Pontón said: “The result is insufficient, because our goal was to give the Galicians a government thar would open a new era. But this result tells us that this country has already changed, that there is no turning back, that citizens will not resign themselves to a Galicia that is declining.”

The PP has topped the poll in all ten Galician elections since its formation in 1989 and this will be its fifth successive term in majority government in the country.

The victory is also a boost for the state-wide leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who was president of Galicia for more than a decade before stepping down to lead the opposition in the Spanish congress.

He will use the result to build momentum for the European elections in June. The Basque Country also goes to the polls in August.


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Richard E
Richard E
4 months ago

Great news for Plaids sister party. The agenda of support for community issues , language and culture, equality etc plus support for small indigenous businesses like fishing and farming is perhaps a lesson for Plaid.

No trendy politically fashionable metro stuff here – the basics worked.

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

Good to see them moving in the right direction.

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