Voting in local elections whilst protests continue
Today is local elections polling day across Spain. Around 34 million Spanish voters will be voting for 8116 mayors, 68,400 town councillors and 824 members of regional parliaments across 13 of the 17 semi-autonomous regions.
Voting takes place as the demonstrations, which started a week ago, continue across Spain. 13-M or the ‘los indignados’ (the indignant) as the protesters are being called continued to rally in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid and elsewhere, with up to 30,000 gathering in the capital’s main square last night.
Opinion polls are suggesting that the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Jose Zapatero are likely to be heavily defeated. They are expected to lose Barcelona which they have held for 32 years; with the centre right Catalan nationalist Convergence and Union (CiU) party expected to be the beneficiaries.
Elsewhere, the People’s Party (PP) are expected to gain seats at the expense of the PSOE. Key contests include Seville, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Aragon, Asturias and the Balearic islands.