Monday, 23 May 2011

Significant changes to political map of Campo de Gibraltar: Councillors municipality by municipality

CAMPO DE GIBRALTAR (Agencies) It is not exactly a surprise, but the political map of the Campo underwent some pretty significant changes due to yesterday's local elections. Voters were evidently wishing to punish someone for the mess the country is in, particularly the highest by far unemployment rate in Europe, which has hit most of the area very hard indeed. Punishment fell on the mayors and their parties, the exception being Castellar (more on them below). The most spectacular changes took place in Algeciras,>


where the PP obtained a historic absolute majority -16 councillors- that will allow José Ignacio Landaluce to become the first PP mayor in the town's history. For its part, the PSOE got a severe drawing down, having lost seven councillors -it keeps seven, compared to thirteen until now- and almost 7,000 votes. Izquierda Unida (United Left), keeps three seats on the Council, one less than at present, and the Partido Andalucista (PA) returns to the Council with two representatives.
La Línea
In La Línea, the PP no longer has a comfortable absolute majority, as voter displeasure over the way the municipality has been run for the last four years has resulted in only eleven councilors - a loss of four seats, only one more than the PSOE, whom the national debacle does not seem to have impacted locally here, as it gained two councillors. The Mayor's chair is up in the air, therefore, as IU and PA managed to achieve two seats apiece, and thus hold the key as to whether the next Mayor will be the incumbent, Alejandro Sánchez(PP) or Gemma Araujo (PSOE).

San Roque
The Mayorship of San Roque is in a similar state. The PSOE obtained a very tight victory by only two votes over the PP, which in principle grants them seven and six seats respectively and obliging either party to continue governing via pacts and agreements with other parties as they have been doing during the last period, which saw both parties governing for a while, though separately. Union por San Roque (USR) and Partido Independiente del Valle del Guadiaro (PIVG) have kept the same two seats each they obtained in 2007, and the PA increases its number of councillors to two.

Los Barrios
The PSOE debacle in the rest of the country also hit Los Barrios hard, particularly because of the parlous state of the Town Hall coffers. The Socialists are left with a mere four seats, placing them from the governing party to become the third in line behind the PA, which acquired ten seats, not enough for an absolute majority, and the PP, which obtained five.
A surprise in Los Barrios is the appearance of a party called PIBA 2000 (not sure what the letters or the party stand for but will try to find out) and their two councillors, and the disappearance of IU, which will not be present in the next Corporation.

The PP grabbed seven seats here, only one away from absolute majority, ahead of the PSOE with five, and IU with one.

Jimena de la Frontera
Last minute voting counts gave seven seats each to the PP and to the PSOE, in a historical PP landslide in what until now had been a Socialist 'safe seat' (this is a British concept unapplicable to Spanish politics but which conveys the idea). However, IU obtained two councillors, which might allow the PSOE to keep the Mayor's seat if they can both come to some agreement. The PA obtained the remaining seat, down by one from the last elections.

Castellar de la Frontera
The two leftist parties, PSOE and IU share ten councillors each, which would seem to be a punishment vote against the hegemony of Mayor Francisco Vaca, whose loss of votes has clearly benefitted the Left as a whole. The remaining seat is for the PP.

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