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Franco and Landaluce win resounding backing in municipal elections, as PP and Vox surge across Spain

By Brian Reyes and Maria Jesus Corrales

La Linea’s Juan Franco and Jose Ignacio Landaluce, the Partido Popular mayor of Algeciras, consolidated their positions in the Campo in Sunday’s municipal elections in Spain, winning absolute majorities allowing them to govern their respective councils without the need for support from other parties.

Both received overwhelming backing from Campo voters in elections which, at national level, registered a swing to the right and a surge in support for the far-right party Vox.

With 87% of the votes counted, Vox had secured 1,619 council seats across Spain, up by 1,089 compared to the 2019 municipal elections.

That represented just over 7% of the national vote, up from 3.56% in 2019 and opening up potential for Vox councillors to hold the deciding votes in many regional governments and councils across the country where the PP may not have majority presence.

With 87% of the votes counted, the PP had increased by 1,452 councillors from 2019 to win 21,816 seats, while the PSOE was down by 3,049 seats to 18,292 councillors.

In Andalucia, traditionally a Socialist stronghold, the PSOE lost 620 council seats to have 3,588 councillors with 94% of the region’s votes counted.

In contrast, the PP increased its councillors in Andalucia to 3,184, up by 691 seats compared to 2019, while Vox was up by 127 seats to 230 councillors.

The shift was mirrored in Cadiz province, where with 96% of the votes counted the PSOE won 271 seats, down by 14 from 2019, while the PP was up 57 seats to 202 and Vox was up 16 seats to secure 25 councillors.

In the Campo ahead of Sunday’s election, there had been concern that Mr Landaluce’s PP, without an absolute majority, may have had to lean on votes from the far right party.

In the event though, Mr Landaluce’s PP improved its position in the Campo’s largest city from 13 councillors to 16 in the 27-seat council, two more than the 14 seats needed for the absolute majority, on a 48% turnout, just over 1% down from 2019.

After three terms running the council, Mr Landaluce’s PP registered a similar level of support as when it first swept into power in Algeciras in 2011, leaving it just shy of 17 seats in the council.

The PSOE dropped one seat in Algeciras to win seven councillors, while Vox, which had campaigned on an anti-immigration platform in a city with a large Muslim community, doubled its presence in the council to win four seats.

In La Linea, Mr Franco’s La Linea 100x100 scooped all but three seats in the 25-seat council on a turnout of 46%, one point down on 2019 turnout.

It was a resounding showing of support for a mayor who has worked in recent years attract investment to a city with staggering unemployment, including fostering strong links to Gibraltar.

With 91% of the votes counted, the PSOE, whose campaign in La Linea was led by former mayor Gemma Araujo, had lost one of its three councillors, while the PP retained its single seat.

CAMPO

In San Roque, the PSOE led by Ruiz Boix secured one more councillor than in the 2019 elections, bring its total to 12 council seats and allowing the party to govern with a very narrow majority in a municipality with 21 council seats.

However, with 97% of the votes counted, there was also a shift to the right in the municipality, where the PP retained five councillors but Vox entered the city council with one seat. Particularly noteworthy were the three councillors secured by San Roque 100x100, signalling appetite in the municipal election for hyper-local parties.

In Los Barrios, the current mayor, Fermín Alconchel, consolidated his eight councillors, but the PP also gained two councillors, reaching a total of four, and Vox entered the council with one seat.

The PSOE’s position was weakened after it lost one council seat, while Movimiento Barreño obtained one councillor.

In Tarifa, a change of municipal government is expected after the PSOE lost one councillor, leaving them with seven, while the PP gained two councillors.

Potentially then, the seven councillors from the PP and two from the localist party Nuevos Aires de Tarifa could form a governing coalition to oust socialist mayor Francisco Ruiz Giráldez from the city council.

The councillor from the left-wing coalition Para la Gente would not be enough for the PSOE to maintain control of the Tarifa government.

The results show how local parties have gained ground throughout the Campo to become key players, not only in La Línea or Los Barrios, where Alconchel's project is consolidated, but also in Tarifa, where it will be vital for the new government, and in San Roque, where it achieves significant representation.

In Jimena, the left-wing parties maintain their results, as the IU mayor retains his eight councillors, and the PSOE gains one, which the PP loses.

In Castellar, the PSOE led by Adrián Vaca gained gained one councillor, reaching a total of eight, while IU loses one.

The PP also has no representation in this stronghold of the left.

In Tesorillo, the results of its first elections in 2019 are repeated: seven councillors for IU, three for the PSOE, and one for the PP.

THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE FINAL DATA

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