La Linea's Juan Franco sweeps to resounding victory in municipal election
Juan Franco’s La Linea 100x100 has surged to a resounding victory in municipal elections, securing 68% of the vote and nearly wiping out all other parties from representation on the council.
With 87% of the votes counted, Mr Franco’s party had won 21 seats in the 25-seat council, with PSOE winning three seats and the PP one.
Despite concerns that Vox could win significant backing in La Linea, the far right party won just 3% of the vote, or 632 votes.
A euphoric Mr Franco, whose party has focused on a grass-roots approach to resolving the city’s problems and challenges, thanked voters for their support.
“It is this support which has given us the confidence to carry on for another four years,” he said.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who has forged strong links with Mr Franco over the past four years focused on fostering cross-border economic, social and cultural ties, spoke to the mayor on Sunday as the results become evident.
“I spoke on Sunday evening to Juan Franco to congratulate him on his magnificent results,” Mr Picardo told the Chronicle.
“The left and centre left in Spain are enjoying a resurgence which is likely to be better for Gibraltar than a surge of the extreme right which happily just did not materialise on the night."
In Algeciras, the Partido Popular led by Jose Ignacio Landaluce topped the poll with 41% of the vote.
That would give the PP 13 seats in a 27-seat council, one short of the 14 seats he needed to govern without the need for a coalition.
The result means Mr Landaluce will have to reach agreement with one of the other parties, most likely Ciudadanos which secured two seats.
The PP was followed by the PSOE, which increased its presence in the council by two seats to a total of eight.
The far right party Vox secured its first two seats in the council, with Adelante also winning two councillors.
In San Roque, the Socialist mayor Juan Carlos Ruiz-Boix retained the 11-seat share needed to govern alone, followed by the PP with four seats.
The remaining seats were split among four other parties, including San Roque 100x100 and Adelante with two each, and Ciudadanos and PIVG with one each.
There will be change too at the Mancomunidad de Municipios, which brings together municipalities from across the Campo and oversees service such as waste disposal, some of which are used by Gibraltar under contract.
For the past eight years the Mancomunidad has been dominated by the PP but that will change, with PSOE now holding the most seats alongside other parties including La Linea 100x100.
Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon said her party, Together Gibraltar, had taken note of the shake-up in Spanish politics, particularly in the Campo.
“Outside of Algeciras, all councils in the campo were won by newer parties, with La Linea 100x100 winning 21 of the 25 seats on offer across the border,” she said.
“We hope that these parties stick true to their cooperative promises and include Gibraltar in their pro-European agendas.”
“If they are true to their word then we look forward to working with to improve cross-border relations, especially for workers.”