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Little change in Spain's regional and local elections

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Little change in Spain's regional and local elections

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The votes are nearly all counted in Spain’s local and regional elections. 13 of the country’s 17 regions are up for grabs, along with all the town halls in the governing Socialist party’s biggest test less than a year before a general election.

It appears from exit polls that little has changed overall, with all the big parties maintaining their strongholds.

The big two are running neck and neck in their share of the vote.

In the municipal elections the opposition Popular party may have lost Pamplona to the Basque nationalists, but the situation is unchanged elsewhere in Spain’s biggest cities.

In the regions the picture is as yet unclear, with officials unable as yet to call the winner in two, the Balearic Islands and Navarre, although it appears the PP has lost ground in both.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodruigez Zapatero may find encouragement from these results, but the Popular party’s leader Mariano Rajoy may be facing losing control of a number of important regional budgets.