A night of ups and downs for socialists in Spain’s regional elections.
With nearly all the votes counted the left-wing party was set to gain power in one region and lose it in another. In the Basque country, despite winning the most seats, the region’s moderate nationalist party will find it tough to form a coalition. Despite being in power for almost 30 years, the PNV led by Juan Jose Ibarretxe, could only muster 30 seats in the Basque’s 75 seat parliament. That means the regions socialists, who won a total of 24 seats look set to take control. They are expected to form an unlikely coalition with the regions conservatives who won 13 seats. However some hard negotiating is predicted. A jubilant socialist leader Patxi Lopex declared he would seek the necessary support to become the Basque government’s new head. If a coalition emerges it will be the first time since the region became semi-autonomous that a non-nationalist regional government rules. In Spain’s other local election in the north-western Galicia region the results weren’t so good for the socialists. They’ve been forced out by the conservative Popular Party. Traditionally regarded as a conservative heartland, the result will be seen as a boost to Spain’s national PP boss Mariano Rajoy, who’s party have been dogged by a series of political scandals.