For the first time ever, Spain’s conservatives and socialists are to share power in the Basque country. The banning from recent elections of radical left-wing parties with suspected links to ETA left the ruling Basque Nationalists with no natural allies. Despite winning the most seats, the PNV had no overall majority and was forced out.In its place the Basque socialist leader Patxi Lopez will become regional prime minister, a significant political boost for Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The post of regional parliament head will be filled by the right. The surprise outcome ends a three-decade period of Basque Nationalist rule in the region. The PNV had enjoyed unbroken rule since 1980, but now faces time in opposition.