The Socialists (PSOE) have emerged as winners in the Spanish region of Andalusia in a election which has produced a possible foretaste of political upheaval ahead of a national poll later this year.
The left wingers garnered 47 seats out of 109 in the regional parliament, but it was the performance of two newcomers that surprised many.
Only a year old, anti-austerity Podemos took 15 seats while Ciudadanos (meaning Citizens) on the centre-right grabbed nine undermining support for the two mainstream parties.
Podemos candidate and leader in Andalusia, Teresa Rodríguez said:
“We are the protagonists of change, we are the protagonists for creating new alternatives, of new initiatives at street level to answer the urgent needs of the majority of our country’s population. The scenario in Andalusia and in Spain has already changed.”
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s ruling People’s Party (PP) suffered heavy loses to take second place with 33 seats. Warnings that the new parties were a danger to Spain’s fragile recovery appear to have gone unheeded.
Reporting for euronews Francisco Fuentes said:
“The socialists held on to power but the regional elections in Andalusia have opened up a new era with a new Andalusian Parliament, this time with more political groups. The People’s Party is certainly the biggest loser from this development.”