Spain’s new parties, the anti-austerity Podemos and market-friendly Ciudadanos have made strong headway in regional elections in another setback for the mainstream parties.
In Barcelona a left-wing coalotion backed by Podemos beat pro-independence parties in a setback for the separatist movement.
But the big losses were for the ruling People’s Party. It looked set to lose its absolute majority in regional bastions Madrid and Valencia, where potential left-wing coalitions could send the party into opposition for the first time in 20 years.
Nationally the PP got more votes than any other party, but the result punishes
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for spending cuts and a series of corruption scandals – in spite of an economic rebound.
Coalitions and compromises now beckon for the main parties in most Spanish regions ahead of national elections expected in November.