Much more than a tale of two cities in Spain, where the big parties’ grip on power in both Madrid and Barcelona has been broken in local and regional elections.
The parties that have run Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship have seen their bastions fall under assault from new left-wing and centre-right parties. Now comes the unfamiliar task of coalition building.
“We’ll work with anyone, but whoever wants to reach an agreement with us must assume that the way of doing politics has to be different from what’s been done until now,” said Podemoos leader Pablo Iglesias.
The ruling Popular Party’s Cristina Cifuenes thinks she can hang onto the Madrid region, even if the city is lost. But she will need a coalition ally, most likely the centre-right Ciudadanos.
Elsewhere it will be the left-wing Podemos calling the shots, and allying with the Socialists. But no-one wants to make a false move before the November general election.
“Ciudadanos.won’t take part in governments we don’t lead, so don’t expect our support in places where we are not Mayor or President,” said their leader Albert Rivera.
“Madrid’s city hall could change hands but pacts between the different formations are needed first. The lack of absolute majorities in all regions and many of the municipalities where elections were held on Sunday extends this scenario throughout the nation. Spain is entering a new era, one of negotiations, something unfamiliar in Spain that could require a new way of doing politics,” says euronews’ Carlos Marlasca.
One popular image doing the social media rounds is a picture of Barcelona’s future Mayor, the anti-evictions campaigner Ada Colau, in her previous incarnation as an activist being manhandled by riot police.