Socialist fortunes in the Galicia regional election were less bright than in the Basque country. Along with the Galician Nationalist Bloc, the Socialists have been forced to cede control to the conservative Popular Party.
Their win – 39 seats out of a possible 75 – will come as a boost to Spain’s national PP leader Mariano Rajoy, whose personal standing in the party has come in for some criticism. Under his leadership the PP has been dogged by a series of scandals and the party of national opposition has been accused of failing to hold the country’s government to account for the handling of the economic downturn. Although the local Socialist leader played down the defeat, the vote has been seen as the first test for Spain’s Socialist government since it slid into recession.