In an ugly climate of polarisation and confrontation, Spain goes to the polls in May to elect more than 8,000 local councillors and 12 regional governments, and a new government by the end of the year.
Municipal and regional elections in May and a general election probably in December make 2023 a very political year, and they will be contested in an ugly climate of polarisation and confrontation.
The Socialists have been in power in a minority since June 2018 after winning a no-confidence motion against the conservative Popular Party (PP) government of Mariano Rajoy over a corruption issue, with the support of separatist and hard-left parties, and then winning the general election in November 2019 and forming Spain’s first coalition government since the 1930s, with Unidas Podemos (UP), and again in a minority.
An indication of whether the Socialists will continue to rule will come in May’s local elections when 8,131 municipalities and the governments of 12 of the country’s 17 regions are up for grabs. In 2019’s municipal elections, the Socialists obtained 6.65 million votes and 22,329 councillors, the PP 5.05 million votes and 20,325 councillors, the would-be centrist Ciudadanos (Cs) 1.87 million votes and 2,788 councillors and the hard-right VOX 659, 736 votes and 530 councillors.