More on the municipal elections in Euskadi

Following on from my previous post, I thought it would be a good idea to add some reports from other sources. The best graphics of the result I can find are from Gara. This is the overall result with the 2007 figures below. Click the image for a larger version.


The overall figures don't match the other reports. As far as I can work out, this is because they have included the results for Navarre, which any Basque nationalist worth their salt regards as a part of the Euskal Herria, even though it is not part of the Basque Autonomous Community. The equivalent of the EAJ-PNV there is Nafarroa Bai (NaBai on the graphics). This is the breakdown for the four provinces.


And here are a couple of press reports in English, from the perspective of Madrid:

Far exceeding expectations, Bildu came second in Sunday's polls with just over one quarter of the total, behind the Basque Nationalist Party's 30 percent but well ahead of the Socialists' 16 percent, results showed.

In the region's second largest city San Sebastian, it even took the most votes, winning eight seats to seven for the Socialists -- who have held power there since 1991 -- and six each for the moderate Basque Nationalist Party and Spain's main conservative opposition Popular Party.

Bildu "has redesigned the electoral map of the Basque Country after the best results ever obtained for the radical left", Spain's leading daily El Pais said.

"The explosion of Bildu", headlined the centre-right daily El Mundo. "In addition to the many reasons that the Spanish have to be outraged, there is now another that is extremely worrying", it said in an editorial, warning that Spain could "face a huge political problem" in the region.

An editorial Spain's conservative daily ABC said the "radicalisation of Basque politics is the worst news from these elections and could have damaging consequences."

Expatica, 23 May 2011

Until now, Basque separatists had seemed to become increasingly marginalized in the troubled northern Spanish region's political life. But the surprise victory of the radical separatist alliance Bildu in Sunday's local elections revealed separatism as a growing force.

The radicals took no less than 953 councillors, the largest number in the region. Bildu netted 25 per cent of the Basque vote, coming second only to the more moderate Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), which took 30 per cent. Separatists had never had as much support, the radical Basque daily Gara rejoiced, hailing a 'new political era'.

But spirits were gloomy in Madrid, where the conservative daily El Mundo saw Bildu's rise as eventually spelling a 'huge political problem' for Spain ...

Prior to the ban, Batasuna had taken about 12 per cent of the Basque vote. Bildu's score of 25 per cent was seen as a sign that a new non-violent separatist movement was gaining momentum in the region ...

The PNV and Bildu now constituted 'a clear separatist majority' in Basque municipal councils, El Mundo said, describing the situation as being 'extremely worrying' for Spain.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 23 May 2011

I trust the language used goes some way towards explaining how big a political shift has taken place, and how concerned those who want to hold Spain together are about it.

Update - 25 May 2011

The full, official results for the municipal elections in the three provinces of the Basque Autonomous Community are here. I've shown two key graphics from it, click the images to open larger versions. The first is the number of seats won, showing how Bildu and the EAJ-PNV now dominate the municipalities. Besteak/Otros are independents.


The second shows the percentage of the vote compared with the previous elections in 2007.


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Anonymous said...

The Spanish state's attempts to terrorise and criminalise the abertzale (patriotic left) movement in the Basque country has failed to crush it. This is a fantastic result and suggests the independence is gaining ground in the Basque country as much as Catalunya.

Syd Morgan said...

Hmm. So being pro-independence and advocating radical politics wins more votes. Wonder that will permeate into Cardiff Bay?

Rhys Wynne said...

Great round up. Very interesting situation. But as Bildu has no majority, this blog post suggests that PNV hold all the cards.

Albert said...

Big kudos to the Basques for making Bildu work. I know that they deserve the results, right now I just am a little envious (twice in one month, after SNPs results!). Also, as always, the Spanish have perfectly played their part behaving like cavemen and giving them all the publicity they needed. Unbelivable results considering that Bildu is formed practically of completely unknown people to avoid the crazy Spanish electoral laws.

MH said...

Thanks Rhys, that's a very interesting post you linked to.

What Maju has focused on is the result of the three provincial elections that took place at the same time as the municipal elections. Those results are here, but the results in terms of the share of vote were very much the same in both elections.

There's a complicated relationship between these Batzar Nagusiak / Juntas Generales and the Basque Autonomous Community, but there will be separate elections to the Basque Parliament in couple of years time.

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