By Jason Moore
I had suspected that the defeat by the Partido Popular in the general elections in March was just a protest vote following the back-lash of the bombings in Madrid. I thought that if the general election had been postponed the Partido Popular would have won like the polls suggested. However, judging by the European elections results I was wrong. The Spanish Socialist Party led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero reigns supreme in Spain and they won the European elections pushing the Partido Popular into second place. In other words the election result was no fluke. Spain has moved to the left and Zapatero's decision to pull the troops out of Iraq has been well received. In the Balearics the Partido Popular won but their share of the vote fell with the socialists gaining ground once again. The highly unpopular move of supporting the war on Iraq despite the fact that 90 percent of the Spanish population was against it continues to dent the elections prospects of the Partido Popular. The Spanish socialists election slogan of “We love Europe” obviously was well received.

It couldn't be more different in Britain where the UK Independence Party made important gains taking votes from both the Conservatives and Labour. Perhaps now Britain will have a serious debate on Europe because obviously the British electorate are not impressed by Brussels. I saw a poll in Britain on Sunday which said that 45 percent of British people wanted to pull out of the European Union. This is a sad state of affairs and I blame both the Tories and Blair for not seriously promoting the benefits of European Union. The “wait and see” policy and being at “the heart of Europe” with most British foreign policy being decided in Washington has obviously not been well received. To stop the rise of the UKIP the mainstream parties need to start making Europe their Number 1 priority instead of putting it on the back burner and waiting for times to improve.

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