By Jason Moore

THE Balearic swing to the right was completed on Thursday night with the Partido Popular winning control of the Calvia council albeit through a pact with another party. Calvia was one of those key marginal seats which the conservatives have always wanted to win but, until this week, have always been thwarted by the socialists. Socialism was one of the biggest casualties of the Balearic local elections and the scale of their defeat was enormous. The Spanish Socialist Party do not control a single council of note in Majorca. What is absolutely amazing is no-one foresaw the landslide Partido Popular victory. Polls suggested that they would win but without a majority even in Palma. What must be more worrying for the socialists, even at nationwide level, is that they wanted to introduce the coalition government system which administered these islands for the last four years across Spain. Even the leader of the socialist party Zapatero had pointed to the five party government led by his party in the islands as a model to follow. The fact that it suffered a crushing defeat by a party under fire across the land for its support for the war on Iraq must give him plenty of food for thought. The reason why the Partido Popular won across the Balearics is simple. There is a belief that with a conservative administration the tourist industry is in safe hands. The Partido Popular, is the party of big business and in the Balearics, big business is tourism. Who would you want in power at a time when the industry is facing a recession?

A party which wants to make tourists pay more to come here on holiday or a party who wants as many tourists as possible and is willing to give the industry all the facilities to do so? And it's that simple. But a note of warning. Some of the ideas the last administration wanted to introduce would have benefitted tourism in years to come. The return of the Partido Popular means a return to the old tried and tested formula which might be slightly out of date.

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