IT must be election time as all of a sudden the Spanish newspapers are full of opinion polls about who is going to win the next local elections in May. The polls say that the right-wing Partido Popular is on course to retain control of the local government although there has been a surge in support for the mainstream socialists, the PSOE, who are in power in Madrid. On the bigger councils such as Palma, the rise of the PSOE, has been noted with some concern but Partido Popular Mayor Catalina Cirer has claimed that she is confident she will retain her majority. The socialists are led by former Balearic leader, Francesc Antich, who is expected to be standing against Balearic leader Jaume Matas for the top job in the islands. One of the main complaints about the Partido Popular government is their controversial road building programme. However, they believe that once all the new roads are officially opened (hence the enormous opening ceremony for the new Inca-Sa Pobla motorway on Monday!) their support will increase. As we have seen in the past gaining a majority with Spain's proportional representation system is difficult. PSOE know that they will never win by a majority but they also understand that if they can make sure that the PP doesn't win one it could just open the door for them and lead to pacts with smaller parties.
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