By Jason Moore

THE countdown to the next local elections in May next year is well underway but the result is too close to call. Six months ago I would have said that the opposition centre-right Partido Popular was on course for victory but I am no longer too sure. New leader Jose Bauza has been dogged by the internal problems within the party and there is a danger that the Partido Popular could spend another four years on the opposition benches.

The Partido Popular has been hit by the corruption allegations involving high level officials in the last local government. I suspect that the Partido Popular will win the elections but will not secure enough votes for an overall majority which will leave the door open again for present leader, socialist Francesc Antich, to relaunch his coalition. This is quite amazing when you consider that the Balearic economy is still in severe recession and there are more than 100'000 people without a job. Bauza faces the battle of his life in the New Year if he wants to secure an overall majority and govern the Balearics. The problem with the Partido Popular both nationally and locally is that they have been unable to connect with the Spanish public. They maybe ahead in the polls but they do not have enough support for a majority.

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