London.—A total of 22'712 foreign residents in the Balearics have registered to vote in this Sunday's local elections, but, as the Bulletin has been reporting, it is extremely important that as many as possible get out and exercise their right to vote.

There obviously appears to be more interest than four years ago because 3'142 more foreign residents have registered to vote and it is going to be a great day to go to the polls with the weather forecast to be a mixture of sun and showers.

Here in the Balearics, the foreign community with the largest body of voters is German followed by 5'103 residents from the United Kingdom and in some of the smaller municipalities, the foreign vote could make all the difference.

While, in municipalities like Calvia, which has the largest percentage of foreign voters, it will be interesting to see which party they vote for.
Santa Ponsa battle
Yesterday, sources on the campaign trail in Calvia admitted that the outcome was not looking very clear with Santa Ponsa apparently being the key battle ground for all the parties.

This time, all of the main parties have made a concerted effort to not only target the foreign voters but also include some of the foreign community's primary concerns, such as the reintroduction of the residents card, in their manifesto - but both the PP and the Socialists have promised to address the residents permit issue before and, as yet nothing has been done by either party.

The outgoing Calvia Councillor for Foreign Affairs, Kate Mentink, who is now head of the Partido Popular's Commission for European Residents in the Balearics and Madrid, has been stressing to the Bulletin of the importance of having a good turn out of foreign voters.

In 2007, the turn out was disappointing and did not live up to the expectations of the main parties and Mentink admitted that her target for this year was to have had around 24'000 foreign residents registered.

However, there has been an increase and now the important thing is for all of the 22'712 to vote.
Early election
The latest polls suggest that the regional and municipal elections are expected to deal a severe blow to the ruling Socialists as voters blame them for persistent high unemployment and a struggling economy.

The results would put the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP) in power in most of the country's regional legislatures and city councils, even in traditional left-wing strongholds.

And this could increase the chance of Spain having an early general election.