T he Partido Popular didn´t win the elections, the Spanish Socialist Party lost them in the Balearics. The centre right Partido Popular got their voters out in force, the socialists didn´t.

Scanning over the official figures yesterday the Partido Popular polled 2'000 more votes in the islands compared to the 2007 elections, when they failed to gain an overall majority. But the 195'000 votes they obtained on this occasion was enough to give them an overall majority. The socialists, who had governed the Balearics for the last four years, saw their share of the vote fall from 116'000 in 2007 to 90'000 in 2011. It was a debacle for the socialists with many in Palma blaming deeply unpopular Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero for their defeat. I think they are wrong. The socialist debacle was born and bred in the Balearics. For the last four years the socialist government of Francesc Antich has done little or nothing for the Balearics. The famous green shoots of recovery have failed to materialise eventhough they had been promised almost on a monthly basis.

As I said in my Viewpoint in this newspaper two weeks ago you got the impression that the socialists didn´t have the stomach for a fight. They had thrown in the towel long before the start of the actual campaign. Meanwhile, the Partido Popular just powered ahead with leader Jose Ramon Bauza not putting a foot wrong. He was excellent in the televised debate with Antich and he appears to be a man on a mission to cure the Balearics of its many ills. He can govern these islands comfortably because of his enormous majority in parliament. He also knows that he has won in all three islands, Majorca Ibiza and Minorca. You don´t really get a better mandate to rule than that! His critics claim that he is weak and the real power within the party is former Calvia mayor Carlos Delgado who looks set to become a minister in Bauza´s cabinet. It is rumoured that he could either become the next minister for tourism or even education because he would be charged with overhauling the teaching of Catalan in local schools.

Partido Popular sources have said that they are relishing the chance of getting down to work, they have plenty to do. Unemployment is at record high levels and the local economy is still in recession.

Councils
At council level it was a great night for the Partido Popular and they succeeded in taking all the top councils from Inca to Manacor and Palma to Calvia. The new Partido Popular Mayors will find their work easier because on this occasion the key institutions in Palma will also be governed by the same party.

President
Two years ago no-one would have thought that the little known Mayor of Marratxi, would be the new President of the Balearics. I suspect that many believed that the Partido Popular would also suffer as a result of the corruption allegations which have been levelled at many former leading members. But this did not prove to be the case. Bauza has managed a minor miracle in bringing his party back to power with a big majority.

Sunday night also saw the end of the power of the smaller parties who had made such a big impact on local politics. They were effectively crushed by the Partido Popular juggernaut and no prisoners were taken. A single party now has a majority and coalition government is over.