0

Palma.—Balearic PP candidate Rosa Estaras will be returning to Brussels after being reelected along with 16 other PP MEPs from across Spain.

The Socialists picked up 14 MEPs with the rest of the total 54 Spanish MEPs coming from the emerging protest and extreme parties such as Podemos (see page 4).

However, it was only these emerging parties which were really celebrating because the two main parties saw their support fall. The turn out was not great here in the Balearics, 36 percent, although many politicians admitted yesterday that it was slightly higher than expected.

But, the community which had the greatest level of voter apathy was the foreign one.

In Calvia, where there are an estimated 14,000 non-Spanish EUresidents registered as living, only 3,500 have registered to have the right to vote in European and Local elections.

However, Councillor for the European Community, Angie Guerrero, said yesterday that, while the official figures are not available yet, the total foreign vote turn out was an estimated 15 percent.

That would equate to around 525 non-Spanish EU voters.

Guerrero was forced to admit that she was a little disappointed on the one hand but also explained that this year, the voting slips were posted with two boxes to tick, Local and European, to indicate which elections voters wanted to participate in and on Sunday, Guerrero said she came across a number of foreign residents who had turned out to vote but could not because they had not ticked the European box.

Excited

"So, perhaps many more were interested than in the past but got caught in this loop hole," she said.

"But, looking ahead to the local elections next year, my team has a lot of work to do to really engage with the foreign voters however, we’re excited, motivated and looking forward to it," she added. "As we saw, there was voter apathy across the Balearics, not just in the foreign community, so that is going to be our biggest battle, to over come voter apathy ahead of the elections next year," Guerrero said.

The Partido Popular may have won in the Balearics with 27.45 percent of the vote but it polled 38,000 less votes than five years ago and the Socialist Party need to reassess its campaign bewares.

It won 22 percent of the vote, but lost 40,000 votes meaning that the two main parties do not command 50 percent of the overall vote.

In Calvia, which has the largest foreign community for example, the PP polled 4.381 votes (43.7 percent) in 2009 but this year won with 3,034 - 29.3 percent.

The Socialist Party which polled just 20 fewer votes in 2009 with 43.5 percent of the vote, on Sunday, won just 2,811 votes - 27.2 percent.

The biggest winner in Calvia was the EU (United Left).

It won just a 1.8 percent share with 185 votes in 2009.

This year, the party polled 754 votes, 7.3 percent of the overall vote.

In Pollensa, the Socialists won relatively comfortably polling 1,271 votes compared to the PP’s 856, although both parties again saw their support drop.

The PP did however enjoy a considerable gain in Soller and its 1,057 votes were more than enough to beat the Socialists who polled 1,418 votes in 2009 but managed to pull in just 799 on Sunday. What is clear, and both of the main parties raised the issue yesterday, is that the political landscape of the Balearics has changed, as it has across the whole of Spain, with the new and emerging protest parties gaining considerable support.

Socialists lost

Rosa Estaras, the returning PP MEP for the Balearics said that while she was delighted to have won again, "bi party politics has taken a step backwards.

"The biggest split appears to be on the left and it has been the Socialists which have lost these elections," she said.

The PP won in Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza and managed to gain ground on the Socialists in Formentera.