Francina Armengol, enjoying what she has called an "historic night".

27-05-2019

The opinion polls had suggested that the left-wing pact of PSOE, Més and Podemos would accumulate sufficient seats in the Balearic parliament to continue in government, and the opinion polls were pretty accurate. PSOE were set to make gains, and they have. Més, both in Majorca and Minorca, and Podemos were forecast to have losses, and they have.

PSOE have achieved what they have not done previously in a parliament election, which is to have more seats than any other party. This means that they have gone ahead of the Partido Popular in being the number one political force. The PP, as the polls had predicted, have continued their slide, Vox and Ciudadanos having eaten into their support. For Vox, the result is as most polls had suggested, while the Cs haven't performed as well as they might have hoped and indeed as the opinion polls had forecast.

Francina Armengol's hand in the pact is in theory strengthened by PSOE's rise and the losses suffered by Més and Podemos. The practice will be rather different, especially as Podemos have indicated that they will formally enter the government this time.

As the count mounted up, it was evident that there was disappointment in both the Més and Podemos camps. For Podemos, who had emerged for the first time in 2015 with ten seats, their decline is a setback, but it had been predicted and was in keeping with a general ebbing of support not just in the Balearics.

Més, who were almost triumphant at their final rally last week, have been dealt a blow. The left vote has moved back towards the more moderate centre of PSOE and could be argued to have signalled a rejection of the Més nationalist agenda.

The PP, while they weren't admitting losses before polling day, would have been aware they would suffer losses. In the end, the result isn't perhaps as bad as some forecasts had suggested. They nevertheless face a real challenge in attempting to recoup their position. In 2011, they had scored a majority with 35 seats.

The Cs result is somewhat surprising. They had been riding a wave of support in the polls and had been forecast to get as many as ten seats. They won't be satisfied and will have to ask themselves why they didn't do better. Was it due to having a relative unknown as presidential candidate? Did the association with former president of the Balearics, José Ramón Bauzá, affect them?

Vox, meanwhile, will be encouraged, but will now face the question as to whether they can become a truly established force going forward.

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