Voting on May 28 2023 across the Balearics. | Gemma Andreu

The elections over, one could be forgiven for thinking that they hadn’t taken place. VOTA (X, Y or Z) continue to be the commands on lampposts and will be until a) they have all been vandalised and ripped off lampposts, b) the relevant parties remember where they had put them, or c) are removed to make way for the posters for the next election - the general one that has been brought forward to July.

It is up to the parties to take them down, as it was they who put them there. Nothing to do with the town halls, except by association with winning parties who persist in calling on us to vote for them. And who were the winners? Well, there does have to be the period of horse-trading in order to decide who eventually crosses the mayoral finishing line, but one can say with a degree of confidence that of the seven municipalities covered by this spotlight, five will be of the right (or with a right/centre-right ingredient) and two will be of the left.

This could be four and three, but no one’s entirely sure where Pere Torrens in Buger stands. He used to be with PSOE (as in 2019), then he wasn’t, then he set up a group called Tot per Buger, which some have suggested (not him) is the PP in disguise. One can but hope that there won’t be a repeat of what happened on investiture day in 2019, when Pere and the chap from the PP almost got into a fist fight.

Campanet wasn’t exactly all harmony in 2019 either. PSOE ended up supplying the mayor, Rosa Bestard, but this was after a colossal falling-out with Més, whose outgoing mayor, Magdalena Solivellas, refused to hand her the mayoral wand at the investiture. Rather like giving a bride away, someone had to do this, and it fell to a fellow from the PP for the only reason that he was the oldest of all the councillors. Més got four councillors last Sunday, PSOE three. The majority’s six. We’ll see.

The other town hall of the left is Pollensa, where the administration of the right plus centre, headed at the end by Andrés Nevado of the Unió Mollera Pollencina but essentially still run by Tomeu Cifre of Tots per Pollença, was ousted by the arrival of a political heavyweight. Martí March has been PSOE’s education minister since 2015. He is also a member of the March family who have supplied two previous mayors. With six councillors for PSOE and four for Més, two components of the disbanded Junts Avançam will go forward together with Martí at their head.

One of the more extraordinary outcomes of the Pollensa election is that the result suggests that there won’t be four years of mayhem that the town hall has become notorious for. If one were to give a stability score, then it must be at least nine out of ten. Remarkable for Pollensa. Tomeu will of course be leading the criticisms from the opposition, with the redevelopment of the Hotel Formentor continuing to be an issue. Before the election, March observed that he had the feeling that Tomeu had become the mayor of Formentor, such was the attention that the peninsula attracted.

In Alcudia, there is something else extraordinary - potentially but most unlikely. As Alcudia now has a population over 20,000, 21 councillors rather than the previous 17 were voted in last Sunday. Fina Linares and the PP got seven, Vox three - one short of a majority for the right, assuming the two parties can agree. The other eleven councillors were split five ways, the big losers having been El Pi, the party of the incumbent mayor, Domingo Bonnín, who slipped from four to one (i.e. Domingo). El Pi, PSOE and Més have been in coalition, while the other two parties - Podemos and Unió per Alcudia - are either left or have an element of the left.

A five-way pact won’t happen - it would be extraordinary were it to and I assume it won’t - but it remains to be seen from where the support for Fina ultimately comes.

In Santa Margalida, Martí Torres of the PP, who is now acquiring veteran status at the town hall, looks set to be the mayor for the whole four years rather than having to again share the wand with the most veteran of all - Joan Monjo of the Convergencia Coalition (sort of El Pi). The PP doubled the number of councillors - from four to eight. The majority is nine, and Torres may well be able to secure a minority administration if PSOE (four) abstain at his investiture. Joan’s lot got five, one fewer than in 2019.

The regionalist El Pi, who flopped at the Balearic parliament election, didn’t have a great Sunday. In Sa Pobla, like in Alcudia, they went from four councillors to one, they having been part of a four-way pact with Més, PSOE and the IxSP independents. The PP, as in 2019, won the most councillors on Sunday - up one from five. The majority is nine. Vox have arrived on the scene with one councillor, but it isn’t out of the question that the foursome could continue (they have ten between them).
In Muro, El Pi did very much better. The party of the current mayor, Miquel Porquer, they doubled their number of councillors from two to four. From 2019, there was a pact with the CDM (Convergencia Democratica Murera), who got three councillors on Sunday. As the majority is seven, Muro looks to be a case of carry on as you were.

At some of the town halls it is all a bit messy, but then it always is; such is the nature of proportional representation. But by and large, even where it is messy, they manage to get things done, even if it can take forever, such as with some annual budget approvals in Pollensa.

Of things to be done, on a personal note I will be watching the PP in Alcudia closely. Assuming that Fina Linares does become mayor, they have promised that the port, including the Bellevue area, will be the first priority. On another personal note, whatever happened to the notion of a secret ballot? At my polling station, the school near Eroski in the port, the parties’ lists were on a table for all to see which one was selected. The envelope that went into the ballot box didn’t seal properly, but I watched it go in. Even so...