Yesterday’s Spanish elections showed a predictable result in Spain with the absolute majority of right wing Spanish nationalists PP and the also predictable collapse of PSOE due to their mistakes in managing the crisis. This shows a uniform blue painted Spain for the first time.
In the midst of the blue tide in the Spanish State only Catalonia and the Basque Country appear clearly politically differentiated. Catalan CiU have for the first time been the most voted party in Catalonia at the Spanish elections with 16 deputies. The most noticeable change has been PSOEs collapse going from 25 deputies to 14. PP with 11 hasn’t even achieded their best results from 1993.
On the other hand we have ERC-RCat. With 3 deputies (maybe 4) Bosch has done remarkably well in stopping the downwards spiral that had started in the last two elections and was threatening to leave them without any deputies according to polls from only two months ago. Instead, they have increased their representation and could even achieve one deputy for Girona, depending on the expat votes. This shows it was a mistake to not have Reagrupament’s Quim Torra be the candidate for Girona, as Junqueras wanted.
However, these results validate Junqueras’ change of direction and shows that ERC+RCat have the potential to become the core of a broad Catalan independentist coalition for the 2014 Catalan elections. An important date since it will be the 300 anniversary of the Spanish occupation in Catalonia.
Also good news is that Catalan left wing ecologists ICV have trebled their representation and now have 3 deputies. Meaning that Spanish parties, which traditionally dominated the Spanish elections in Catalonia, with 25 deputies are quickly losing ground to Catalan parties with 21 deputies.
In the Valencian Country for the first time Coalició Compromís has managed to break the dominance of the Spanish parties and the Valencian voice will be heard in the Spanish Congreso.
In Euskadi the abertzale coalition Amaiur have achieved historical results and have become the most voted party. This hints the possibility that in the next Basque elections Basque parties could concentrate the great majority of the votes which could potentially trigger serious political changes in that country.
The clear differences in the results in Catalonia and the Basque Country with Spain question the legitimacy of any of Spain’s predictable future attacks to Catalonia’s self government, culture and institutions. A desperate Spanish State with undermined political and economic independence by the severe measures that Europe will impose will turn to Catalonia’s self-government as a scapegoat. Hopefully, with a lot of work and a bit of luck these may be the last Spanish elections for Catalonia.
In the meantime, even though they are two very different situations in Catalonia we have some lessons to learn from the Basques. Until April it was them who looked towards Catalonia because of the popular referendums of independence but after the successes of Bildu in May and now Amaiur they seem to have found a way to translate the popular demand for independence into a political representation in a way that Catalan parties have failed to do.
Update: Syniadau have written an excellent analysis of the Spanish elections results. I recommend it.
Pictures by El Punt Avui