Sunday, March 09, 2008

With 90% of the vote counted, it's PSOE 167-PP 155, and these results aren't going to change much. Looks like Zap will be able to either cut a deal with CiU or govern from the minority. Now the question is: what's CiU's price going to be? I imagine they'll demand a breakup of the Catalan Tripartite, and that they replace ERC and Communist officeholders at both the municipal and regional level inside Catalonia. The question is whether they'd get that.

The verdict from down at the (Catalan-speaking, pro-Barça) bar is that everyone's happy the PP lost, nobody's real excited about the Socialists, and several people are all pissed off right now, because both Esquerra Republicana and the Barça got their asses kicked.

So the PSOE gains three seats and the PP gains seven over 2004. Rajoy and the leadership are going to try to spin this as a win. It's not.

Spain is getting ever closer to having a real two-party system. The third party at the national level, the United Left, has nearly been wiped out. The moderate nationalist parties in Catalonia and the Basque Country held their ground. The rest of the regional parties did poorly. Esquerra's down from eight seats to three, which means Carod-Rovira is no longer taken seriously by anyone. And Rosa Diez won a seat--does this mean the birth of a centrist third party? Probably not.

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