While yesterday’s EU elections have seen support for what were the main centrist parties generally seep away to parties which previously were considered “fringe” but which the public throughout Europe clearly see as representing their views and interests more strongly and, perhaps more significantly, representing them more clearly, here in the Canaries there has been a real change in power. After 26 years, the ruling Coalición Canarias has been defeated in the regional elections by the Socialist PSOE which recently won Spain’s General Election. The Socialists haven’t won outright, however, and will need to form pacts with other parties such as Podemos, but the CC isn’t giving up and is talking itself of trying to form pacts with other parties such as the PP and Ciudadanos to try to form a Government. The Socialists are likely to win through, and indeed with the numbers should do so, but the horse-trading is today only just starting.

In terms of Tenerife specifically, the CC and PSOE tied in numbers of seats gained for the Cabildo but since the CC (with the New Canaries party) secured more votes than the PSOE, there will be no change at the top, with Carlos Alonso remaining as island President. Locally with Ayuntamientos, the Socialist strongholds of south and west Tenerife, Arona, Adeje and Guía de Isora found their support consolidated, with mayors Mena, Fraga and Martín re-elected absolutely and increasing their power bases. On the other side of the political spectrum, the PP held easily onto Santiago del Teide, an aberration in south and west Tenerife, perhaps. The CC retained Santa Cruz though without an absolute majority for mayor Bermúdez who will need to form pacts himself to govern. Perhaps the biggest surprise after the regional result itself is that of La Laguna, where the Socialists currently believe they’ve unseated the incumbent CC – the horse-trading there will also continue for some days.

One thing seems clear from the results across Europe, and that is the big old parties which took votes for granted can no longer do so without clearly and straightforwardly addressing voters’ concerns and interests, and not fudging policy details in order to try to avoid alienating voters who might disagree with a clear party line. What is now in fact clear is that far from avoiding alienating potential supporters, such parties alienate them all.

Source: Janet Anscombe 

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