Introduction by Nick Gibbs
“San Antonio businessman and town advocate Martin Makepeace has put in huge efforts to encourage voter registration and political participation from Ibiza’s English speaking community. There are few of us better qualified than he to round up the results and the ramifications of the Sunday elections in Ibiza.
“Martin was so quick to get his article published on his blog that a few hours after doing so there was a rather odd turn around in Ibiza Town, so I’ve penned that bit as you will see down the page.
“New to Spanish politics? For a guide on how it all knits together see our beginner’s guide to Spanish political and administration organisation.”
Ibiza Elections 2019
Commentary by Martin Makepeace
”Election night in Ibiza was as dramatic and nail biting as ever. Now that the dust has settled here’s an overview of what happened on the night and what might happen in the coming days and weeks.
It was here that came the big shock of the night with PP taking back control.
The incumbent left wing coalition were left licking their wounds after coming up short mainly due to Podemos losing over 3000 votes compared to 2015.
PP returned 17831 votes whilst PSOE stood still on 12906. Podemos dropped off to 5430 votes whilst Ciudadanos showed their mettle by polling an impressive 3120 votes meaning it’s likely they will have a seat on the government table.
Seats: PP 6 – PSOE 4 – Podemos 2 – Ciudadanos 1
What Next: Ciudadanos have already stated that they won’t go into government with Podemos under any circumstances, so a centre right council is inevitable.
Likely Scenario: Ex- Santa Eulalia mayor Vicent Mari proved too strong for the rest and will start negotiations with C’s to form a centre right coalition island council for next 4 years. Big things will be expected after his success in Santa Eulalia with land reforms, traffic and sustainability high on the agenda.
Sant Antoni de Portmany
A low 49.3% turnout saw the Popular Party (PP) gain most votes with 3072, slightly up on 4 years ago. The Socialist Party (PSOE) including the previously strong Reinicia polled only 2853 votes and the left wing Podemos came in with 870. Ciudadanos’ (C’s) first time out saw them return 436 votes while PXE (Ibiza Proposal Party) saw their vote more than halved to 458 votes after recent turmoil within the party.
Seats: PP 9 – PSOE 8 – Podemos 2 – PXE 1 – C’s – 1
What Next: With no majority in the 21 seat chamber it’s up to the parties to negotiate with each other to form a coalition.
Likely Scenario: Nothing is guaranteed but a centre right coalition led by PP’s Marcos Serra is the probable outcome. C’s are a natural ally to PP plus PXE ripped up their previous pact with PSOE due to councillor Cristina Ribas switching sides just before the election.
PXE with their 458 votes are the kingmakers here so all eyes will be on their leader Joan Torres over the next few days.
Sant Josep de sa Talaia
The most fragmented Town Hall with 7 different parties winning places on the 21 seat council. PSOE claimed victory here with 2859 votes while the 2nd placed PP polled 2002 votes. Meanwhile Podemos performed well with over a 1000 votes with ARA, PXE and VOX all returning over 400 votes each respectively
Seats: PSOE 8 – PP 5 – Podemos 3 – C’s 2 – PXE 1 – VOX 1 – ARA 1
What Next: Incumbent mayor Pep Agustinet is safe as he will team up with Podemos to take control of the council for the next 4 years but he has lots to think about with noise control and beach concessions consistently in the press.
Likely Scenario: The PSOE/Podemos love-in to continue for another 4 years.
Santa Eularia des Riu
The east cost resort town showed its true blue colours yet again by voting the PP back with 5835 votes – over 50%. PSOE were left floundering on 2631 votes while Podemos came in 3rd with 1212 votes.
Seats: PP 13 – PSOE 6 – Podemos 2
What Next: New mayor, the experienced Carmen Ferrer has a clear mandate to carry on the good work of Vicent Mari who has made his town the envy of the island balancing residents needs with tourists hard currency.
Likely Scenario: Expect more legislation to keep the town clean and the tourists happy.
Sant Joan De Labritja
The PP bandwagon rolls on in Sant Joan with a landslide 66% (1405) of the votes while PSOE and Podemos were left to pick up the scraps with 346 and 247 votes .
Seats: PP 10 – PSOE 2 – Podemos 1
What Next: Mayor Antoni Mari ‘Carraca’ carries on unabated for the next 4 years watching over the north of the island with an iron fist wrapped in a silk glove.
Likely Scenario: 4 more years of peace and relaxation for the north of the island.
(This bit by Nick Gibbs)
Rafa Ruiz’ days as mayor look looked numbered at the end of voting, as it initially appeared his PSOE had suffered a major upset at the hands of minority group PxE , and the Ibiza Town municipality turning in perhaps the most surprising results on the day.
As it turned out it was a bit too surprising. Suspicions were raised when it was realised that the PxE group had polled more than 10 times that of the PSOE in some polling stations.
An investigation was called and public lawyers today confirmed that process irregularities had been discovered and that an additional 993 lost votes needed to be awarded back to the PSOE. This took Mayor Ruiz from the position of loser to victor. The nine seats the PSOE hold in Ibiza Town will be sufficient to govern with the cooperation of one of the smaller parties.
The result also lost right wing group VOX their only seat, along with one of ARA, though the biggest loser was the PxE. Their leader Antonio Roldán said he had been left with a ’foolish face’.
Seats: PP 8 – PSOE 9 – Podemos 2 C’s – 2
What Next: Business as normal as the pre-election alliances are reaffirmed.
PSOE will be bitterly disappointed after such a strong showing in the general elections less than a month ago.
PP will be elated that they look likely to control 4 town halls plus the island council.
The big losers are Podemos who lose a foothold in 2 councils and the island council but Ciudadanos will be delighted that even though their numbers weren’t great they now have traction in San Antonio, Ibiza Town and the Island Council.
For all the bluster the VOX bandwagon never took off however they may have a part to play in Ibiza Town.
PXE numbers were poor compared to 4 years ago but as often is the case in proportional representation they will be the power brokers in San Antonio and Ibiza Town.
What this election has showed yet again is that with a low 50% turnout only a few dozen votes were the difference between winners and losers.