Friday, 20 May 2011

A comment on Spanish local elections and British apathy!

There are local elections in Spain this weekend - elections which are likely to see a thorough trouncing for the ruling Socialist Party:

According to the election polls, the center-right Partido Popular (PP) will handily defeat the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) that may be left without control of any major Spanish city.

But this comment isn't about who will win but about how many of the 370,000 foreign residents in Andalucia will be voting - with the answer being 'not many'. Here are the numbers:

The number of foreigners registered to vote around Andalucia on May 22 stands at 82,483. This means if all the registered foreign voters turn out on the day they would certainly change the political map. The degree of influence however depends on the municipality.

Interestingly, nearly half of the foreigners registered to vote – 40,410 – are resident in Malaga province alone, where there are an incredible 152 foreign candidates hoping to become local councillors.

And half of those voters are British, which means that Spanish politicians are - for perhaps the first time - actively targeting these voters:

In my local town, I believe for the first time ever, one of the major Spanish parties is actively looking to entice non-Spanish residents to vote for them.

The PP candidate sent this message (and arranged a meeting):

The party wishes to present their candidate at the municipal elections, Francisco Góngora Cara, who will stand for mayor of El Ejido, to the foreign residents of El Ejido.

Francisco Góngora in his meetings with local residents appreciates the participation and understanding of the party´s electoral programme for the next four years; he is also calling this meeting in order to know at first hand the worries, needs and aspirations of the foreign population here in El Ejido.

The problem is that - if past form is a guide - most British residents won't be voting either because they're not registered to vote or from apathy. However, not all are so apathetic.


No comments: