Last Sunday’s local election results brought with them good news for the conservative Partido Popular (PP) in the province of Malaga, including the Costa del Sol. And the Socialist PSOE also improved on its outcome from four years ago, with a squeeze in the left-wing vote of Unidas Podemos -allied parties and no big breakthrough for Ciudadanos. Overall, hard-right newcomers Vox did not have as much impact as in April’s general election in the area. It returned just nine councillors across the few areas it stood in, allowing the right-of-centre vote to focus on the PP, unlike in April.
While the PPgenerally across Spain did not do as poorly in the 26 May local votes as had been expected following the 28 April general election, the strong showing for the party in Malaga province stood out particularly.
In Malaga city, by far the area’s biggest municipality, current mayor Francisco de la Torre, at his 76 years of age, chalked up another victory for the PP, winning 14 council seats, one up from the 13 it gained in 2015.
These, however, fell short of the overall majority of 16, meaning that De la Torre will need support from another group to govern, which is most likely to come from the two councillors of Ciudadanos (Cs).
The PSOE strengthened its second place in the city substantially, going up from nine to 12 seats, while Adelante Málaga (Izquierda Unida and Podemos) will occupy three seats and Ciudadanos go down from three to two.
In Marbella, the PP mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, regains her overall majority lost in 2015, with 14 out of a total of 27 seats on the local council.
The PSOE, led by José Bernal, however, strengthened their second place, going up from eight to ten councillors.
In Mijas, the Partido Popular, headed by former mayor Ángel Nozal, gained the most votes, but loses two seats going down from 11 to nine, further away from the overall majority of 13.
The PSOE increased their seats from seven to eight while Ciudadanos, who have governed the municipality for the last four years, went down from six to five. Both far-left Podemos and far-right Vox gained one seat.
With the unlikelihood of Cs helping Nozal to form a local government, local PSOE leader, Josele González, could turn out to be the next mayor.
Mayor Ana Mula (PP) comfortably repeats her overall majority in Fuengirola with 15 seats (up one from 2015).
The PSOE comes a long way behind with six seats (but still an increase on the five won in 2015), while Cs keeps its two seats.
Vox makes its debut in Fuengirola town hall, winning one seat.
Izquierda Unida falls from two to one seat and Podemos and CSSP lose their presence on the council.
The PP, led by Margarita del Cid, was the most-voted party in Torremolinos, although its fell from 11 to nine seats.
The PSOE, under current acting mayor José Ortiz, increases its presence from seven to eight seats.
Left wing Adelanto secures three seats, Ciudadanos falls from three to two and Vox joins Torremolinos council with two seats.
To reach an overall majority of 13, Del Cid would need support from other groups.
Benalmádena is the only main Costa resort that has given the PSOE a victory. Led by mayor Víctor Navas, the socialists gained 11 seats, up from the seven obtained in 2015, short of the overall majority of 13.
The PP fell from nine in 2015 to seven seats, Cs gained three, Izquierda Unida (IU) two and far-right Vox, two.
If IU lends Navas its support, the socialists will keep their hold over Benalmádena council.
The best result for the PP on the Costa del Sol by far came in Estepona, where mayor José María García Urbano gained 21 seats, way ahead of the overall majority of 13.
The PSOE fell from six to four seats, with no other groups making it onto the council.
In Manilva, the council is always fairly split. Izquierda Unida (IU) was the most-voted party and won six seats . Nine councillors are needed for a majority. In second place, and with only 15 votes difference to IU, is Compromiso Manilva (CM) with five councillors, the same as PSOE. The PP has dropped from two to one councillors. The IU’s Antonio Barragán is now deciding who to govern with.
There was a dramatic response to the IU’s return to power in Casares. The PSOE candidate, Antonio Muñoz, resigned the party along with his councillors-elect, accusing the IUof “operating a system of patronage which is impossible to fight against”. Candidates from lower down the PSOE electoral list will replace the councillors stepping down.
Rincón de la Victoria
In Rincón de la Victora, the PP was once again the most-voted party but on just seven seats, local leader Francisco Salado needs other parties to govern still. The PSOE party was second with five seats.
A recount of the vote after Sunday gave GIPMTM, the independent party campaigning for the seaside area of Torre del Mar, an extra councillor on top of the original results and the key to the mayor’s office is now in its hands.
The PP was the most-voted party and obtained nine seats but GIPMTM and PSOE now have seven councillors each. The PSOE has been leading a coalition in the municipality and the PPhas said it is willing to talk to either the PSOE or GIPMTM to form the next town hall government.
Here the support of a single Vox councillor could be decisive. Current mayor, José Alberto Armijo, for the PP, was one councillor short of a majority, the same as happened in 2015.
Alhaurín de la Torre
The mayor of Alhaurín de la Torre, Joaquín Villanova, consolidated his position as mayor for the PP again, winning an overall majority.
In Coín the PP maintained its majority, despite a recent change in mayor with Fernando Fernández taking up a role at the Junta de Andalucía. The new local PP leader and mayor, Francisco Santos has already won the confidence of electors and look set to be sworn in as mayor again.
Alhaurín el Grande
In neighbouring Alhaurín el Grande, the PP scored a triumph as well, and Toñi Ledesma is certain to become next mayor with an overall majority of 11 councillors. The win was all the more sweet for her, as this was against the background of a recent vote of no confidence, which Ledesma lost. She had to give up the mayor’s post just before the municipal election to Teresa Sánchez of IU, albeit for only two weeks. The PP has been in power here for almost 20 years.
The Axarquía is characterised by small villages with lower numbers of voters. Among the villages with a high proportion of foreign resident votes, Cómpeta was one of the few places in the province where the PPlost control, with the vote in the village being split three ways and pacts needed to see who will govern.
In Alcaucín there is no certainty that current mayor, Mario Blancke, will keep the position for Cs, with the PSOE obtaining four councillors, the same as Blancke’s party. In nearby Viñuela, the PSOE will remain in power after a largely repeat vote on 2015.