Three political parties competing for right-of-cente votes (instead of two parties last time), brought down the share of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) in Malaga province and the Costa del Sol in last Sunday's general election. In recent years the PP had been the most popular party locally.
Not only did Ciudadanos (Cs), the more centrist of the right-wing parties, gain more overall votes than the PP, but the surge in hard-right Vox took more voters from them.
Malaga province returns a total of 11 MPs to Madrid's Congreso. Once the count was in, the PSOE had four seats, up one on three years ago, Cs kept their two and the PP had lost two of its previous four. Unidas Podemos kept its two MPs and Vox won one local MP for the first time.
Although votes are added up on a provincial constituency level to decide on the 11 local MPs and not council area, an analysis by town hall district shows that voters put the PSOE as preferred party in all but a handful of the 103 municipal areas. The only exceptions were three small areas that voted for the PP (Canillas de Albaida, Igualeja and Jimera de Libar) and four that gave top position to Unidas Podemos (Arriate, Casabermeja, Istán and Teba). One Costa municipality, Benahavís, narrowly put hard-right Vox as its favourite party, with 23.48 per cent of the vote in a very split field.
When all is added up, PSOE won 31 per cent of the vote in Malaga province, followed by Cs on 19.5 per cent, PP on almost 18 per cent, Unidas Podemos on 14.5 per cent and Vox close behind on 14 per cent.