Juanmar Moreno speaking at a regional PP party meeting this week. / E.P.

Andalucía gears up to vote in a regional election on 19 June

Regional President Juanma Moreno announced the date on Monday this week and the regional parliament was dissolved on Tuesday

NEIL HESKETH MALAGA.

The region of Andalucía will go to the polls on Sunday, 19 June. Juanma Moreno, current regional president, made the announcement on Monday this week to seek a dissolution of the regional parliament, after weeks of speculation.

Moreno argued that the decision to call an election - some four months before the official four-year term of his coalition was up - had been a difficult one.

However, he stressed he was doing it so that the region - Spain's largest in terms of population, with 8.5 million people - could have an agreed budget in time for 2023.

The regional budget for this year is an extension of the 2021 expenditure plan as Moreno failed to get majority approval when he lost the support of regional MPs from Vox in the Seville-based parliament.

The regional government has a big impact on local people's lives - including in Malaga province and the Costa del Sol - with its control of big-spending services such as Health, Social Care and Education.

A stable coalition to date

Moreno leads the regional, conservative Partido Popular party (PP) and has shared government in coalition for the last three years with centrist Ciudadanos (Cs), with hard-right Vox lending its MPs' support to get votes through.

The PP's partners, Cs, led by the regional vice president, Juan Marín, were known to be against the early election call.

Opinion polls show that Cs could face a near wipeout in Andalucía on 19 June, with voters giving significantly more support to the PP itself and also to Vox. The PP is on track to be the largest party, according to pollsters, but may need Vox to govern in coalition or to use that party's MPs to prop up a minority administration.

In announcing the forthcoming election, Moreno highlighted how stable the PP coalition with Cs had been.

The left-of-centre parties are expected to make up under half the vote in June, with a drop in support since the last vote in late 2018. The Socialist PSOE, the biggest party last time, has a new leader regionally, Juan Espadas, who has yet to gain a high profile in the region.

The official regional election campaign will kick off on 3 June.