The candidates held a debate on Monday ahead of the elections on 19 June. / EFE

Andalucía votes in the regional election on Sunday

Opinion polls show the Partido Popular well ahead but short of a majority, with support from hard-right Vox expected to be key to power

SUR IN ENGLISH MALAGA.

Some six million Andalusians eligible to vote will be out at the polling stations on Sunday in the election for the regional parliament under Spain's system of devolved government.

The current regional president, Juanma Moreno of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), called the vote six months short of the end of his four-year term as he failed to win the support of regional MPs for a budget for this year. Moreno headed a coalition government with centrist Ciudadanos.

The last predictions before the legal cut-off for opinion polls came into force last weekend had the PP as clear winner but a few seats short of the majority of 55 needed in the 109 seat Seville-based parliament. This would be well up on the 26 seats the PP won in the last election in 2018, when it came second to the PSOE Socialists' 33 seats. Back then Moreno's PP slipped into power by joining with Ciudadanos to reach 47 seats and with the abstention of far-right Vox. Malaga-born Moreno took power from the traditionally safe Socialist region that had been in the hands of the PSOE since the parliament was set up in 1982.

While non-Spanish citizens cannot vote on Sunday, the impact on expats of who runs the Andalucía government is felt greatly, especially in the healthcare and schools it provides, as well as social care and environmental services.

Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, votes for 17 of the 109 regional MPs under a system of weighted proportional representation which over represents the least populated provinces.