Elections in Madrid, Spain to commence

The Autonomous Community of Madrid will hold snap elections today. Today’s vote follows a March decision by conservative People’s Party

Reuters

Photo: Sergio Perez/Reuters

The Autonomous Community of Madrid will hold snap elections today.

Today’s vote follows a March decision by conservative People’s Party member and current Community President Isabel Diaz Ayuso to force early elections to the 136-seat regional assembly amid political strife surrounding COVID-19 countermeasures. Though the community maintains the second-highest COVID-19 infection rate in Spain, anti-lockdown sentiment has intensified.

Madrid’s substantial hospitality sector has condemned the national government for its restrictions on businesses, claiming that limiting services has damaged the local economy. Conservatives including Ayuso and the far-right Vox party have emphasized such disputes with the central government whilst campaigning in the traditionally right-leaning region.

Current surveys indicate that Ayuso will retain the community’s presidency. The People’s Party is expected to secure up to 59 total seats today—ten short of an absolute majority—leaving Ayuso to form either a minority government or a coalition government with Vox as a partner. Looking ahead, expect Ayuso to consolidate her private sector support by lowering corporate taxes and proffering additional aid to businesses. Relations with the national government are expected to deteriorate, as Ayuso’s improved position will likely encourage further confrontation over pandemic restrictions with the central and regional governments.

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