The results of the 26 May local elections showed a clear and decisive victory for the Coalition (Cambiemos, C.L.A.R.O., Podemos) in Orihuela Costa.    This came despite very considerable “irregularities” which resulted in possibly between 100-150 non-Spanish EU citizens being denied a vote in the local elections while being allowed to vote in European elections.

The clear victory for the three-party Coalition is indicated in the final votes in the 6 polling stations on the coast.

Coalition (Cambiemos, C.L.A.R.O., Podemos)  –   949

Citizens Party  –  544

Socialist Party  –  470

Popular Party  –  312

Vox  –  252

Compromis –  110

The vote for the Coalition on the coast represents essentially the vote for C.L.A.R.O., which taking into account the irregularities, probably reached its highest ever level.   The fact that the Coalition vote on the coast is more than the combined vote of the Popular Party and Ciudadanos is a resoundingly clear negative vote on the record of these two parties who have been in government for the past 4 years.

The feature of the overall result in Orihuela was a loss of two seats each by the Popular Party and the Socialist party, a gain by Ciudadanos of two seats, one extra seat for Cambiemos, now in Coalition, and two for Vox, the right wing party.

This means that no single party can govern the new Orihuela Town Hall and parties can expect to be engaged in the coming weeks in haggling over who forms the next government.

The overall vote for the Coalition was 3695 which falls short of the number required to elect Helene Akerman, C.L.A.R.O.’S leading candidate who was 4th on the Coalition’s list.   However, the strength of the vote on the coast and the electoral irregularities which affected the vote, leave open her position.

C.L.A.R.O. is conscious of its responsibility to live up to the expectations of Orihuela Costa residents who voted so heavily in our favour.

We are also committed to make a complaint and to seek an investigation into the loss of voting rights in the municipal election of non-Spanish EU citizens.

There were many indignant voters, mainly British, who complained of this on election day to representatives of the Coalition (apoderados/as) present in all the polling stations.

They felt cheated since most of them said they had voted in previous local elections and their priority concern, given the state of Orihuela Costa, was to vote in the local elections rather than the European elections.

This is potentially a very serious matter.    If they had previously voted in local elections, according to their written declaration at the time of registering to vote, this right should not have been removed other than by a revised, written declaration.

The aftermath of the 26 May election may not be clear for some time.   But what is clear is that voters on the coast gave massive support to the Coalition and this is indisputably due to  C.L.A.R.O.

Our campaign was short and we had little finance.    Our adversaries had finance and other resources and one party in particular engaged in a bitter campaign against C.L.A.R.O.

It was impressive to see the range of voters on 26 May of all nationalities, Spanish and non-Spanish, and those with obvious mobility problems, including wheelchair and Zimmer frame users.

They will remain in our memories as a testimony to the commitment of residents to participate democratically in the exercise of their right to vote and to their determination to create a better and fairer Orihuela Costa.