According to a poll carried out between May 5 and 9, 2023, by Demoscopia y Servicios SL, for the Spanish digital newspaper El Diario, in the Orihuela Municipal elections the Partido Popular (PP) would increase the number of their councillors to 11 while the ruling PSOE would remain at 6.
AT LEAST ONE SEAT FOR PIOC
Ciudadanos would take 3 seats, a loss of 2 councillors from their current 5, Vox would remain at 2, while the Cambiemos/Podemos coalition would also lose 1 seat, winning just 2. However, according to the poll, the surprise entry would be the independentistas from the coast, PIOC – Orihuela Costa Independence Party, a party that advocates independence of the Orihuela Costa, which would achieve 1 councillor by obtaining 5.7% of the votes.
So, if the poll is to be believed, once again the forming Orihuela government would need to be made up of a coalition. Following two indecisive legislatures and two mayors – Emilio Bascuñana of the PP and Carolina Gracia of the PSOE – and a change of alliances with Ciudadanos acting as the constant, the outcome of the election would force new agreements.
The PP would win the election again with its new leader, José Vegara, and would improve it’s result by increasing from 9 to 11 councillors with 38.9% of the votes, 4.8 points more than what it obtained in 2019. However José Vegara would remain two councillors short of an absolute majority, but unlike 2019, this time with the support of the two Vox councilors -13, he would achieve an absolute majority, unless of course, all other parties opposed his appointment as mayor.
The poll also shows that the PSOE, under the current mayoress, Carolina Gracia, has failed to convince the electorate that it is the party to lead Orihuela in the future, despite 12 months of prominence in the Orihuela mayor’s office and would remain the same, with 6 councillors and 22.7% of the votes, practically the same as it obtained four years ago. Carolina Gracia would need a more challenging alliance to continue as mayor: that of Ciudadanos, Cambiemos Orihuela/Podemos and Vox.
Ciudadanos maintains its representation in the Orihuela City Council, one of the few municipalities in the Valencian Community in which it will have councillors, but it would drop from 5 to 3 councillors, obtaining 10.8% of the votes, which is a 8.5% less than in 2019. The C’s would lose their ability to influence the government, although there could be a minor role for them in any future coalition.
Cambiemos Orihuela – a coalition that includes Podemos, Izquierda Unida and Compromís – would achieve 10.2% of the votes and 2 councillors, losing one councillor and 3 points of votes compared to 2019. Vox would remain with 2 councillors with 9, 7% of the votes, Orihuela being one of the few municipalities where the polls will not see any increase in the number of councillors, although it will see an increase of 2.8% in the share of the vote.
But the one major surprise is the arrival of PIOC – Orihuela Costa Independence Party, onto the scene, a party that advocates independence for the Orihuela coast, which would get 1 councillor by obtaining 5.7% of the votes.
Speaking to The Leader, although the party welcomed the poll, it’s spokesman told us, “ One seat would certainly be a statement, and an indication to the Orihuela Government that the battle for Independence is now truly on, but support of the party is growing daily, so if we could achieve 2 seats, which is what we actually hope for, the result would send shockwaves across the entire municipality and beyond”.