By Ron Howells •
Published: 04 May 2021 • 22:54
Isabel Díaz Ayuso Celebrates Victory In Madrid With More Than 60% Of The Votes Counted
Isabel Díaz Ayuso Celebrates Victory In Madrid With More Than 60% Of The Votes Counted.
Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the conservative leader of Spain’s Madrid region, who for months defied the leftist central government by keeping bars and shops open during the COVID-19 pandemic, has won the regional election, according to preliminary results and opinion polls.
Dozens of flag-waving supporters gathered outside the People’s Party (PP) headquarters, cheering and dancing as preliminary early results revealed regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso more than doubled her score from a previous election in 2019. Ayuso had banked her campaign victory on her ‘loose COVID strategy’ to appeal to voters who were tired of restrictions on their freedoms imposed to fight the pandemic.
Voters “have backed her handling of the pandemic, her love for Madrid and her defence of the freedoms of the Madrilenos,” Ayuso’s campaign director Alfonso Serrano told reporters.
Ayuso fell just shy of winning enough seats to rule the region without support from any other party, according to the telephone poll conducted in the last few days by GAD3 for broadcasters TVE and Telemadrid, which saw her with 62-65 seats. Preliminary results with 49% of the votes accounted for also showed Ayuso winning 63 seats, from 30 in 2019.
Critics had accused Ayuso of neglecting health services while looking after business. But she won the support of many Madrid residents by refusing to close bars and restaurants to help curb the pandemic even though she came under intense pressure from the government of Pedro Sanchez.
The result will also be damaging for the central government, which is headed up by the PSOE in coalition with junior partner Unidas Podemos. The leftist Más Madrid party gained support at Tuesday’s polls, but only by a point, which was less than expected. Unidas Podemos, meanwhile, gained just two points. This was far from what was needed to compensate for the PSOE’s result. Ciudadanos, meanwhile, lost all of its 26 seats. With less than 5% of the vote, the party did not gain enough votes to even enter into the regional assembly.
Unlike in other elections in the COVID era in recent months, turnout was high, at around 74%, well up from 64% in 2019. Final results are expected later in the evening.
Source: El Pais
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.