Spain's Popular Party defeats Socialists

May 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

MADRID, May 23 (UPI) -- Spain's Partido Popular Party defeated Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist Party in local and regional elections, officials said Monday.

The Socialist Party was ejected from power in almost all of Spain's regions and lost control in such key cities as Barcelona and Seville in the voting Sunday.

The conservative Popular Party had gained an average of 47 percent of the votes, with the count still to be completed, El Pais reported.

Turnout was above 66 percent, up 3 percentage points from 2007.

Galicia, Andalucía, the Basque country and Catalunya were still being counted.

Zapatero recently announced he will not seek re-election next year.

Upcoming primaries will decide who takes Zapatero's place as the party's candidate for 2012.

The two anticipated contenders are Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba and Defense Minister Carme Chacon.

The Socialist Party's defeat is thought to be in response to the recession and the poor state of the job market.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm