El Único Partido 100% Orihuela Costa
El Futuro de Orihuela Costa
Una Esperanza para Orihuela Costa
26 May 2015

ELECTION RESULTS – ORIHUELA 2015

Published in Press Releases

The Popular Party was the winner in the municipal elections in Orihuela on 24 May. Despite being divided, they secured 11 seats in the new Town Council, two short of an absolute majority. On the left, the Socialists and Change Orihuela won 10 seats. Ciudadanos, which is the former discredited CLR party, won 3 seats. Unfortunately, C.L.A.R.O. failed by some 50 votes to keep its one councillor. We will see soon if the Popular Party chooses to govern as a minority or if they succumb to the temptation of forming a majority government with Ciudadanos, despite their frequent comments during the election campaign that Ciudadanos was a party of "interests" and not those of the people of Orihuela.
The vote in Orihuela Costa once again showed that C.L.A.R.O. is the party which enjoys overwhelming support from local residents – provisional figures
As in the two previous elections, C.L.A.R.O. won almost 50% of the vote of the coast. This year we won almost the same number of votes as all the other parties together. We also received more direct support for C.L.A.R.O. than previously from voters in Orihuela city. Why then did C.L.A.R.O. not succeed in electing at least one councillor?
We failed by .03% to reach the threshold of 5% below which votes are not taken into account for the attribution of councillors by proportional representation. We got 4.97% of the total vote, some 50 votes short of the 5% threshold.
There are several explanations why C.L.A.R.O. fell short of the required minimum. Spanish but importantly, the majority of non-Spanish EU voters, mainly British, who live in the centre of Orihuela Costa, principally in Playa Flamenca, were obliged to vote in the little known, poorly sign posted Reading Point in Lomas de Cabo Roig, nearly 6 kilometres from Playa Flamenca Town Hall. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of voters turned up in the polling station in Playa Flamenca Town Hall and the Civic Centre expecting to vote close to where they live, many living as close as 150 metres from the Town Hall, only to be told they had to go to the polling station in Lomas de Cabo Roig. Many tried and could not find the Reading Point. Others, because they did not have transport or were simply discouraged, did not bother. The 50 vote shortfall could easily have been accounted for by their experience.
The provision of polling stations is principally the responsibility of the Orihuela local government and the Socialist majority in the outgoing government just did not care to propose an additional polling station, for example in one of the schools at the top of the market street in the heart of Playa Flamenca. The Socialist Party in the outgoing government had little political interest in facilitating votes on the coast since they get so few and have done so little for Orihueal Costa in the last 4 years.
However, we cannot ignore another important reason for the failure of the party of the coast to get at least one councillor elected: APATHY. The percentage turnout of voters on the coast fell from 42% in 2011 to just over 33% on 24 May. Too few people, although living permanently in Orihuela Costa, on the Padron and benefitting from the Spanish Health service, have registered to vote. There are potentially 25,000 non-Spanish EU residents, mainly British, entitled to register to vote but only just over 4,000 have done so (16%). We know they face difficulties in the Playa Flamenca Town Hall. But the majority simply do not feel sufficiently concerned about getting a fair deal for the taxes they pay, the often shocking state of street cleanliness, lack of parks and gardens and social- cultural facilities and saving the last green area on the sea front, Cala Mosca. The majority of non-Spanish EU residents living here fail to realise that the value of their properties in our area depends on the quality of life and services they receive.

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