With just over two months to go before the next elections, the PSOE presents itself as the rival to beat in the majority of municipalities in the south of Tenerife. The Socialists currently govern with an absolute majority in five of the nine municipalities in the region: Arona, Adeje, Guía de Isora, Fasnia and Vilaflor de Chasna, although in the case of Arona, the municipality with the largest population in the South, the government group It has been reduced to seven councilors after breaking up in the second year of its mandate. The PSOE has been the hegemonic force in the last electoral calls, although it has suffered some setbacks, such as the loss of government in Granadilla de Abona (the second municipality in the South in number of inhabitants), via motion of censure, in 2016.
The victory obtained in 2019 by the socialist Jennifer Miranda over the Canary Islands Coalition, by a narrow margin of votes (588) was not enough to win the Mayor’s Office due to the pact sealed between CC and PP. The polls ratified in 2019 the socialist leadership in the region. The PSOE obtained 30,986 votes in the nine municipalities (almost half of them in Arona and Adeje), compared to 17,863 for the Canary Islands Coalition and 9,993 for the Popular Party. This distribution of votes resulted in 73 councilors for the PSOE, 47 for CC and 24 for the PP.
If the PSOE achieved five absolute majorities, CC added one (San Miguel de Abona), like the PP (Santiago del Teide). The nationalist Arturo González and the popular Emilio Navarro (today president of the party in Tenerife) pulled the bandwagon of their political formations, renewed their mayoralties and today represent their main political assets in the region.
CC is also confident of making the six and a half years of José Domingo Regalado’s term profitable, but Jennifer Miranda (PSOE) is going all out and will try to prevent it by all means. In Granadilla, the swords are high and the outcome of the open crisis in the PP remains to be known after a dozen militants recently denounced in court an alleged fraud in the elections for the presidency of the local committee.
The other great electoral battle will take place in Arona, jewel in the crown for years for CC and since 2015 in the coffer of the PSOE. The socialist rupture, an episode as bizarre as it was surreal, and the irruption of numerous parties with options to enter the plenary hall (some new ones such as Fuerza Canaria, of the neighborhood leader Emilio Lentini, and Más por Arona, led by Dácil León and formed by the councilors who left the PSOE) will divide the vote of an electorate that has not been characterized, precisely, by going to the polls en masse. Quite the contrary: in 2019 it was the municipality with the highest abstention rate on the Island (62.09%).
José Julián Mena is once again the head of the PSOE list after dethroning the Canary Islands Coalition in 2015 and obtaining an unsuccessful absolute majority four years ago. After the fight that won his party in the courts, the PSOE has closed ranks around his figure, aware that Arona is not just another place on the electoral map of Tenerife and the Canary Islands. It is the third largest municipality on the Island and the verdict of the polls will be decisive for the Cabildo and even for Parliament. Mena starts as his favorite, but in a possible scenario without an absolute majority, his rivals will not make it easy for him for a third term in government.
THE RECORD OF FRAGA
In Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga (PSOE) wants to chain his tenth consecutive victory and his ninth absolute majority. These are big words and record figures for a mayor who, if he achieves a new electoral success, would celebrate in 2027 no less than 40 years in possession of the baton of the tourist municipality with the greatest weight in the Archipelago, both in five-star hotels and in profitability. Although in this mandate he has received criticism from environmental sectors for the Cuna del Alma hotel project (currently paralyzed pending new technical assessments), his electoral pull is indisputable. In his party they take it for granted that, with more or less difficulty, he will renew his absolute majority.
Something similar happens to Emilio Navarro in Santiago del Teide. The also leader of the Popular Party of Tenerife aspires for his party to continue governing alone in the municipality for the third consecutive term. The polls smile at him. Like Arturo González (CC) in San Miguel de Abona, who will seek to endorse the absolute majority obtained in 2019 in a municipality that has experienced notable population growth in the last five years, which, as in the case of Granadilla, will be reflected in the plenary hall with four more councillors.
That objective is also pursued by Josefa Mesa, who will head the PSOE plate in Guía de Isora, one of the historic strongholds of Tenerife’s socialism and who will be measured, as the main opponent, with the candidate of the Canary Islands Coalition Ana Dorta, former general director of Educational Infrastructure.
The resignation to continue in politics beyond the 28M of Sebastián Martín, from Primero Arico and current mayor, leaves the future of the second largest municipality on the Island in the air, accustomed to pacts with various gangs in recent terms.
In Fasnia, Luis Javier González (PSOE) will face his first electoral stake as head of the list after the departure of the historic Damián Pérez, while Agustina Beltrán will try to add her second absolute majority in Vilaflor de Chasna after achieving it four years ago by a handful of votes.
Electoral mobilization is the great pending issue in the municipalities with the largest populations in the South, which every four years occupy the top positions on the Island in terms of abstention levels.
If Arona peaked in 2019 with 62.09% of voters who stayed at home, Adeje (with 59.31%) and Granadilla de Abona (52.15%) completed the abstention podium. On the contrary, the most active municipalities in the polls were those with the smallest population: Fasnia (24.18%) and Vilaflor de Chasna (26.18%).