Spain’s new divided era?

Had the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero not been re-elected, he would have gone down in Spain’s history as the only prime minister not to win a second term since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975 and the restoration of democracy. His victory, though not with an absolute majority, showed that he was not an “accidental” prime minister catapulted into office in 2004 as a result of the bomb blasts by radical Islamists which killed 191 people on commuter trains – as the rightwing Popular party (which, unlike Zapatero, supported the war with Iraq) liked to claim. The socialists won even more votes on Sunday than they did four years ago.

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May 5, 2008