Spain: Felipe's Decisive Victory

Socialists gain power after four decades

The first sign came from the northern provincial capital of Huesca, a traditionally conservative area, where the early returns showed the Socialists well ahead. Next came coastal Pontevedra, a longtime franquista stronghold in Galicia, which the Socialists came surprisingly close to carrying. Then the southern province of Alrneria, another conservative bastion, fell to the Socialists. Finally the rose-colored tide rolled across the plains of Old Castile.

By 11:55 p.m. last Friday, four hours after the polls closed, the outcome was already clear: a decisive victory for the...

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