The Basque elections yesterday resulted in the Nationalists winning almost two-thirds of the total vote.
The unionist parties were routed.
Out of 75 seats, the right-wing nationalists (PNV) won 27 while the left-wing pro-independence coalition (EH Bildu)won 21 with 25% of the total votes.
PNV now have to make a decision.
Do they rule in a coalition with fellow nationalists, the EH Bildu?
Or do they go with the so-called Socialists of PSOE (a kind of PASOK)?
Given that PNV sees Bildu as the ultimate threat to their monopoly on nationalism (as the left wing nationalists were disenfranchised for years), realpolitik would suggest that PNV will opt for PSOE.
If they did, it would be a strategic error in the medium term.
The austerity cuts will bite even deeper the next 24 months and if PNV don’t challenge Madrid effectively, it could see support ebb away to EH Bildu.
The left nationalists are a very young grouping with only one way to go: UP.
As Paul Mason says, they are a cross between Sein Fenn and Syriza.
In the long game, they are likely to gather strength (as their name implies).
They have won legitimacy.
The two highest items on the Basque agenda will be:
a) end of the Basque conflict, starting with prisoner repatriation to the Basque country and a formal agreement for peace
b) a rejection of Austerity
The right wing nationalists of PNV will struggle and thus lose support steadily in 2013 and 2014 to the Left.