In a dramatic rebuff to the ruling conservative Popular Party, Spain's Socialists have claimed victory in Sunday's national elections.
With more than 90 percent of the vote counted, the Socialist Workers Party is on track to win 163 seats in the country's 350-seat parliament, just shy of an absolute majority.
Turnout was high at 76 percent with voters seeming to expressd anger with the government, accusing it of provoking the Madrid attacks by supporting the U.S.-led war in Iraq, which most Spaniards opposed.
Spain's general election was thrown wide open by a reported al Qaeda claim that it was responsible for Thursday's Madrid train bombings to punish the government for supporting the Iraq war.
Before Thursday, the Popular Party had been favored to win by a comfortable margin, making its leader, Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister.
I can't think that any attack helps incumbents at this point.
It's cliched to say 9/11 changed everything here, but it certainly did in this sense: we learned how vulnerable we were, and the American public turned to the only guy available to protect us. If an attack happened on US soil any time leading up to our election, I have to think that people would view it as a definite failure of BushCo. He got a pass because he was newly installed when 9/11 happened, it was such a shock, and nobody at the time knew just how badly he fucked things up before then. Now after years of hearing Bush say we're "safer, stronger", an attack would pop that balloon really fast. No chance to blame Clinton this time.
I think there could be a similar, but even more intense reaction to Aznar. Voting ends at 1900GMT, so I guess we'll know in a few hours.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.