MADRID — Spain's ruling Socialist Party suffered setbacks in elections Wednesday for local, regional and European parliamentary representatives, early official returns showed.
With 47% of the ballots counted, the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez had won 40% of the vote for a loss of eight seats in the European Parliament, dropping from 36 to 27 seats, returns showed.
In general elections last June, the Socialists won their second four-year term in office with 44% of the vote. But since January, the governing party has been beleaguered by violent labor unrest.
Popular Alliance, the main conservative opposition party, gained 24% of the vote, a two-point drop from 1986 to register a three-seat gain from 14 to 17.
Results of the local and regional elections were to be announced later, but exit polls taken earlier Wednesday also indicated that the Socialist have lost ground.
Guerra said 67% of Spain's 28.4 million voters cast ballots in the elections to choose 60 European parliamentary deputies, local officials in more than 8,000 municipalities and governments in 13 autonomous regions.
It was the first time Spaniards directly elected their representatives to the Parliament in Strasbourg, France.