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Spain’s ruling party to lose in Barcelona: exit poll

Spain’s ruling Socialists lost control of Barcelona city hall in local elections Sunday in an historic blow to the party, an exit poll said.

The Socialist Party had controlled Barcelona city hall since Spain’s first municipal elections were held in 1979 four years after the death of General Francisco Franco.

The Catalan nationalist party CiU led the vote and was set to take 14-16 seats in the 41-seat chamber, up from 12 now, said an exit poll by Ipsos Ecoconsulting for Catalan public television TV3.

The Socialists, who had run a minority government in Barcelona with 14 seats since the last elections four years ago, were poised to take just 10-12 seats, it said.

The conservative Popular Party of Catalonia was set to win seven-eight seats, compared to seven now, the exit poll said.