The governor of Gibraltar dissolved parliament on Thursday and called a general election in the contested British territory for December 8. The event will take place almost three weeks after Spain’s general election November 20 when the Conservatives are expected to sweep into office.
Vice-Admiral Sir Adrian Johns issued the proclamation dissolving the assembly and convening the ballot on the advice of Chief Minister Peter Caruana.
Elections are held in Gibraltar every four years. The last general election was in 2007 when the Gibraltar Social Democrats led by Caruana won with 49% of the votes.
The Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party in an alliance with the Gibraltar Liberal Party secured 45% of the votes.
The Gibraltar Social Democrats obtained 10 seats in the 17-seat parliament, with the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and the Liberal Party obtaining the remaining seven seats. Caruana was chief minister and Joe Bossano became leader of the opposition.
Recent opinion polls suggest that the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and the Liberal Party will win the election.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory 6.5-square-kilometre with around 30,000 people off the tip of southern Spain.
Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. Britain has said it will not renounce sovereignty against the wishes of Gibraltarians.