EXPLAINER: COVID-19, far-right are top themes in Madrid vote

MADRID (AP) — Residents in Madrid, one of Europe’s worst-hit regions in the pandemic, are voting Tuesday for a new regional assembly in an election that tests people’s resistance to lockdown measures. The early election was called by a conservative regional chief who is trying to cling to power after her center-right coalition crumbled. Isabel Díaz Ayuso has made a name for herself by resisting the strictest measures against the virus and criticizing the national government’s handling of the pandemic.By keeping Madrid’s bars, restaurants, museums and concert halls open, Díaz Ayuso has invigorated support for her conservative Popular Party. She has also made inroads among voters seduced by the patriotic populism of Vox, a far-right party.