Spain’s Do-Over Election Roll Comes Up Snake Eyes

  • In spite of the full support of their traditional allies, neither the PSOE nor the PP got the 176 seats required to obtain an absolute majority in the nation’s Parliament.
  • The most likely outcome would be a minority socialist government, more serious negotiations, and some swallowed pride.
  • The big winner of the night was Vox, the far-right party on the Spanish parliamentary spectrum.

The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), of Spain’s current Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, won the highest number of votes in the country’s general elections held on Sunday, although with no clear possibility of forming a government. With 100% of the ballot boxes counted, the PSOE won 120 seats in Parliament, three fewer than in the first elections of the year, held on April 28.

The governing PSOE (red) won 120 seats, the opposition PP (blue) won 88 seats, right-wing Vox (green) won 52 seats, left-wing Podemos (purple) won 35, centrist Cs (orange) won 10. Regional and other parties won another 45 seats.

The left-wing party, Unidas Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias, won 35 seats, down from 42. Sánchez has called for “generosity and responsibility” to the other parties to “unblock the political situation in Spain.” He predicted that “one way or another, we’ll form a progressive government and unblock the political stalemate . . . We call upon all the political parties, except for those that work against coexistence and foster hatred.”

On the right, the main opposition party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), has recovered from the April failure and garnered 88 congressional representatives. “Spain can’t wait any longer,” said PP president Pablo Casado. He called the election results bad for the “governability and future” of the country.

In spite of the full support of their traditional allies, neither the PSOE nor the PP got the 176 seats required to obtain an absolute majority in the nation’s Parliament. The numbers point to a legislative impasse. The result will require party leaders to be creative, to negotiate seriously this time, and for some to swallow their pride, as Sunday’s low voter turnout has pointed to the fact that voters are tired of being called to the polls so often.

The most likely outcome would be a minority socialist government, but the main question remains; who the allies would be and how long such a government can last.

Pedro Sánchez is a Spanish politician serving as acting Prime Minister of Spain since 2 June 2018. He has also been Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) since June 2017, having previously held that office from 2014 to 2016.

The big winner of the night was Vox, the far-right party on the Spanish parliamentary spectrum. Just seven months after its entry into the Congress of Deputies, Vox presents itself as the third most voted-for party. Its 52 seats are more than double the 24 which it got in April. Santiago Abascal Conde, the party’s leader, attributes his success to the fact that he “doesn’t deceive” and has “a clear message.” Said Abascal, “just 11 months ago, we weren’t even in any regional legislature in Spain. Today, we are the third-largest party in Spain and the party that has grown the most in votes and seats.” Abascal promised to battle the “progressive dictatorship.”

For a long time, Spain seemed immune to a nationalist wave that unleashed in other parts of Europe in recent elections. However, the revolt over political vagueness and secessionist riots in Catalonia seem to have considerably strengthened the popularity of Vox.

The center-right Ciudadanos party has had its worst result since it first contested Spanish elections in 2008. The C’s shrunk form 57 seats to 10. Albert Rivera, leader of the party, announced his resignation on Monday due to the poor performance of the party.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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