The Socialist Party wins the Spanish elections
Running out of absolute majority, Sánchez’s PSOE will have to forge alliances to rule
Socialists under Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez won early elections, without the majority needed to rule solo, in a fragmented political landscape marked by the entry of the far right into parliament. The results raise the specter of a new period of instability for Spain, with Mr Sánchez dependent on alliances with hostile rivals in an environment that has deteriorated since the failed attempt to secede from Catalonia. in 2017.
A significant development has been the rise of the ultra-nationalist Vox party, which garnered just over 10% of the vote in a country that has not had a proper far-right party since the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. The Socialist Party (PSOE) obtained 123 legislators out of 350, or nearly 29% of the vote, which is far from an absolute majority but much better than the 85 seats it obtained in 2016.
“The Socialists won the legislative elections and with them the future has won and the past has lost,” he told enthusiastic supporters from the balcony of the party’s headquarters in Madrid, claiming victory on Sunday evening.
The big loser was the Conservative People’s Party (PP), which won 66 seats against 137 in the previous elections.
Mr Sánchez, who came to power in June after ousting Tory Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a no-confidence vote, may seek to forge alliances with far-left Podemos and smaller groupings like the Catalan separatist parties, such as he’s been doing it for the past 10 years. month. He could also try to get closer to center-right Ciudadanos, who won 57 seats. Together they would form an absolute majority, but voters from both parties would likely disapprove of such a move.
Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera built his campaign on Mr Sánchez’s bashing, criticizing his attempts to negotiate with Catalan separatist parties in a bid to ease the secession crisis in the northeast region.
The crisis in Catalonia is precisely what fueled Vox’s meteoric rise from the outer margins of politics to the national stage, after winning nearly 11% of the vote in December’s regional polls in southern Andalusia. Founded by Santiago Abascal, a disgruntled former member of the PP, it will now occupy 24 seats in the national parliament.
Vox stood out with ultranationalist rhetoric advocating “the defense of the Spanish nation to the end” and a hard line against the separatists.