1690143370 Spain Right clearly ahead in parliamentary elections

Spain: Right clearly ahead in parliamentary elections

The conservative PP and the far-right Vox could even achieve a majority in office together, according to media forecasts. Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s conservative party can therefore count on up to 150 deputies.

Spain experienced a hot election day in many ways on Sunday. With high summer temperatures of up to 40 degrees in southern Andalusia, Spanish citizens have been called upon to nominate a new national government. The election was preceded by an unusually violent exchange of accusations in which the Social Democrats (PSOE) and Conservatives (PP) accused each other of running a false election campaign.

Social Democrat Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez felt the strain on Sunday when the 51-year-old cast his ballot in the capital Madrid. He was greeted at his polling station with boos, but also applause. His conservative opponent, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, 61, also voted in Madrid and said it was time for Spain to begin a new era.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez suffers defeat.  He had postponed an election that was actually planned for December.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez suffers defeat. He had postponed an election that was actually planned for December. Portal/Nacho Doce

According to media forecasts, the conservative Popular Party of Feijóo, PP, was clearly ahead on Sunday night. The PP and its possible far-right partner Vox could even achieve a majority in parliament. According to the television channel RTVE, the PP won on Sunday with about 145 to 150 seats ahead of the Socialists (PSOE) de Sánchez, who won 113 to 118 seats.

Brussels looked nervously at Madrid

The national election gained special importance because, for the first time in recent Spanish history, there was the possibility that the far-right and Eurosceptic party Vox would come to power alongside the conservative Popular Party of Feijóo. A prospect that caused concern in Brussels.

Vox’s Radical Agenda

Vox is aligned with the German AfD or France’s Rassemblement National de Marine Le Pen. Vox party leader Santiago Abascal (47) defends Spain’s right-wing Franco dictatorship, which fell in 1975, is in favor of a strong national state and no longer wants to subordinate Spain to EU law. Abascal also calls for withdrawal from the climate protection agreement and the European energy transition. In Spain, he wants to overturn important achievements such as the right to abortion, equality laws for women and legal guarantees for homosexuals and transgender people.

Vox party leader Santiago Abascal calls for a strong nation state.

Vox party leader Santiago Abascal calls for a strong nation state. APA/AFP/Thomas Coex

The People’s Party and Vox already govern together in 130 Spanish prefectures and four regions. There is no red line in Spain between conservatives and right-wing nationalists like the one drawn by the German CDU. Conservative chief Feijóo stated that although he would prefer to govern without Vox. But if there is no other option, he does not rule out a government pact with Vox.

Sanchez ran to the front

Prime Minister Sánchez’s Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) suffered defeat in local and regional elections in late May. Sánchez then took flight and brought forward the national elections scheduled for December to July 23rd.

Sánchez was previously in office with a minority government made up of Social Democrats and the left-wing alliance Podemos. His cabinet was supported by regional parties from Catalonia and the Basque Country. Small regional parties in Catalonia and the Basque Country had a chance of winning nearly 35 seats in the new parliament.

Incidentally, regional parties have ruled out supporting a conservative government. Mainly because the conservative candidate Feijóo shows little inclination to respond to the desire for autonomy. Vox really wants to reduce the former autonomy of the regions and ban separatist parties.

Prime Minister Sánchez has managed in recent years to neutralize the conflict for independence that was seething, especially in Catalonia, with a policy of dialogue. However, in doing so, he made concessions that raised the ire of conservatives. In particular, conservatives do not forgive him for pardoning the nine convicted separatist politicians who tried to illegally secede Catalonia from Spain in 2017.

high participation

Citizen turnout in this fateful election was surprisingly high. According to preliminary estimates, despite the summer vacation period, it was above the 2009 mark, when 66% of incumbents voted. A total of 375 million Spaniards were called to elect a new lower house. (red.)