Spanish socialists win the elections as populist party, Vox, enters parliament

Spain voted at the snap elections this past Sunday, Spain’s center-left Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) won with a 29% of the votes (123 seats) makes it the biggest political force within the new Spanish parliament. It was the first party in each autonomous community, except for Catalonia, Basque Country, Navarre and Melilla. Socialists come out from a long-time crisis as PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez points out: “After 11 years a socialist party has won the general election in Spain. And so the future beats the past”.

Voter turnout at the polls was 76%, confirming the country’s attachment to a left-wing agenda. However the vote delivered the biggest surprise to the new parliament: the entrance of Vox, far-right anti-immigrants and anti-gender rights party, with 24 seats. A big surprise considering Vox was an irrelevant political force, not so long ago. It’s the first time that a far-right party makes it to the Spanish parliament since the fall of the Franco dictatorship. Vox’s national victory shows that Spain is not immune to the far-right populists trends, already strongly present in Europe.

In Catalonia, the left-wing indipendentista party, Esquerra Repubblicana (ERC), won for the first time. ERC is now the biggest representative of Catalonia in the national parliament (15 seats). The new government formation could, in fact, include the Catalan separatists or the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). In most of the hypothetical government formations, ERC comes as quite indispensable but PSOE summits consider it unreliable, so they would more likely avoid any alliance.

 

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Source: www.nytimes.com