The Left-wing Party, PSOE, wins the European elections in Spain with 32% of the vote.
The PSOE won 20 seats, six seats more than in the 2014 European election and followed by the conservatives (PP) with 20% of the vote and 12 seats, four down from 2014. The new far-right Vox party entered the EU parliament for the first time, with three seats. The far-left Podemos gained just six seats, only one more than in the last election.
The 20 seats won on Sunday night makes the PSOE, for the first time since the entry of Spain into the EU, the largest social-democratic parliamentary force. In a historic moment when the major countries of the EU (Germany, France, Italy, U.K.) are dominated by populist and eurosceptic parties, Spanish people chose to reinforce the social pillar in Europe. Italy’s Democratic Party (PD) has come close with 19 seats but they won’t be the strongest presence because, unlike the PSOE in Spain, PD is no longer Italy’s first Party.
“We are going to be the first social democratic delegation in the European Parliament. It is a source of pride, an opportunity, but also a huge responsibility”, said Pedro Sánchez at a public appearance in Madrid shortly after midnight.
On another note, the participation rate in these European elections was significantly higher compared to 2014. Indeed, it’s the highest since the 1987 elections. Five years ago, 46% of the electorate went to the polls, while this year the turnout was 64%. This fact is also due to the coincidence with Spanish municipal and regional elections, for instance, Barcelona elected its first pro-independence mayor, the Republican Ernest Maragall (ERC).
The Spanish results in these European elections were particularly disappointing for Unidas Podemos, which was participating as a coalition for the first time in the European Parliament and gained only 6 seats in total. Whereas during the last elections, Izquierda Unida alone got 6 seats while Podemos obtained 5 seats.
“We expected a better result, but in relation to other countries where the left wing is fragmented, we have resisted well,” said María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, the Izquierda Unida leader.
The biggest news is the entrance of Vox in the European Parliament, an opportunity to “develop and reinforce Europe on the basis of respect for nations”, according to Vox candidate for the European list, Jorge Buxadé.