They were scheduled for December and he announced that they will be on July 23. It is a consequence of the sweeping triumph of the Popular Party in the regional elections.
The head of the Spanish government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, announced by surprise on Monday the advancement of the general elections to July 23, after the heavy defeat of his party in the municipal and regional elections before the right-wing forces.
“The elections will be held on Sunday, July 23,” Sánchez announced in an institutional statement from the Moncloa Palace. And he specified that he made “this decision in view of the results of the elections held yesterday.”
In an appearance in Madrid, Sánchez explained that after communicating it to the head of state, King Felipe VI, the formal call for the elections will be published this Tuesday, with the dissolution of Parliament.
The head of government pointed out that this afternoon an extraordinary meeting of the Executive, the coalition made up of the socialist party PSOE de Sánchez and the left-wing formation United We Can, is scheduled.
The Conservatives were the most voted in the regional and municipal elections on Sunday, with 31.53 percent of the votes and almost seven million votes, some 761,000 more than the Socialists, who obtained 28.11 percent.
The sweeping advance of the right is reflected in the difference in votes for the PP in relation to the previous municipal elections: they were 1.7 million more than in 2019.
In addition, the Popular Party prevailed in six regions where the Socialists governed, alone or in coalition: the Valencian Community, Aragon, Extremadura, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands and Cantabria.
If the day was victorious for the PP, it was also victorious for the far-right formation of Vox, whose support will be necessary for the conservatives in many places.
“Many institutions will be administered by new majorities made up of the Popular Party and Vox, and although yesterday’s votes had a municipal and regional scope, the direction of the vote conveys a message that goes further,” said Sánchez.
Reactions to Pedro Sánchez’s announcement
Although Sánchez’s announcement surprised the political class by surprise, the first reactions were not long in coming.
“Well, nothing, we’re not unpacking… we’re going back to campaign in Spain!!!” Vox leader Iván Espinosa de los Monteros wrote on Twitter.
“The message received last night was very clear: things have to be done differently. Without distractions. From this very moment we are working to win on July 23. I take on the challenge,” wrote Yolanda Díaz, second vice president of the government, representative of the extreme left partners of the government coalition.
The analyst José Pablo Ferrándiz, director of public opinion and political studies at Ipsos, considered Sánchez’s decision logical.
“Six months, as I say, of pressure from Núñez Feijoo, even from his government partners, because it would have been an agony that would not make much sense,” he told public television TVE.