With 95.55% of the votes counted, the conservative Popular Party (PP) narrowly defeated the ruling Socialist Party (PSOE) in the Spanish elections this Sunday, but this result would not be enough to form a government.
The opposition PP obtains 136 seats, 47 more than in the last elections, and the PSOE obtains 122 seats, 3 more than in the 2019 elections. In percentage of votes the parity is greater: the PP reaches 32.50% against the 32.05% of the ruling party, according to El País.
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The far-right formation Vox was the third force in these elections, with 33 seats (12.39%), 19 less than in 2019, and the left-wing platform Sumar obtained 31 parliamentarians (12.23%).
The absolute majority is 176 deputies, so if this trend is confirmed, pacts on either side of the political spectrum would be necessary.
With these results, it would not be enough for the PP to form a government, even adding the votes of Vox, since it would reach 169 seats, 7 less than those necessary to form an executive. Instead, the PSOE could reissue its alliance with the left and regional parties to reach the magic number and continue in La Moncloa. A third option is that an electoral deadlock occurs and new elections are necessary.
What did the main Spanish politicians say?
More than 37 million Spaniards were empowered to choose whether the government remains in the hands of a progressive coalition led by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) or if, for the first time since the death of dictator Francisco Franco, a right-wing and far-right alliance, made up of the Popular Party (PP) and Vox, will govern.
After casting his vote in Madrid, the leader of the Popular Party (PP, conservatives), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, stated that “Spain can start a new era.” A few hours later, the euphoria of the first exit polls that heralded a resounding victory gave way to concern.
The PP candidate for the general elections, Alberto Núñez Feijóo (Photo: EFE)
For his part, the president of the outgoing government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, in office for five years, stated: “What is going to happen here today is going to be very important, not only for us, logically, but also for the world and for Europe”.
How is the Spanish electoral system
The Spanish electoral system is indirect. The Executive is voted for by the composition of the Parliament of 350 members, who are elected today in their entirety. Whoever gathers the absolute majority of 176 seats stays with the Government, although abstentions also play a role. Spain is one of the ten parliamentary monarchies in force in Europe.
The final result of the elections will not only have a strong impact within the European Union, where Spain now chairs the European Council, but also in Latin America due to the current alliances of the socialist government and the ties that the PP has with leaders more closely related to the Latin American right.
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The poll also aroused great interest outside Spain due to the possibility that an alliance between the right and the ultra-nationalist and ultra-conservative Vox party could come to power, which questions the notion of gender violence, is skeptical of climate change, openly anti-abortion and rejects the LGTBI movement.
In case of finally entering the government, it would mean the return of the extreme right to power for the first time since the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975).
A turn to the right in the fourth largest economy in the European Union (EU), after that of Italy last year, would also deal a new blow to the left, which now governs only half a dozen of its 27 member countries, less than a year before the elections of the bloc’s Parliament.
Pedro Sánchez seeks to continue in the Spanish government (Photo: REUTERS / Nacho Doce) By: REUTERS
After the municipal elections in May, PP and Vox agreed to local and regional governments in which the extreme right refused to give in on their most controversial positions.
Sánchez, in power since 2018, seeks to repeat his current coalition of socialists and the radical left. Podemos, Sánchez’s uncomfortable partner since the beginning of 2020, was absorbed and replaced this year by Sumar, a formation led by the Minister of Labor, the communist and very pragmatic Yolanda Díaz.