Spain Election: Socialists Win Amid Far-Right Breakthrough
29 April 2019 International News
Spain’s governing Socialists won the country’s third election in four years, but have fallen short of a majority.
PM Pedro Sánchez’s party polled 29% and will need the help of either left-wing Podemos and regional parties, or the centre right, to form a government.
For the first time since military rule ended in the 1970s, a far-right party is set to enter parliament.
Vox opposes multiculturalism, unrestricted migration, and what it calls “radical feminism”.
Analysts say support for Vox has been boosted by widespread anger at the Catalan independence drive. The party fervently opposes any concessions to the secessionists.
The other big story of the election was the collapse in support for the Popular Party (PP), which governed Spain until it was dumped from power in May 2018 in a no-confidence vote.
In its worst election ever, the PP won just 66 seats, down from 137 in the previous parliament.
Turnout was 75.8%, the biggest for several years and 9% higher than the previous election in 2016.
In his victory speech, Mr Sánchez said the party’s big challenges were to fight inequality, advance co-existence and halt corruption.
“The future has won and the past has lost,” he told cheering supporters. During his time in office he has raised the minimum wage, appointed a female-dominated cabinet and promised to bring in laws defining rape as sex without clear consent.
After weeks of Spain’s resurgent far right hugging all the headlines, didn’t the centre-left just win a resounding victory?
Did Spaniards have a last-minute change of heart? What does this all mean?
Spain’s Socialist party members will certainly have the biggest smiles on their faces this morning. But landslide victory this was not.
The party improved massively on its last performance in national elections. It managed to take control of Spain’s upper house of parliament too, but still lacks a majority to govern.