Far-Right Vox Becomes 3rd Largest Spanish Party, Socialists Repeat Indecisive Win
The new election has failed to change substantially the political deadlock in place since the vote in April.
Spain’s ruling Socialists have scored an indecisive victory in the country’s fourth general election in four years, while the far-right party Vox has emerged as the big winner by becoming the third largest political force in the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
The Socialist Party (PSOE) of caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez failed to win a majority, gaining 120 seats, three fewer than the 123 seats it got in the election in April 2019, thus failing to resolve the existing political deadlock in a categorical manner. A total of 176 seats are needed for a majority in the Congress of Deputies.
With 99% of the vote counted, the conservative Popular Party (PP) won 87 seats – a major gain from the 66 seats it secured in April, its worst result ever, El Pais reported.
The far-right group Vox, which gained its first parliamentary seats ever in April, has more than doubled their number, jumping from 24 to 52, which has made it the third-largest party in Spain’s lower house, the Congress of Deputies.
“Eleven months ago we had no representation in any government institution,” Vox leader Santiago Abascal told cheering, Spanish-flag-waving crowds.
“Today we are the third political force in Spain. […] We have told the left that they have no moral superiority,” he added.
Unidas Podemos, a coalition of the United Left and anti-austerity group Podemos, retained 35 of the 42 seats it won at the last election.
“[The election has served to] strengthen the right and turn the far right into one of the strongest in Europe,” said Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Unidas Podemos, calling again for a coalition government between his party and the PSOE.
“What in April was an opportunity – a progressive coalition government – is now a necessity,” he said, after the results were announced.
The center-right party Ciudadanos (Citizens) suffered a crushing defeat, losing more than 40 seats to be left with just 10.
Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera announced he would call an emergency meeting of the party’s executive to discuss its future.
“What we have had today is an unmitigated bad result, without excuses,” he said.
Sunday’s election registered a high turnout of 69.9%, with more than 24 million votes cast. All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies and 208 of the 265 seats in the Senate were up for grabs.
(Banner image: Santiago Abascal on Twitter)