Shift to the right: Forecasts: Spain's conservative opposition wins new elections

According to media forecasts, the left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has been voted out of office in Spain.

Shift to the right: Forecasts: Spain's conservative opposition wins new elections

According to media forecasts, the left-wing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has been voted out of office in Spain. The conservative People's Party (PP) led by opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo won the early parliamentary elections with 145 to 150 seats, according to state TV broadcaster RTVE.

Other media published similar numbers in the evening. According to RTVE, Sánchez's Socialists (PSOE) finished second with 113 to 118 seats. However, the PP clearly missed the absolute majority of 176 seats, so that Feijóo would have to work together with the right-wing populists from Vox to form a government.

According to the RTVE forecast, Vox took fourth place with 24 to 27 seats behind the left-wing electoral alliance Sumar (28 to 31). Paradoxically, lead candidate Santiago Abascal's controversial and often far-right party gets significantly fewer seats than it did in the last general election in 2019, when it got 52, but it will probably have much more political weight after this vote than last time.

Weeks of negotiations likely

According to the media forecasts, the PP and Vox have a chance of achieving an absolute majority together. If that is not the case, they will have to rely on the support or at least the toleration of smaller parties in the "Congreso de los Diputados".

With that still uncertain, the EU's fourth-largest economy, which currently holds the presidency of the Union, is sure to face weeks of negotiations. A “bloqueo”, a political blockade of the kind that happened twice in a row after the 2015 and 2019 elections and required a second round of voting in each case, cannot be ruled out.

Like partner parties in Hungary and Poland, Vox has a very unique understanding of the rule of law. She is also Eurosceptic and calls for cashing in on prestige left-wing projects in the areas of social affairs, the protection of minorities and the environment, and for cracking down on separatists.

No firewall right

There is no so-called firewall to the right in Spain, as there is in Germany against the AfD. In some regions, PP and Vox already rule together. A "grand coalition" is unthinkable in Spain. Sánchez does not even want to tolerate a PP minority government and therefore leaves him "no choice" but to talk to Vox, Feijóo emphasized several times.

On Sunday, parts of the Senate were re-elected in addition to the "Congreso de los Diputados" lower house. In Spain, however, the upper house plays no role in forming a government. The parliamentary election was actually scheduled for the end of the year. But Sánchez preferred it after the debacle of the left parties in the May 28 regional elections. The left-wing government repeatedly warned that a right-wing government would undo the social gains of recent years and set the country back decades. She went unheard.

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