The Socialist Party (PSOE) of caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez won the highest number of seats but fell short of an absolute majority at the repeat general election in Spain today. But right wing group Vox, which only entered Spain’s parliament in April, saw the most significant rise, jumping from 24 to 52 seats, to become the third-largest party in Spain’s lower house.
El Pais Although Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists have emerged as winners having suffered only slight losses in this election, the overall result is not a positive one for the acting prime minister.
With around 99% of the vote counted, the PSOE had taken 120 seats – three fewer than the result it managed at the April 28 general election. The conservative Popular Party (PP) won 87 seats – a major gain from the 66 seats it secured in April, its worst result ever.
Meanwhile, Vox leader Santiago Abascal celebrated the far-right group’s result: “Eleven months ago we had no representation in any government institution,” he 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.”
Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Unidas Podemos, said the repeat election had only served to “strengthen the right and turn the far right into one of the strongest in Europe.”
MAKE SPAIN GREAT AGAIN: VOX leader, Santiago Abascal, in Vox Espana election ad:
The inconclusive results mean that Spain is facing more political uncertainty, as neither the left-wing or right-wing blocs have the 176 seats needed for an absolute majority in the 350-seat Congress.
The huge surge in seats for Vox will be one of the biggest talking points of the night. Spain had appeared immune to a wave of far-right populism spreading across the continent in the last decade. But now Vox has established itself as a major force in Spanish politics.
Washington Post Right-wing populist and anti-migrant leaders across Europe are celebrating the strong results of the upstart far-right Vox party in the Spanish election.
Marine Le Pen, who heads France’s National Rally party, congratulated Vox leader Santiago Abascal, saying it’s impressive how his work “is already bearing fruit after only a few years.”
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders also posted a picture of himself and Abascal and wrote “FELICIDADES” — Spanish for congratulations — with three thumbs-up emojis. In Italy, Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party tweeted a picture of himself next to Abascal with the text “Congratulations to Vox!” above Spanish and Italian flags.
But in Spain, the reaction was one of shock, with the outcome swiftly denounced by Pablo Iglesias, leader of the radical leftwing Podemos who spent months locked in talks with Sanchez’s Socialists that failed to end the deadlock.
“These elections have allowed the right to grow stronger and now we have an extreme right which is among the most powerful and strong in Europe,” said Iglesias whose party also suffered a slide, dropping to 35 seats from 42 in April.