The Spaniards went to the polls for the fourth time in four years, but there emerges an even more confused political panorama in a context of declining turnout. The political blockage that has paralyzed the country for seven months will therefore continue.
Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has failed to bolster his number of seats in parliament. He certainly comes first but he stagnates compared to his score of six months ago (27% of the votes according to the first polls). The Socialists lose some seats and move a little further away from the absolute majority. If they want to retain power, they will have to make an alliance with Podemos (radical left) and the Basque and Catalan nationalists. However, it is precisely the inability of these formations to agree that led to this electoral repetition.
On the right, the popular party is progressing (20% of votes) but not enough to hope to seize power. It's actually on the far right that we were celebrating on Sunday night. Vox doubles his score (16% of the vote) and becomes the third Spanish political force. Unknown to the general public a year ago, the ultranationalist party of Santiago Abascal surfed the Catalan crisis more than the migration crisis. "The separatists want to tear off an arm, a part of what belongs to us," indignant Maria Jose, retired, at the exit of a polling station in Madrid. "I voted Vox to restore some order in Catalonia! "
"It's a protest vote"
The riots and violence that took place in Barcelona after the recent convictions of nine pro-independence leaders monopolized the electoral debates. The whole campaign revolved around the Catalan crisis. "It's a protest vote," says political scientist Gabriel Colome. "These are people who are not extreme right, but they vote Vox to show that they are fed up with the system. Barcelona burned for 5 days, Vox took advantage. Catalonia gives them votes, not immigration. "
Manuel, a former socialist voter, has also moved to the extreme right "for this story of Franco". The recent exhumation of the former dictator, whose remains were transferred from his grandiose mausoleum to a more discreet cemetery, exasperated him. "They spent money for nothing! What is the use of moving the grave of a dead person? For Spain, this breakthrough in Vox is a real earthquake. "It scares me," says Sara, a student who voted to the left. "I am from this generation that has never known Francoism. I did not think it could come back! "
After this election, which solves nothing, new negotiations will open and Pedro Sanchez, weakened, will try again to form a government. "The most likely scenario is a government in the minority, thanks to an abstention of the right during the inaugural session that will not take place for several weeks," predicts Gabriel Colome. "They have to come to an agreement. We are not going to vote indefinitely, "said Jose, who was presiding over a polling station on Sunday.