While 57% of the ballots were counted, the socialists of Pedro Sanchez advance the conservatives, without obtaining a majority. The extreme right becomes the third political force of the country.
The Spaniards voted on Sunday, November 10, for the fourth legislative in four years in a climate weighed down by the Catalan crisis and the rise of the far right, a vote that does not seem able to put an end to political instability.
First partial results, based on the count of 57% of the ballots, give the socialist party of the outgoing head of government Pedro Sanchez in the lead, in front of the conservatives of the PP and the extreme right party Vox. The PSOE would progress slightly, from 123 to 124 seats, the conservatives of the Popular Party (PP) would rise from 66 to 83 seats, and Vox would rise from 24 to 52 seats, ahead of the radical left Podemos, which would go down from 42 to 35 seats.
Vox, ultranationalist and anti-immigration training founded five years ago, would continue its rise by doubling its number of seats, with potentially 52 elected. It would become the third political force of a country where the extreme right was, before its irruption, marginal since the end of the dictatorship of Franco (1939-1975).
The conservatives of the Popular Party have raised the bar after the worst result of their history in April while the radical left of Podemos (35 seats) lost seven deputies and the liberals of Ciudadanos were slapped (10 deputies against 57 in April).
"Hold on to the Franco regime"
Six months after the previous election, which he won without an absolute majority, the Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asked the 37 million voters to give him a clear mandate to put an end to the political instability that Spain is experiencing. since 2015. After voting, he said he hoped "That from tomorrow, we can (…) form a government and put Spain in motion".
After the night of clashes that left 600 wounded in mid-October following the sentencing of nine pro-independence leaders to long prison terms for the secession attempt of 2017, Catalonia, where many police reinforcements were sent for the polls, dominated the campaign.
In favor of Vox whose leader Santiago Abascal advocates the prohibition of separatist parties, the suspension of the autonomy of Catalonia and the arrest of its independence president Quim Torra. In his last campaign meeting on Friday night in Madrid, his supporters chanted "Torra has mazmorra! " (Torra in the dungeon!).
Pedro Sanchez tried to mobilize the electorate of the left against the rise of Vox, that it presents as a return of the Francoism, denouncing the right which did not hesitate to ally with this party to take control of the Andalusia, the most populated region of Spain, the region of Madrid, the richest, and the town hall of the capital. "Spain needs a progressive government to stand up against Francoism, extremists and radicals"he repeated relentlessly during the campaign.