The Spaniards elect a new parliament for the fourth time in four years. Around 37 million voters have been able to vote nationwide in 23,000 polling stations since Sunday mornings. According to recent polls, once again the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) of Executive Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (47) was in the lead.
However, in all likelihood, it will not come back to a governing majority. The political blockade in Madrid threatens to endure – should Sanchez not agree with other forces on a coalition government, which he has rejected so far. Another possibility would be for his minority government to be tolerated in parliament, which is also unlikely. "Spain chooses in a scenario of complete uncertainty," said state television on Sunday.
The head of state, accompanied by his wife, gave his vote in Pozuelo de Alarcon near Madrid in the morning. He then explained that he hopes for a high turnout: "Spain needs stability."
Six months ago in Spain, there had already been a parliamentary election in which almost 72 percent of the electorate had participated. But observers expected a decline because of the disenchantedness of many citizens – the number of postal voters has already plummeted by 26 percent.
The Social Democratic PSOE had won the election in April with about 28 percent of the vote. However, Sanchez was unable to secure the necessary support from other parties for his election as Prime Minister. In September King Felipe VI. call a new election.
Formations of government are becoming increasingly difficult in Spain. In the past, there was in fact a two-party system and either the socialists or the conservative PP were ruling. Meanwhile, five major parties compete for parliamentary seats – in addition to PSOE and PP, the liberal Ciudadanos, the left-wing Unidas Podemos and the right-wing populist Vox. With coalitions, the politicians but have little experience: The election winners usually try to make a minority government on its feet.
Vox is being treated as the beneficiary of the deadlocked situation: the ultra right-wingers had first moved into parliament after the last election – and could now even become the third strongest force.
The polling stations close at 20.00, in the Canary Islands at 21.00 CET. After that first forecasts are expected.