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Socialist Triumph in Spain With Increased Majority as Far-Right Challenge Quelled

Michael East, Red Revolution

The ruling Spanish Socialist Party has scored something of a triumph in the Spanish elections, retaining power with an increased majority and seeing off the right-wing challenge of the People’s Party and the far-right Vox.

“We have sent a clear and powerful message from the people of Spain to Europe and the world, that it is possible to beat reactionaries and authoritarianism and regression.”

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez

The Socialist Workers Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez not only retained power but increased their overall majority, receiving 28.68% of the vote compared to 22.63% in 2016.

Pedro Sánchez accompanied PSOE activists to the 39th Federal Training Congress in June 2017 | Rodrigo Ponce de León / El diario

Despite fears of a right-wing coalition assuming power and including the far-right Vox, the election has seen a surprising collapse of the mainstream conservative People’s Party, the former ruling party falling from 33.01% of the vote to just 16.70%.

While the People’s Party collapsed, ​however, the far-right saw a surge, coming in fifth place with 10.26% and around two and a half million votes.



While the far-right will promote the results as evidence of a foothold in Spain, the share is lower than many feared, yet still means that the far-right will return to government for the first time since the Franco era.

The socialists are short of a majority and will need to form a government with the left-wing Podemos and regional parties from the Basque region and Catalonia. Returning PM Pedro Sánchez has said that the challenging now facing Spain was combatting inequality, adding that the election showed that “The future has won and the past has lost”.

PartyVotesShareSwingSeats+/- Seats
Spanish Socialist Workers Party7,480,75528.68%+6.05123+38
People’s Party4,356,02316.70%–15.8766-69
Citizens4,136,60015.86%+2.6857+25
Podemos3,732,92914.31%-5.4042-24
Vox2,677,17310.06%+10.0624+24
Republican Left of Catalonia Sovereigntists1,019,5583.91%+1.2815+6
Together For Catalonia497,6381.91%–0.107-1
Basque Nationalist Party394,6271.51%+0.326+1
Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals326,0451.25+0.060+0
Basque Country Unite 258,8400.99+0.224+2

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Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right

By Elizabeth Fekete

It is clear that the right is on the rise, but after Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the spike in popularity of extreme-right parties across Europe, the question on everyone’s minds is: how did this happen? An expansive investigation of the ways in which a newly-configured right interconnects with anti-democratic and illiberal forces at the level of the state, Europe’s Fault Lines provides much-needed answers, revealing some uncomfortable truths. What appear to be “blind spots” about far-right extremism on the part of the state, are shown to constitute collusion-as police, intelligence agencies and the military embark on practices of covert policing that bring them into direct or indirect contact with the far right, in ways that bring to mind the darkest days of Europe’s authoritarian past. Old racisms may be structured deep in European thought, but they have been revitalized and spun in new ways: the war on terror, the cultural revolution from the right, and the migration-linked demonization of the destitute “scrounger.” Drawing on her work for the Institute of Race Relations over thirty years, Liz Fekete exposes the fundamental fault lines of racism and authoritarianism in contemporary Europe.


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