Voting is well underway in Spain’s general election as fears grow that the far-right Vox party may be propelled into government alongside the right-wing People’s party.
With polls having opened at 9am, there are around 4 hours of voting to go in what is being said to be one of the closest elections in many years. No party is expected to win outright meaning that as many as five parties will have a chance of sitting in the next government, while fears continue that the election may produced a deadlocked parliament.
One of the five parties vying for parliament is the far-right Vox Party who stand on a platform strongly against Catalan independence, immigration, Islam, gay rights and feminism. Vox is pro-life and favours a return to bans on abortion in the country. The party is also strongly pro-Israel and supports the return of Gibraltar to Spanish rule, despite the wishes of the people.
Vox, who have their support base in Andalucia where most migrants enter Spain, currently have no seats in parliament but could potentially be about to come from nowhere to be “kingmakers” in the next parliament.
Speaking to a 3000 strong working-class crowd in Madrid, current left-wing Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said he fears that Pablo Casados’s People’s party will form a new ruling coalition with Vox, adding to the growing power of the far-right across Europe.
“No one gave Trump any chance of becoming president and he is. No one thought Bolsonaro would become president of Brazil, and he has.”Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
In the most optimistic scenarios for Sanchez, he will survive the election as Prime Minister with the support of Podemos as an ally in government. However, many other indications from the polls suggest that Sanchez can only survive by allying with the Catalonian nationalists, a move that would play right into the hands of Vox who have already portrayed Sanchez as a “traitor” to Spain who will allow Catalonia its independence.
While two-fifths of voters were said to be undecided in official polls on Monday, informal polling suggests that Vox is surging amongst those undecided voters headed into todays election. The surge opens up the possibility of a People’s party/Ciudadanos/Vox combination taking power, while a deadlocked parliament and a further election remains the most likely outcome.